Galatasaray 3 - 2 Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League, Quarter-finals, 2nd Leg)

Real Madrid secured their passage to their third consecutive Champions League semi-final in the Ali Sami Yen. They didn’t take long to go ahead. Cristiano Ronaldo needed just seven minutes to score his tenth goal in the competition and show what makes him the European Cup’s top scorer. Eboue, Sneijder and Drogba brought about some uncertainty in the tie in the second half and gave a home crowd that supported their team until the end a reason to believe that the comeback was on, but once again the Portuguese, in added time and despite playing with one less because of Arbeloa’s sending off for a second yellow in the 89th minute, sealed the qualification. The Whites are now into the last four in Europe and on Friday, at 12:00, they will find out their opponents.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his first goal against Galatasaray
Ronaldo's brace seals semi-final place

The intentions of both teams were more than evident from the outset. Galatasaray wanted to make their fans to think back to their memorable European comeback against the Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax in 1988-89 in which they turned around the tie in what was a "night for the history books", as Fatih Terim said in the pre-match build-up. Real Madrid who themselves are accustomed to dominating in front of their own home fans, knew the recipe to make sure that this did not occur. Mourinho explained what the key was: "We have prepared seriously for a very difficult match and my players will respond". And that is what happened. The Whites were able to contain the initial pressure from their opponents and had the first chance of the match following a poor clearance by Muslera in the 3rd minute, which Di Maria failed to convert to put his team ahead on the scoreboard. The connection between the Germans Ozil and Khedira ended with Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot in front of goal in the 7th minute.

The top scorer of the competition scored his tenth goal and practically decided the tie when ten minutes had not yet been played. The Ali Sami Yen, which until then was a 'caldron', froze. Their team needed five goals to go through and, despite this, it was their opponents who kept creating the chances. A remarkable backheel pass from Cristiano Ronaldo lead to Di Maria’s shot with the outside of his left foot. Muslera’s reflex save prevented the goal in the 24th minute. Both the assist and the shot deserved a better outcome. Six minutes later Mourinho was forced to make the first change. Essien was taken off due to injury and right back Arbeloa came on. The Whites got to the break with little danger being created against them, except for Sneijder's shot from the edge of the box in the 38th minute.

Real Madrid also monopolised possession in the second half and as a result of their dominance they could have got their second goal in the 56th minute. Di Maria and passed to Cristiano Ronaldo and the Portuguese, from near the penalty spot, overran the ball and could not direct his shot in the one-on-one with Muslera. In the subsequent play, Galatasaray levelled the match. Sneijder cut the ball back from the back line and Eboue, who came from deep, hit the ball into the back of the net with the outside of his right foot. 1-1. The crowd began to cheer louder and the home team, even though they had to score four more goals to go through, began to create chances with more frequency.

Sneijder could have put his team ahead, but he missed in a one-on-one with Diego Lopez. He didn’t repeat his mistake in the 71st minute following a great piece of individual play. A minute later Drogba, with a nice backheel, scored the home team’s third. The Ali Sami Yen crowd then began to believe in the comeback, but Real Madrid did what they had to do to get through to their third consecutive semi-final. Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in added time, even though Arbeloa had been sent off for a second yellow card in the 89th minute, sealed the tie


Stadium: Ali Sami Yen Stadıum (Türk Telekom Arena)
Attendance: 52,652
Goals: 0-1 Cristiano Ronaldo min.8; 1-1 Eboue min.57; 2-1 Sneijder min.71; 3-1 Drogba min.73; 3-2 Cristiano Ronaldo min.93.

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