AS Roma eliminated Real Madrid from the Champions League on Wednesday, beating the nine-time champions 2-1 and sending the Spanish team out of the first knockout round for the fourth season in a row.
Chelsea also made it to the quarterfinals, beating Olympiakos 3-0, while Schalke beat FC Porto 4-1 on penalties after the two teams went into extra time with the aggregate score even at 1-1.
The results meant that four former European champions — Madrid, Porto, AC Milan and Celtic — were all eliminated in the first knockout round. So far, only two former winners, Manchester United and Barcelona, have made it to the last eight. Liverpool and Inter Milan, both previous champions, don’t play their second leg until March 11.
Madrid trailed 2-1 from the first leg, and had defender Pepe sent off at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium before Roma went further ahead when Rodrigo Taddei headed in a cross in the 73rd minute.
Raul Gonzalez equalised two minutes later, although he appeared to be offside when he collected Robinho’s pass. But substitute Mirko Vucinic headed in another in injury time to put Roma into the quarterfinals for the second straight season with a 4-2 aggregate win.
”Vucinic’s entrance changed the game,” Roma coach Luciano Spaletti said. ”All of the subs who came on maintained the team’s equilibrium and made important contributions. We controlled well and had better intentions about taking this game. And we responded to the challenge.”
Frank Lampard scored one goal and set up the others for Michael Ballack and Salomon Kalou as Chelsea cruised into the quarterfinals 3-0 on aggregate. The Blues had drawn 0-0 at Olympiakos in the first leg.
Ballack gave Chelsea a sixth-minute lead when he headed home a cross from Lampard, who then added the second in the 25th minute. Ballack collected John Terry’s headed pass but had his shot blocked by Olympiakos goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis, before the ball rolled to Lampard, who fired home.
Kalou added the third in the 48th minute when he turned home Lampard’s corner from close range. It is the fourth time in five seasons Chelsea have reached the quarterfinals, although they are yet to reach the final.
If Liverpool protect their 2-0 lead from the first leg against Inter, four English clubs will have made it to the last eight.
”What will be, will be,” Lampard said. ”If all four of us go through — and Liverpool are in a good position — there will be a great chance of an all-English match. It’s obviously great for England if we’re all in there, but if we draw one we will have to deal with it.”
Schalke went to Porto ahead 1-0 from the first leg and kept that advantage until the 86th minute when Lisandro Lopez hit back for the home side to send the match into extra time. By that time Porto were down to 10 men after Jorge Fucile was ejected.
In the shoot-out, Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made standout stops to foil Bruno Alves and Lopez while the German club made all four spot kicks.
On Tuesday, Arsenal beat AC Milan 2-0 to oust the defending champions 2-0 on aggregate, while Manchester United, FC Barcelona and Fenerbahce also advanced.
United edged Lyon 2-1 on aggregate, Barcelona beat Celtic 4-2 on aggregate and Fenerbahce beat Sevilla on penalties after the two teams finished 5-5 on aggregate.
The quarterfinal draw is set for March 14. — Sapa-AP