Karim Benzema (74 mins)
Ricardo Kaka (82 mins)
Karim Benzema (90 mins)
UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final First Leg
, Mar 27, 2012
Ground: G S Pancypria Stadium , Kickoff: 19:45 , Att 22,000
Jovanovic realistic over chances APOEL Nicosia coach Ivan Jovanovic has called on his players to give the "perfect" performance against Real Madrid but accepts even that may not be enough against the Spanish giants.
APOEL's last-16 defeat of Lyon saw them become the first Cypriot team to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League and Jovanovic's men go into the first-leg clash at the GSP Stadium as rank outsiders.
Madrid lead the Primera Division by six points from defending champions Barcelona with nine games to play and enjoyed a 5-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu at the weekend.
APOEL ground out a goalless draw with city rivals Omonia on Friday night and are third in their domestic league.
The indicators point to a comfortable Madrid win over the two legs with even Jovanovic hinting his players may lack the necessary quality to push Jose Mourinho's expensively-assembled side.
The Serbian said: "Certainly we have to play the perfect performance to do something and I don't even know if that will be enough to get a good result." Cristiano Ronaldo is the obvious dangerman for Madrid - the Portuguese becoming the fastest player to reach 100 goals in Spanish league history on Saturday night.
The former Manchester United star scored twice in the win against Sociedad and by reaching 101 goals in 92 games surpassed Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas, who hit three figures in 105 games.
On his last visit to Cyprus, in September last year, Ronaldo was booed when playing for his national side at the same venue and Jovanovic is hoping the passionate APOEL fans afford him plenty of respect this time round.
He added: "I was at that game and the attitude of the people to Ronaldo was the worst possible.
"Madrid are a very big club and deserve the respect of everyone, including our own fans." Madrid may be closing in on their first La Liga title since 2008 but all is not as rosy as it appears.
Last Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Villarreal and the reaction to the red cards shown to Sergio Ramos and Mesut Ozil - Mourinho and fitness coach Rui Faria were also dismissed - prompted a media blackout before and after the Sociedad game.
UEFA rules stipulate Mourinho must speak to the press before a Champions League game but the Portuguese was not forthcoming when asked what purpose the blackout served.
"I don't have to justify anything nor do I decide anything," he said, despite claims from club director and former striker Emilio Butragueno that the decision had indeed been taken by the club's coaching staff.
On the game itself, Mourinho admitted Madrid were favourites but warned APOEL would not be underestimated.
He added: "My feeling is we will have a tough game.
"I hope the return at the Bernabeu will be a little easier because we will be in our stadium.
"We are favourites and we cannot compare the history of both teams but football is football and we respect them." With Xabi Alonso suspended, Mourinho will likely choose between Fabio Coentrao and Esteban Granero to play alongside Sami Khedira in midfield.
Germany international Khedira is also anticipating a tough game.
"We know that APOEL are a good team and we respect that," he said.
Apoel Nicosia vs Real Madrid
Last modified 21:57 27/03/12
Kaka shines as Real take control Substitute Kaka sparkled and Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid finally broke down Cypriot underdogs APOEL to win 3-0 in Nicosia.
The Brazil international was introduced in the 63rd minute and set up Benzema for a 74th-minute opener before tucking away fellow sub Marcelo's excellent cutback eight minutes later.
France striker Benzema's second gave the scoreline an emphatic look despite a mighty defensive effort by APOEL, whose giant-killing run has accounted for Lyon, Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk but who were outclassed.
APOEL lost key defender Marcelo Oliveira to injury inside 10 minutes after his standing leg twisted under him as he overcommitted in a tackle.
Mesut Ozil tested goalkeeper Dionisis Chiotis, with the hosts still down to 10 men before replacement centre-half Kaka - the namesake and compatriot of Real's in-form schemer - could be introduced.
Fabio Coentrao shot well wide and a frustrated Cristiano Ronaldo was beckoned to his feet by referee Felix Brych after tumbling over Savvas Poursaitidis.
Benzema was guilty of a shocking miss in the 33rd minute when he hung a foot out at Ronaldo's low cross but stubbed the ball into the ground and it bounced over the bar.
Ronaldo sliced wide when picked out by Ozil as Real were held at bay until the interval.
Benzema lashed over from the edge of the box early in the second half and Ronaldo was similarly inaccurate before another Benzema effort was blocked.
Ailton lifted the home crowd with a wonderful solo run down the left before being fouled by Sergio Ramos, but the free-kick came to nothing.
Jose Mourinho was driven to a double change in an attempt to lift Real, introducing his own Kaka and Marcelo for Higuain - injured a few minutes previously - and Coentrao.
Esteban Solari, the brother of former Real stalwart Santiago, stepped off the APOEL bench - but soon found his side trailing as the better-known Kaka crossed deliciously from the left and Benzema dived to head past Chiotis.
The keeper saved Ronaldo's drive with his legs and then fumbled Kaka's effort as Real sought a killer second goal.
And it duly arrived as Marcelo was caught in the box by Paulo Jorge but kept his balance and cut the ball back for Kaka to slot home.
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Substitution||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Rating|
|6||Ferreira Marcelo Oliveira(sub 12)|
|3||Soares Paulo Jorge|
|23||Helio Pinto(sub 71)|
|29||Nektarios Alexandrou(sub 45)|
|8||Ailton Jose Almeida|
|4||Claudio Kaka(sub 12)|
|9||Esteban Solari(sub 71)|
|31||Bruno Helder Sousa(sub 45)|
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Substitution||Rating|
|4||Garcia Sergio Ramos|
|15||Alexandre Fabio Coentrao(sub 62)|
|5||Nuri Sahin(sub 83)|
|20||Gonzalo Higuain(sub 62)|
|8||Ricardo Kaka(sub 62)|
|11||Esteban Granero(sub 83)|
|12||Junior Marcelo(sub 62)|
|Team||Apoel Nicosia||Real Madrid|