MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 18: Mesut Ozil (L) of Real Madrid celebrates scoring his sides third goal with his teammate Marcelo during the UEFA Champions League group D match between Real Madrid and Olympique Lyonnais at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 18, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Real Madrid Vs. Lyon, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Madrid Cruise To 4-0 Victory

Goals from Karim Benzema, Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Sergio Ramos pushed Real Madrid past an over-matched Lyon squad

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Real Madrid Vs. Lyon, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Madrid Stay Perfect With Easy 4-0 Win

Real Madrid entered Tuesday's UEFA Champions League clash knowing that a win over Olympique Lyon would just about guarantee them the top spot in the group. It would give them nine points from three matches and a lead that no one else in Group D is really capable of erasing. Injuries to Lisandro Lopez, Clement Grenier and Jeremy Pied dashed any real hopes of Lyon getting a result too so it seemed a foregone conclusion that Madrid would have no problem taking down their French opponents. Well, it was as easy as predicted. Goals by Karim Benzema, Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Sergio Ramos fired Madrid past Lyon as they picked up a 4-0 win to grab a stranglehold of Group D.

Benzema's tally was the only one of the first half and it was as easy as could be for the Frenchman. Cristiano Ronaldo flicked a corner kick onto the back post where Benzema and Ramos were waiting, completely unmarked. Benzema got his foot to it first, tapped it in and Madrid were ahead.

The second half brought more goals, starting with Khedira's finish off a pass from Benzema. The German knocked it home and the hosts had doubled their lead. Ozil got involved, again off of another Benzema assist, but Marcelo did the work with a run down the right. He unlocked the defense and found Benzema, whose attempt bounced towards Ozil. He was at a sharp angle, but knocked it in off of Hugo Loris and Madrid were ahead, 3-0. Ramos finished things when he went up for a corner kick. He couldn't win the header, but did knock it straight down and with two Lyon defenders trying to figure out where the ball went Ramos smashed it in for the final tally.

With the win, Madrid sit atop Group D with nine points. Lyon are even with Ajax on four points with four points and Dinamo Zagreb are last without any points.


Real Madrid Vs. Lyon Live, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Sergio Ramos Makes It 4-0

So the match is turning out to be as easy as expected for Real Madrid. That's not to knock Olympique Lyon. They are playing without Lisandro Lopez, Clement Grenier and Jeremy Pied so it wouldn't be fair to expect much from them at the Bernabeu. Simply put, Madrid are a better team than Lyon and most certainly better than a banged up Lyon side. They are proving it too, with Sergio Ramos now getting in on the action to stretch the home side's lead to 4-0 in the final minutes.

The goal came off of a corner kick. It was lofted up to the center of the box, 10 yards from goal. Ramos went up to win the header, challenged by two Lyon players. No one really won the ball, with it just falling straight down to the turf. The problem for Lyon is that neither of their players who challenged for the ball knew where it went so while they were looking around for it, Ramos was hopping on it and slamming it into the back of the net. 4-0, Madrid are cruising.


Real Madrid Vs. Lyon Live, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Germans Score For Madrid To Make It 3-0

One German finishes, then another and before you know it, Real Madrid lead Olympique Lyon 3-0. A Karim Benzema goal was all that separated the two teams in the first half, but it didn't take long in the second half for them to add to that lead. First it was Sami Khedira, then it was Mesut Ozil as Madrid have put Lyon to the sword en route to a perfect start to UEFA Champions League play with nine points from three matches.

Khedira has a rather simple finish to his goal. A good move by Madrid left the ball with Benzema, who spotted Khedira for the goal. Benzema also assisted on Ozil's goal, although the real credit on that one goes to Marcelo. The Brazilian cut through the Lyon defense down the left, leaving them scrambling before he fed Benzema. The Frenchman's attempt bounced over to Ozil on the left. Ozil shot and the ball bounced off of Hugo Loris and in for the goal.


Real Madrid Vs. Lyon Live, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Karim Benzema Has Madrid Up At Half

The first half between Real Madrid and Olympique Lyon had only one goal, but there were plenty of other chances for both sides. It was the home side that carried the play, but Lyon proved dangerous on the counter-attack and certainly put a scare in Madrid a few times. At the break though, it is the hosts who lead thanks to a goal by Karim Benzema as they look to grab a stranglehold of Group D with nine points from three matches.

