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Dortmund’s defender Erik Durm (right), vies with Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Pepe during the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg football match Real Madrid FC vs Borussia Dortmund at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 2.
Real rout Dortmund, Ronaldo equals scoring record PSG beat Chelsea to close in on Champs League semis

MADRID, April 2, (Agencies): Real Madrid planted one foot firmly in the Champions League semi-finals with an emphatic 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday as Cristiano Ronaldo equalled the record for most goals in the tournament in one season. Gareth Bale poked the ball into the net in the third minute of the quarter-final first leg at the Bernabeu to put a dominant Real ahead and Isco curled in a second in the 27th. Ronaldo notched his 14th goal in eight games this season 12 minutes after halftime, matching a Champions League record set by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in 2011-12, as the nine-times winners opened a big lead going into the second leg on Tuesday. It was the Portugal forward’s 100th Champions League appearance and the goal, when he picked up a Luka Modric pass and clipped the ball into the net from close range, took his overall tally to 64.

PSG 3, Chelsea 1
In Paris, French champions Paris Saint Germain took a big step towards the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday as they beat Chelsea 3-1 in their quarter-final first leg match at the Parc des Princes. Argentinian striker Ezequiel Lavezzi gave them an early lead before Eden Hazard brought Chelsea level from the penalty spot in the 27th minute. However, the hosts deservedly regained the lead in the 61st minute against an unambitious Chelsea side as Lavezzi’s wickedly curling freekick was put into his own net by David Luiz. PSG gained what could turn out to be the decisive goal in the third minute of time added on as Javier Pastore weaved his way past two players and then beat Petr Cech at the near post. Worryingly, though, for the hosts with a view to the second leg was the sight of their leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic going off during the second-half clutching his right thigh. The second leg is next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is expected to miss his side’s Champions League quarter-final, second leg against Barcelona, but has not torn his hamstring as first feared, the club confirmed on Wednesday. The Spanish international had to be replaced after pulling up just 29 minutes into Tuesday’ 1-1 draw in the first leg between the top two sides in La Liga at the Camp Nou. Atletico confirmed via their official Twitter account that Costa had not suffered a tear, but rather a “grade one strain in his right hamstring”. The club did not specify how long they expected their top scorer with 33 goals this season to be sidelined for.

However, Costa was reported by Spanish media as confirming he will miss the return against Barcelona as he left the medical clinic where he had undergone a scan on the injury and is expected to be sidelined for up to 10 days. While Atletico Madrid stars Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois garner much of the praise for the team’s success, fringe player Diego Ribas’ superb goal against Barcelona showed just how heavily the Spanish leader can lean on their entire squad. Ribas’ opportunities have been lacking since a January loan move from Wolfsburg. But the Brazilian midfielder came off the bench to replace injured striker Costa and stunned the Camp Nou with a rising shot from 25 meters (yards) in the 1-1 Champions League draw on Tuesday. Atletico holds the away goal advantage for the quarterfinal return leg next week.

“Scoring is always wonderful. And scoring like I did and here in Barcelona is really special,” he said. “I was able to hit the ball the right way. It is a great moment in my life.” Ribas arrived with much fanfare in January but has so far made little impact on a squad that pride themselves on a physical approach. But even coach Diego Simeone was excited about his unexpected strike, which swerved through the air and beyond outstretched Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto, giving his side a valuable boost after Costa’s exit. “He was annoyed at not getting in the lineup and was working hard to get in. So I’m very happy for him,” Simeone said.  “He trains hard every day with this hope. The team needs him, and he answered that need. Hopefully he helps us maintain our advantage.”

Ribas was one of Simeone’s regulars during a Europa League winning campaign two seasons ago — when he was at the club on loan. He could well be called on in next Wednesday’s return leg with Costa’s availability uncertain after the Spain striker hurt his right leg. Ribas will probably be needed to complement international midfielders Koke and Arda Turan, plus gritty captain Gabi Fernandez, when Atletico defends their one-point league lead over Barcelona against Villarreal on Saturday. While Costa’s goals have earned much of the attention in Atletico’s standout season, Courtois’ performances between the posts have been just as important.

The Belgium goalkeeper is in his third season on loan from Chelsea, and Atletico is desperate to retain his services for next season with Real Madrid showing interest. “He’s one of the world’s best goalkeepers,” Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino said. The 21-year-old Courtois could even push Chelsea ‘keeper Petr Cech out sooner rather than later if he maintains his current form. “Next week I’ll announce my decision,” Courtois said. “I’m not going to say whether I’m staying or not (now).”

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