Real crash out

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Football News

Real Madrid's dreams of a Champions League final at their Bernabeu home were crushed by Lyon as the Spanish giants were knocked out at the last-16 stage for the sixth successive season after a 2-1 aggregate defeat (1-1 on the night).

Cristiano Ronaldo's seventh Champions League goal of the season gave Madrid the perfect early start as he netted after just six minutes to level up the aggregate scores at 1-1.

However, Madrid failed to make the most of a host of first-half chances and they paid the cost as Miralem Pjanic smashed home a 75th-minute equaliser for Lyon to send Manuel Pellegrini's men crashing out.

It would have been a different story though if Madrid had not been so profligate in the opening period, with Gonzalo Higuain the chief culprit.

Madrid could not have asked for a better start as they came out flying. There were just 16 seconds on the clock when Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was called into action first, coming out to deny Kaka, and within five minutes Madrid were ahead.

Guti's ball over the top from inside his own half put Ronaldo in on the left and his low left-footed drive fizzed under Lloris, who might have felt he should have done better.

Kaka, Ronaldo and Higuain all went close before the latter missed an incredible opportunity to put Madrid 2-0 up in the 25th minute. Some home fans must already have been celebrating as Higuain broke in behind the Lyon defence and skipped past Lloris, but with an open goal to aim for the Argentina international's shot from the edge of the box hit the near post.

The first promising sign for the visitors came immediately after the restart when substitute Maxime Gonalons won a header at the far post, but his effort cleared the crossbar.

Sidney Govou then blazed another good opening over in the 52nd minute before Lisandro tested Iker Casillas from 25 yards as Lyon started the second period on fire.

And the French outfit would end up putting paid to Madrid's dreams as Pjanic picked up a lay-off from Lisandro inside the area before thumping a half-volley past Iker Casillas.

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European News
UEFA Champions League
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