Benzema's goal came off of a corner kick by Mesut Ozil. The German drove the ball at the near post, where Cristiano Ronaldo met it and knocked it towards the back post. It was there that Benzema and Sergio Ramos were waiting without a Lyon defender anywhere to be found. Benzema got a foot to it first, steering it into the wide open net and Madrid were in front. 

Madrid carried the play to Lyon, but the visitors didn't worry. They absorbed the pressure and forced several shots from distance, although Ronaldo did come close once. Then, they struck on the counter and put the ball in the back of the net with Bafetimbi Gomis hitting a great first-time volley off of a long cross, but he was ruled offside. Even so, he had put a scare in Madrid as Lyon look for a result at the Bernabeu.


Real Madrid Vs. Lyon, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Benzema Puts Hosts In Front

19 minutes of pressure finally paid off for Real Madrid as they finally got their goal to go ahead of Olympique Lyon, 1-0, in their UEFA Champions League Group D clash. Lyon has actually been semi-dangerous on the counter-attack, but Madrid have carried the play and had the better of the chances. That turned into a goal when Karim Benzema was able to get a goal off of a corner kick to put Madrid in a good position to make it nine points from three group stage matches.

Mesut Ozil took the corner kick and drove it towards the near post. Cristiano Ronaldo got their first and expertly flicked the ball towards the back post where Benzema and Sergio Ramos were waiting with nobody there to mark them. They probably could have played rock, paper, scissors with all the time they had to decide who would get to knock the ball in, but Benzema just jumped on it, smashing the ball in to put Madrid in front of his old club.


Real Madrid Vs. Lyon, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Lineups

Jose Mourinho rewards Gonzalo Higuian's ludicrous form by having him sit out what is now the 678th time Real Madrid have faced off against Lyon in the Champions League in the past 18 months. Instead, Karim Benzema gets the start, in front of Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil and Christiano Ronaldo. That's the sort of lineup that can give a defence nightmares.

Lyon reinstate Yoann Gourcouff to the starting lineup in place of the injured Maxime Gonlalons, but that's hardly going to help out their cause at the Santiago Bernabeu - they don't need personnel movement, they need a minor miracle to come away with anything from this match. Here are the starting lineups:

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Iker Casillas; Marcelo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa; Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira; Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo; Karim Benzema.

Lyon (4-3-3):  Hugo Lloris; Aly Cissokho, Bakary Kone, Dejan Lovren, Anthony Reveillere; Gueida Fofana, Kim Källström, Yoann Gourcuff; Michel Bastos, Bafetimbi Gomis, Jimmy Briand.


Real Madrid Vs. Lyon, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Managing Madrid Wants To Rest Kaka

Since arriving at Real Madrid from AC Milan, Kaka has been a disappointment. He's suffered a couple of serious long-term injuries, and when he's been healthy, he hasn't been able to find a place in the side ahead of Mesut Özil. That's changed a bit this year, as Kaka has re-emerged as something resembling the player he once was for Milan. He's been brilliant for Madrid so far this season, and many believe that he should be first choice over Özil at the moment. However, with some big La Liga games on the horizon and six points already sealed in Champions League, Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid would like to give him a rest.

I feel like Mourinho might rest Kaká or Özil to give Di Maria some run. Özil does not seem comfortable playing on the wing, so my choice is to rest Kaká tomorrow so he can be ready for our next La Liga game. I think it would be smarter for Mourinho to play one of them: if Kaká is as fit as he looks, Di Maria should get the spot instead of Özil, since the Argentinian contributes more than the German on the right wing.

Keeping Angel di Maria getting regular minutes is key for Madrid as well. As it was noted above, Özil is not a winger and Madrid don't always look at their best when they try to fit both Kaka and Özil on the same field. Kaka's return to form and fitness has sparked some major selection dilemmas for Jose Mourinho, though having too many good players is usually an okay problem to have.

For more on this game and all things Los Merengues, visit Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.


Real Madrid Vs. Lyon, 2011 UEFA Champions League Matchday 3 Preview: Banged Up Lyon Face Tall Task At The Bernabeu

Lyon would have trouble handling Real Madrid under any circumstances, but with injuries to Lisandro Lopez, Clement Grenier and Jeremy Pied, getting a result is near impossible as Los Blancos look primed to win Group D

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