Real defence draw plaudits from Mourinho


REAL Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was full of praise for his side’s defensive performance as they kept a clean sheet for the first time in a Champions League match this season and took a major step towards the semi-finals.

Cristiano Ronaldo was on target for the 41st time this term, before Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain completed the rout.

But Mourinho saved his praise for the Real rearguard.

“They have a good team and pose danger,” he said. “We defended better than we attacked. We played seriously, we were very respectful.

“If we score one there then they have to score five, but in football I’ve seen so many different things that nothing can surprise me.”

Ronaldo opened the scoring on nine minutes, calmly floating the ball over advancing goalkeeper Fernando Muslera after losing marker Emmanuel Eboue.

But Madrid did not have it all their own way in the first half and former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba stung the palms of goalkeeper Diego Lopez with a 25-yard drive.

However, Galatasaray’s bubble burst on 29 minutes when Benzema doubled Real’s lead. After controlling Michael Essien’s cross with aplomb the France striker was left with a simple finish from six yards.

And on 73 minutes Higuain headed in the third goal to virtually seal the quarter-final. Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso swung a deep free-kick into the box and the unmarked Argentina forward pounced.

In the night’s other quarter-final Malaga held Borussia Dortmund to a 0-0 draw in Spain.