The Reds charge into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-0 victory over Real Madrid.
Liverpool and Chelsea in quarter-finals
LONDON // Liverpool charged into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-0 victory over Real Madrid yesterday and Chelsea went through after drawing 2-2 with Juventus. Bayern Munich, already 5-0 up from the away leg, brushed aside Sporting Lisbon 7-1 at home to complete an overwhelming 12-1 aggregate triumph and Villarreal won 2-1 at Panathinaikos to advance 3-2 overall. Already 1-0 ahead from the away leg, the five-time champions Liverpool reached the last eight with a 5-0 aggregate victory.
After an early strike by Fernando Torres, two goals by Steven Gerrard and a late fourth by Andrea Dossena gave Liverpool an impressive score against a side which has won European football's biggest club title a record nine times but had its heaviest defeat since the competition became known as the Champions League in 1993. "When you play against Real Madrid you expect it to be tight," the Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, a Real fan and former youth team coach at the Bernabeu, told reporters. "But we played really well. Away we played fantastic, and today we showed them that we can play in different ways. "We are top of the European rankings because the last five years were good and this was another good game."
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in London, Juventus equalised after 19 minutes in Turin through Vincenzo Iaquinta. But Michael Essien, back to full fitness after being out for six months with a serious knee injury, replied for Chelsea to make Juve's task even harder. Juve had their defender Giorgio Chiellini sent off for his second yellow card in the 71st and even Alessandro Del Piero's 74th minute penalty was not enough because Chelsea had an away goal and Didier Drogba's 83rd minute strike made sure.
Two strikes by Lukas Podolski in the first 34 minutes and an own goal by Anderson Polga in the 39th increased Bayern's overall advantage to 8-0 in Munich before Sporting replied through Joao Moutinho. Bastian Schweinsteiger added another for the Bundesliga champions before halftime and Mark Van Bommel, a penalty by Miroslav Klose and a late goal by Thomas Muller made it seven on the night. Panathinaikos and Villarreal kicked off level at 1-1 in Athens before Ariel Ibagaza gave the visiting Spaniards a 49th minute lead. Vangelis Mantzios equalised in the 55th but Joseba Llorente's 70th minute strike for Villarreal put his team through to the last eight.
*AP / Reuters