Madrid - Borussia Dortmund have an uphill struggle on their hands to qualify for the last four of the UEFA Champions League after going down to a 3-0 defeat in the first leg of their quarter-final meeting with Real Madrid CF.

Goals from Gareth Bale after only three minutes and Isco gave the hosts a two-goal cushion at the interval before Cristiano Ronaldo, in his 100th Champions League outing, rounded out the scoring at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Dortmund, who beat Real 4-1 on home turf in the semi-finals of last season's competition, will now have to go one better in the return leg if they are to progress this time around.

Dortmund off on the wrong foot


The contest started on a distinctly unpropitious note for the visitors as Los Blancos went in front with their first real attack. Karim Benzema won a tussle with Erik Durm and freed up Daniel Carvajal down the right. The full back fed the ball on to Bale, who stabbed it past BVB keeper Roman Weidenfeller to leave the Schwarz-Gelben chasing the match with only three minutes on the clock.

The chasing would have to wait a while though, as Carlos Ancelotti's men pressed forward in search of a second quick goal. Cristiano Ronaldo tested Weidenfeller from long range as a warm-up for a fine free kick shortly afterwards which the keeper managed to turn one-handed over the bar. Borussia's first sniff of goal came after 20 minutes of being pretty much persistently under the cosh, Lukasz Piszczek teeing up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a mistimed attempt at an overhead kick.

Isco makes it two


The action then switched swiftly back to the other end and Real's pressure paid off in the 27th minute when a loose ball from Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the edge of the box landed at the feet of Isco, who drilled a low finish into the corner of the net to double his side's advantage. Minutes later, Sebastian Kehl picked up a booking for a foul on Bale which rules the BVB skipper out of the return. Bale curled the resultant free kick around the wall, extracting another great save from the already overworked Weidenfeller.

His opposite number Iker Casillas was finally called into action a couple of minutes later, turning a shot from Kevin Großkreutz to the side to foil a rare Dortmund breakaway, which proved to be the first half's last chance of note at either end. The second 45 started with another one-on-one between Bale and Weidenfeller, who this time kept out the Welsh international's tight-angled shot with his foot. Mkhitaryan fired just wide at the other end a minute later as another BVB counterattack came to naught and they were rueing that miss all the more when Real responded by going back up the park and bagging goal number three.

Real stretch out


Once again, Dortmund gave possession away cheaply close to their own area, with Piszczek the culprit this time. Luka Modric took full advantage, slipping the ball through to Ronaldo to finish the job and maintain a scoring run which has now seen him hit the net in his last nine competitive outings. The Bundesliga visitors almost pulled one back soon after, some great approach work from Marco Reus and a cross spilled by Casillas teeing up Mkhitaryan for a close-range finish which the grounded Pepe somehow managed to divert over the bar.

Weidenfeller then had to earn his corn again keeping out an effort from Benzema as the action swung from end to end. Jonas Hofmann carved out an opening for fellow sub Milos Jojic which dissipated as the winter signing lost his footing, before Bale broke down the pitch only to end a fine solo run by firing over the bar. Borussia continued to try and press for a potentially vital away goal over the closing minutes, but to no avail.

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