Live Commentary: Real Madrid 3-0 Galatasaray - as it happened

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with team mates after scoring in the match against Getafe on January 27, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie at the Bernabeu as Real Madrid record a 3-0 win over Galatasaray.

Real Madrid welcomed Galatasaray to the Bernabeu in the first leg of their quarter-final clash in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Madrid led after nine minutes following a wonderful finish from Cristiano Ronaldo, before Karim Benzema made it two just before the 30-minute mark.

Galatasaray continued to create chances in the second period, but it was 3-0 to the Spanish outfit after 73 minutes when Gonzalo Higuain found the back of the net with a header.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Well, it was some evening of Champions League football last night, let’s hope that the standard continues in the Spanish capital this evening. Madrid will undoubtedly enter the tie as the favourites, but Galatasaray have emerged as the dark horses for the competition. Can they remain in the tie ahead of the second leg?

6.49pmMadrid, who have won the competition nine times, are on a 37-match unbeaten run at the Bernabeu in all competitions, a run that stretches back until January 2013. The Spanish outfit have also won 13 and lost just one of their 16 European home matches under Portuguese boss Jose Mourinho. Not too many expect it to be two defeats come the end of the 90 minutes.

6.52pmThe only previous encounter between these two sides in the Champions League took place in April 2001 at this stage of the competition. Both sides emerged victorious from their home legs, but it was Madrid that advanced courtesy of a 5-3 aggregate score. However, it would be fair to state that much has changed at both clubs since then.

6.55pmMadrid enter the match currently boasting the second-best scoring record in the competition this season having found the back of the net 18 times in eight matches. They had held that record with Bayern Munich entering this stage of the tournament, but the German side’s 2-0 win over Juventus last night took them to 20 goals in nine matches.

6.58pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho names Karim Benzema as the lone striker this evening, with Gonzalo Higuain dropping to the bench. Michael Essien will also start at right back, but Luka Modric and Pepe are both on the bench. Galatasaray, meanwhile, have Didier Drogba, Wesley Sneijder and Emmanuel Eboue all available. Full team news to follow.

7.01pmTEAMS:

REAL MADRID: Lopez; Essien, Ramos, Varane, Coentrao; Ozil, Khedira, Alonso; Ronaldo, Benzema, Di Maria

GALATASARAY: Muslera; Eboue, Kaya, Nounkeu, Riera; Altintop, Melo, Sneijder, Inan; Drogba, Yilmaz


7.04pmDespite Madrid's impressive attacking statistics, the Spanish have failed to keep a clean sheet in the Champions League this season, shipping 11 goals in eight games, which is incidentally the worst defensive record among the eight teams left in the competition. However, their ability to find the back of the net has been their saviour on more than one occasion.

7.07pmIn fact, Madrid have only failed to score once in their last 33 Champions League matches, which was against Barcelona at this stadium in April 2011. Meanwhile, they have had 176 shots in this season’s Champions League – the most in the competition and 60 more than their Turkish opponents.

7.10pmMadrid’s form entering this match has also been stunning. Their 1-1 draw with Real Zaragoza at the weekend brought to an end a six-game winning streak in La Liga, while recent performances against Barcelona and indeed in the previous round against Manchester United has lifted their confidence as the business end of the season approaches.


7.13pmThere is also a piece of history on offer for Madrid boss Jose Mourinho. Should the Portuguese secure his side a spot in the semi-finals of the competition, then he would equal Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of reaching that stage of the tournament seven times. What a stunning achievement that would be for the former Chelsea boss.

7.16pmOne thing is for certain, however, Madrid will not have it easy against an improving Galatasaray side. The Turkish outfit have not reached this stage of the competition since 2001, but they arguably now have the best squad of players in their history. They will take inspiration from the likes of Porto and Monaco, who were both shock winners of the competition in previous seasons.

7.19pmThe Turkish side have also won 10 of their last 18 away matches in European competition, losing just twice in the process. They also boast the current top scorer in the competition in their team, with Burak Yilmaz finding the net eight times in the Champions League this season, the same number as Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

7.22pmGala have never won in Spain, however, with two draws and six defeats from their eight matches, scoring five goals and conceding 17 times. That said, they are unbeaten in their last six Champions League matches and have indeed won their last three on the road in this competition, their best ever run of form at this level.

7.25pmHowever, the Turkish outfit currently have the weakest attacking record in the competition this season with just 11 goals in eight games. Meanwhile, they have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 12 away matches in this competition. They have certainly relied on Yilmaz for goals this season with the striker netting 73% of their goals in this competition.

7.28pmAccording to Spanish newspaper Marca, Galatasaray’s players have been offered a bonus of around £20,000-per-player should they prevail against Real Madrid. The same publication, however, has also suggested that the Real Madrid players will net £450,000 should they win the entire competition. Not a bad sum of money I must say.

