José Mourinho confident Real Madrid will reach quarters

Madrid boss expects his side to reach Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in six years

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
jose mourinho real madrid
José Mourinho took the reigns at Real Madrid last summer Photo: via Flickr - Tsutomu Takasu

jose mourinho real madrid

José Mourinho is confident Real Madrid will reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League despite drawing 1-1 with Lyon in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Stade de Gerland.

Karim Benzema netted the opener against his former club with his first touch after coming on as a second-half substitute before Bafetimbi Gomis slotted home seven minutes from time to earn a draw.

Real Madrid’s French striker squeezed his shot through Hugo Lloris’ legs in the 65th minute after Mesut Özi and Cristiano Ronaldo combined well to put the forward through on goal.

But Lyon drew level when Cris nodded the ball into the path of Gomis for the 25-year-old France forward to volley his effort past Iker Casillas.

Madrid have been knocked out at the last-16 stage for the last six seasons but Mourinho is confident his men can put an end to that unwanted record by progressing to the quarter-finals in the return leg in two weeks’ time.

“We have taken a step forward,” said Mourinho afterwards. “It’s the first time we have scored a goal in Lyon. Everything is left open against a quality opponent but I hope the Bernabéu helps the team create a magical European night.”

The former Chelsea boss added: “I feel like I watched a real Champions League match: hard and well contested with very few clear chances due to the defensive rigour on both sides,” said Mourinho afterwards.

“In the second half we managed to find spaces and, to begin with, we were closer to a second goal than Lyon were to an equaliser.

“But it sets things up well for the second leg, where we will hope to qualify in front of our supporters.”

Elsewhere, Nicolas Anelka struck twice to earn Chelsea a comfortable 2-0 win at FC Copenhagen and ease the pressure on under-fire manager Carlo Ancelotti.

The Frenchman scored either side of the break as the Premier League champions overcame the first Danish side to reach the last-16 and boost their chances of a European quarter-final spot after falling short domestically this season.

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

French Open preview
The Sport Review
French Open 2018: Halep seeks first Major in battle for No1 with Wozniacki, Muguruza and more
The Sport Review
10 goalkeepers Liverpool FC could sign in summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Arsenal transfers: 10 targets Gunners could sign for defence in summer
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
10 players Chelsea could sign in the 2018 summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Unai Emery explains how his new-look Arsenal team will play
The Sport Review
Cristiano Ronaldo has a warning for Real Madrid about Liverpool FC
The Sport Review
Paul Scholes: What I truly think about Alexis Sanchez at Man United