headed a goal in each half as Real Madrid hammered 10-man Tottenham 4-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Tuesday.
Adebayor beat Jermaine Jenas to the ball after just four minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to guide a header past goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and through the legs of Luka Modric on the line.
Tottenham was left with 10 men from the 15th minute when Peter Crouch earned a second booking for a rash tackle.
Adebayor added Madrid’s second by guiding Marcelo’s cross home in the 57th minute before late goals from Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo ensured a comfortable advantage ahead of next week’s return leg at White Hart Lane.
"When I play against Spurs I always have a chance to score," said Adebayor, a former Arsenal striker who is on loan from Manchester City and who has scored 10 goals in as many games against Tottenham.
"We just wanted to show that what happened Saturday was an accident," he added, referring to Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Sporting Gijon—its first home defeat of the season and coach Jose Mourinho’s first loss on home soil in nine years.
While Madrid responded firmly on Tuesday, Mourinho felt “sympathy” for Tottenham after it had to battle back with a disadvantage.
"I have experience of playing with 10 men in the Champions League and how difficult it is. You have to defend. And when you’re losing already and you have to attack it’s an impossible job," said Mourinho, who remained on good course to becoming the first coach to win the European Cup with three different clubs.
Ronaldo, Di Maria and Marcelo were rushed back from injury to start for Madrid, which showed enormous verve as it played in the last eight for the first time in seven years.
"Independent of playing against 10, the team played well," Ronaldo said. "The first half was tough for us but in the second we improved a lot."
William Gallas passed a fitness test to anchor Tottenham’s back line with Gareth Bale starting on the left flank after recovering from a hamstring injury. Aaron Lennon was named in the starting 11, but Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said he felt unwell after warmup and was replaced just before kickoff by Jenas. The speedy England winger’s absence was noted as Spurs’ attack disappeared behind Madrid’s second half barrage.
"To get to halftime like we did, I thought we could hang in there and would have a chance. But then our legs ran out a bit," Redknapp said.
Tottenham’s first matchup against Madrid for 26 years started poorly as the north London club watched Ronaldo pepper its goal in the early stages before Di Maria’s close shot was deflected for the corner from which Adebayor scored the opening goal.
Crouch was booked twice for a pair of reckless tackles deep inside Madrid’s half—the England striker scything into Sergio Ramos in the eighth minute before later taking out Marcelo.
"He shouldn’t take that chance that he might get a red card, so I was disappointed," Redknapp said. "It was an uphill task after that, an impossible task."
Madrid kept up the pressure while Tottenham looked to strike on the break. Rafael Van der Vaart—playing against his former team for the first time— missed a chance from inside the area in the 28th minute before Bale surged past Ramos to reach a long ball, but his shot past Iker Casillas sliced into the side netting.
Pepe took out Bale in the chase for a pass in the 36th minute for a yellow card that will see the Portugal defender miss the return leg. Madrid had four other players within a booking of being sanctioned but Mourinho said that UEFA’s decision to suspend him earlier this season kept him from ordering those players to pick up bookings so they could be clean for the semfinals.
"I’m the only coach in the world who has been sanctioned for doing this," Mourinho said. "For that reason, we didn’t do it."
Van der Vaart was replaced by striker Jermain Defoe but Spurs never came close to scoring after the restart as Madrid controlled and patiently tried to pick Spurs apart with Adebayor doubling the advantage when left alone inside the box.
Di Maria’s individual effort made it 3-0 in the 72nd as the Argentina forward moved clear from Benoit Assou-Ekotto before unleashing a curling shot from outside the area beyond Gomes into the top corner.
Late substitute Kaka, returning from injury to play for the first time since Feb. 26, also made his mark as the Br azil playmaker spotted Ronaldo at the far side with a cross in the 82nd that the Portugal international volleyed low past Gomes inside the near post for his fifth of the competition.
Nine-time champion Madrid has never been eliminated over two legs after a 4-0 opening win on home soil but Mourinho warned of overconfidence.
"The last time we played at home we won 4-2 and then we were eliminated," the Portuguese coach said in reference to 2004, when Monaco rallied to knock Madrid out before succumbing to Mourinho’s FC Porto in the final.
Redknapp said it was “impossible” for Tottenham to compete with a big-spending team like Madrid as it faces a difficult task of turning things around in the return leg.
"It’s going to be very difficult—we have a mountain to climb," Redknapp said.