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Real Sets Up Champions League Semi With Barcelona; Inter Is Out

Real Sets Up Champions League Semi With Barcelona
Real Madrid's Portugese player Cristiano Ronaldo, center, celebrates scoring a goal against Tottenham Hotspur with Real Madrid's Brazilian player Marcelo, second left. Photographer: Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images

Real Madrid beat Tottenham 1-0 to set up a Champions League semifinal with archrival Barcelona, while defending champ Inter Milan was eliminated by Schalke, which will face Manchester United for a place in the final.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the goal last night as nine-time European champion Real completed a 5-0 victory over two games against Tottenham to reach its first semifinal in eight years.

“There was always a threat Spurs could create real danger if they scored early on but we managed to make sure they didn’t,” Madrid coach Jose Mourinho told reporters. “As time passed, they became less of a threat because we got hold of the ball and controlled the game more.”

Mourinho is the first coach to guide four teams to the semifinals of Europe’s top club competition. He won the trophy with Porto in 2004 and Inter last year, and also guided Chelsea to the semifinals.

Raul Gonzalez and Benedikt Howedes scored as Schalke advanced to its first semifinal with a 2-1 win over Inter. Schalke won the two-game tie 7-3.

At White Hart Lane in north London, Tottenham’s first appearance in the Champions League ended as it failed to overcome a 4-0 deficit from the first game in Spain.

“We had a great run,” Tottenham’s Gareth Bale told ITV. “They’re the better team after two legs and deserve to go through.”

An error by Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes led to the only goal in the 50th minute. Ronaldo fired a shot from 30 yards (27 meters) that Gomes let go through his hands and into the net.

22nd Semifinal

Madrid will be making its 22nd appearance in the semifinals when it faces Barcelona. The two will play twice -- in the Spanish league in three days and the Copa del Rey final four nights later -- before the semifinal games on April 27 and May 3. Barcelona won 5-0 in the first meeting between the teams this season, a Nov. 29 league game.

“We obviously know Barcelona very well and we’ll be going for it in the semis,” Real’s Xabi Alonso said. “The last result came a long time ago and we’re at a different stage of the season fighting for various titles, so let’s see how things work out.”

Madrid central defender Ricardo Carvalho will miss the first game of the semifinal because of suspension after being booked by the referee last night.

Schalke brought a big advantage into its home game with Inter in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, following a 5-2 win in the first leg in Milan.

“We laid the foundations in Milan, but we also wanted to win today,” Schalke’s Christoph Metzelder said.

Rauls’s 71st Goal

The home team went in front just before halftime as Raul took a pass from Jose Manuel Jurado, went around Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar and slotted the ball home for his 71st Champions League goal.

Inter tied the game four minutes into the second half when Thiago Motta put the ball in after Lucio’s header off a Wesley Sneijder corner kick was deflected.

Raul then set up the winning goal by flicking a pass into the path of the onrushing Howedes, who hammered a shot past Cesar from the edge of the area.

The result ended Inter’s attempt to become the first team to defend the title since city rival AC Milan in 1990.

“They took their chances while we did not,” Inter coach Leonardo told reporters. “But there were many little things not working for us. You never lose because of just one mistake.”

Schalke will host the first game of its semifinal on April 26, with the return leg in Manchester on May 4.

The final is scheduled for May 28 at Wembley Stadium in London.

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