CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Galatasaray 1-6 Real Madrid


GROUP B – Tuesday 17th September 2013


Real Madrid travelled to Ali Sami Yen Sports Arena for the second time this calendar year. Although this time the Blancos were missing star manager Jose Mourinho who was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in the summer.

Galatasaray had a nearly unchanged side in terms of first-team players but Real Madrid have undergone somewhat of a transformation with youngsters Daniel Carvajal and Isco in the starting eleven.

Galatasaray started the match effective pressure. To add to their worries, Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas collided with Sergio Ramos and was off the field by the fifteenth minute. Diego López replaced the World Cup winner. Much debate has occurred over the status of goalkeeping in Spain’s capital – outgoing manager Jose Mourinho was known to have had a feud with Casillas but new manager Ancelotti hasn’t put him the starting line this season either.

It was Isco who broke the dead lock half an hour into the match. The former Malaga man received the ball from a long cross and simply shot towards Galatasaray keeper Fernando Muslera’s right as the Uruguayan dived left. The ball pinged the upright and ended up as a sure goal.

Although the half-time score was just one to nil in favour of the visitors, Madrid added five by the end of the match.

Galatasaray were not without chances. Burak Yılmaz had a chance two minutes after half time but his header was shot wide. At that point a goal for Galatasaray could’ve tied the match up.

More poor defending allowed Madrid to double their lead in the fifty-fourth minute when another long ball was mishandled by Cameroonian centre backs Aurelien Chedjou and Dany Nonkeu. Both players approached the aerial ball but both ended up letting the other try to clear so the ball went past both players and into the path of Isco who used his first touch to find French international Karim Benzema. The Algerian used his second touch to take a shot and he managed to get a low shot past Muslera.

In the sixty-third minute Angel di Maria crossed at the edge of the field over the net. Khedira headed the ball down to his right while he was on the left hand side of the post. Cristiano Ronaldo shot past three players and scored his first goal.

Just three minutes later the Portuguese winger scored once again from a rebound. Muslera didn’t hold on to the ball after Pepe had a shot on target from a free kick. Ronaldo tapped the ball in with little opposing him and had his second of the match. Notably the cross was initiated by Gareth Bale who was playing in only his second match for Madrid. He completed his world-record transfer fee from Tottenham this summer.

Ronaldo assisted Benzema’s second ten minutes from the full-time whistle when he cut in from the left and passed the ball directly to the space in front an approaching Benzema. The former Olympique Lyon goal scorer diverted the ball into the net with his first touch.

At that point, a comeback for Galatasaray was essentially out of reach. But that did not stop Umut Bulut from scoring as a substitute four minutes after Benzema. Nureddin Amrabat sent a cross to the centre of Madrid’s defense and Umut knocked the ball past keeper López. Umut also scored two against Andorra two weeks ago and may find this goal more satisfying for the advancement of his career rather than any effect it had in this match – the goal was conciliatory at best.

Receiving a pass from Benzema, none other than Cristiano Ronaldo was there to score the last goal of the match. He cut in and took the ball past three defenders and shot with his left past Muslera to complete his hat trick. He also turned a well-played match into a record-breaking one considering that this is Real Madrid’s largest ever victory away from home and Galatasaray’s worse ever defeat at home.

Yusuf Nasihi

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