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Real Madrid Vs. CSKA Moscow, UEFA Champions League 2012 Match Recap: Madrid Advances to Quarterfinals

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Higuaín, Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema got help from Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Kaka and Özil to get a 4-1 win against CSKA Moscow and advance to the next round of the Champions League. The team didn't have to work too hard, but kept CSKA alive until Cristiano Ronaldo scored Real Madrid's second goal.

Real Madrid didn't play as hard as they could have, but the competition is only going to get harder--Xabi Alonso saw a yellow card that will force him to miss the first game of the Champions League's Quarterfinals.

CSKA Moscow could have scored off a great shot by Musa, but Casillas stopped the ball and saved Real Madrid from having to come back from a very dangerous situation. In the 26th minute of the game, Khedira received the ball inside CSKA's box, and while each one of the Russian defenders thought he was going to shoot it, the German player passed it to Kaka with his left foot. Kaka controlled the ball and faced the goalkeeper before assisting Gonzalo Higuaín, who just had to push the ball inside.

The team then started to control the game without taking any risks. Pepe and Ramos were playing great and prevented CSKA's most dangerous players from receiving the ball. Marcelo was very comfortable as well because he was able to dribble around defenders and move forward to create dangerous plays. If CSKA had pressed a little bit more offensively, the Brazilian player would had run into trouble. He is not in great shape and has been struggling with his defensive skills lately.

The first half concluded with the 1-0 result that kept CSKA Moscow's hopes untouched. They only needed to score one goal to send the game into over time, but this wasn't very likely after a poor first half by the Russian team. Xabi Alonso was given a yellow card in the 50th minute, so he will be suspended for the next game. Given how Xabi Alonso has been playing these past few months, Granero could substitute him with success. But Xabi Alonso looked better tonight. It all depends on which team Real Madrid will be facing and where that first game will be.

In the 55th minute Cristiano Ronaldo showed how powerful his long-shot can be. CSKA's goalkeeper could have performed better--the ball hit him and then rebounded on the post before going inside his goal. This second goal really helped Real Madrid, because CSKA then needed two goals to advance to the next round. Karim Benzema entered the game in the 70th minute for Gonzalo Higuaín and scored the first time he touched the ball. He missed the first shot but scored after the ball was stopped by CSKA's goalkeeper.

Esteban Granero took the place of Kaka six minutes later. The Brazilian player looked quite good in tonight's game. He helped the team defensively and created Real Madrid's most dangerous plays alongside Mesut Özil. He also showed that he has recovered some of his speed. Real Madrid fans can only hope that the Brazilian player keeps performing like he did today.

CSKA Moscow's Tosic scored a great goal in the 77th minute due to a quick counterattack. Iker Casillas couldn't do a thing to stop the shot, and Real Madrid was caught sleeping. CSKA started to dominate and create some danger until Mourinho introduced Lass for Mesut Özil. The team then regained the momentum of the match and even scored a late goal. Pepe went forward and passed the ball to Benzema. The French player had a clear shot, but decided to assist Cristiano Ronaldo instead. The Portuguese player celebrated the goal with his teammate knowing that he owed him the goal.

Benzema is now one of the best strikers in the world. Real Madrid has missed him a lot. Although the team has managed to get good wins, the team has not been the same since the French player got injured. It is good to see him back in the game.

The Champions League Draw will be this upcoming Friday, when we find out who is going to be Real Madrid's next European rival.

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