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Champions League 1/4 Final: 2nd Leg
Barcelona booked their place in the semi-finals yet again as they beat AC Milan 3-1 at the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi scored two penalties in the first half either side of an Antonio Nocerino strike. Just after the break, Andres Iniesta gave the home side a two goal cushion and set up a semi-final against Chelsea who overcame Benfica.
Chelsea saw off Portuguese side Benfica at Stamford Bridge thanks to strikes from Frank Lampard and Raul Meireles. The West London club led 1-0 from the first leg and were favourites to go through but veteran midfielder Lampard settled any nerves around the ground by scoring a 21st minute penalty. Any potential comeback from the away side looked to have gone when Uruguayan defender Maxi Pereira was dismissed for a second bookable offence. The visitors were given a glimmer of hope when Javi Garcia scored in the 85th minute with a header however Raul Meireles sealed Chelsea’s progression with a 90th minute goal.
Bayern Munich continued their quiet but effective progression throughout the competition by beating Marseille 2-0 at the Allianz Arena and 4-0 on aggregate. The home side were in a comfortable position at the beginning of the night, knowing that even a defeat could still see them through although they showed no signs of giving Marseille an easy ride as Ivica Olic opened the scoring in the 13th minute and doubled the lead in the 37th minute to send Bayern to the semis in style and bring the prospect of winning the tournament at their own stadium even closer.
Real Madrid clinched a semi-final against Bayern by ending Apoel Nicosia’s terrific Champions League run. Los Blancos beat the Cypriots 5-2 at the Bernabeu and 8-2 overall. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 26th minute before Kaka added another before the break. Gustavo Manduca gave the travelling fans something to cheer about in the 67th minute before Ronaldo scored his second of the night followed by substitute Jose Callejon. Esteban Solari added another for Apoel before Angel Di Maria ended the night with a late goal. Real Madrid now look to complete a league and cup double however Bayern will provide a stern test for them.
The semi-finals will take place on April 17th/18th and the second legs on the 24th/25th.
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