7.31pmRight, let’s take a look at how each side made it to this stage of the competition, starting with Madrid. The Spanish outfit finished second behind Borussia Dortmund in Group D, but they were far from impressive, winning just three of their six matches, drawing twice and losing once. That said, they were also up against English champions Manchester City and Ajax. As mentioned, they overcame Manchester United in the previous round.

7.34pmGalatasaray, meanwhile, finished second in Group H behind Manchester United. However, they only just squeezed through courtesy of their better head-to-head record against Cluj. They won three of their six matches, drawing once and losing twice. They then overcame Schalke in the previous round to set up the tie with Madrid.

7.37pmBoth sides also enter the match boasting impressive league form. Madrid may be out of the race for the title, but they have moved above Atletico Madrid in the race for second. As mentioned, they have won five of their last six matches in the league, while they have the second-best attacking record in the division having scored 72 goals in their 29 matches to date.

7.40pmGalatasaray, meanwhile, have been equally as impressive. They have lost just once since January – a surprise home defeat to Genclerbirligi. They have won seven and drawn four games around that defeat, a run of form that has moved them four points clear of Fenerbache in their domestic table.

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7.43pmHere we go then. The wonderful Champions League tune erupts around this stadium as both sets of players join us on the pitch. Following the completion of the pre-match handshakes and the exchanging of flags, we will get the action underway. Sensational atmosphere inside this famous stadium.

0 minJust a reminder of the main team news this evening. Benzema is given the nod in attack for the home side, while Essien is given the right-back spot ahead of Alvaro Arbeloa, who drops to the bench. Galatasaray, meanwhile, pair Drogba and Yilmaz in attack, with Sneijder also starting. The away side get the action underway in Madrid.

2 minThe away supporters are in fine voice this evening, which is adding to the wonderful noise from the home fans in the early stages. The weather has been more Manchester than Madrid in the last couple of days, but it is perfect conditions for a game of football. Early possession for Madrid in this quarter-final encounter.

4 minHalf-chance for the home side as Di Maria picks up possession outside the box before striking an effort towards goal, but Nounkeu is on hand to make the clearance. The away side enjoy a passing sequence of their own moments later as Altintop feeds Riera on the left, but Ramos is across to make the clearance.

4 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Di Maria finds the run of Benzema in the penalty area, but the Frenchman can only flick his header over the crossbar. The resulting goal kick from Muslera is met by Drogba, but his header falls straight to Alonso. Tactical opening four minutes to this clash.

6 minThe away side's first effort on goal comes from Melo as the Brazilian collects possession outside the box before striking towards Lopez, but it was always moving over the crossbar. Varane brings the ball out of defence moments later before finding Ronaldo, but the Portuguese is forced back inside. The whistles erupt around the stadium each time Gala have the ball.

8 minThere is a really nice shape to Galatasaray in the early stages of this match with Melo marshalling the back four. Riera and Eboue have also been given licence to attack in the opening eight minutes of football. It is the away supporters that are making most of the noise as their side attempts to slice open the Madrid defence, but Altintop's ball is collected by Varane, before Kaya denies Ronaldo down the other end.

9 minNot too much to report in terms of attacking opportunities in the last couple of moments with neither side taking care in possession of the ball. A poor pass from Eboue allows Benzema the chance to fire a cross into the box, but Kaya is across to clear. Ronaldo attempts to thread a pass towards Benzema, but once more the danger is cleared.

9 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Galatasaray (Ronaldo)

10 minThe home side lead with nine minutes on the clock following a fabulous finish from Ronaldo. Ozil is the provider as he finds the Portuguese in the box, who simply lifts his effort over the onrushing goalkeeper. That is his 45th goal in 45 games this season. Just stunning.

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12 minThere has been no lack of confidence from the Turkish outfit inside the opening 12 minutes of this match, with Sneijder and Melo both seeing plenty of the ball. It remains to be seen whether they will continue to remain so open, however, having conceded the opening goal. I suspect that we could see a lot of goals this evening.

14 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for the away side to level the scores as Drogba collects possession in the box before turning and striking an effort on goal, but it just flashed high and wide of the crossbar. A free kick comes to Madrid down the other end, but Muslera collects the cross from Ozil.

16 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Ronaldo darts into the penalty area before striking an effort on goal, but Melo is down to make the challenge at the vital moment. Ronaldo does manage to find a cross towards Benzema moments later, but Muslera is out to collect. End-to-end football with 16 minutes of football played in the Spanish capital.

18 minHalf-chance for the away side this time as Sneijder creates some room outside the box with wonderful feet, but his effort is just wide of the post. One thing is for certain, Gala have come to play this evening. But they do appear to be playing into Madrid's hands, who are so strong on the counter. My word this 18 minutes of football has just flown by.

20 minGalatasaray are not afraid to shoot from distance once more as Altintop strikes an effort from outside the box, but it was always flashing wide of the post. Madrid attempt to counter with Di Maria moments later, but Ozil's effort is straight at the goalkeeper. Galatasaray are so open when they lose possession in the final third.

22 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments as Kaya is caught by a high foot from Benzema, but the referee does not take any action. In truth, there has not really been a tackle in the opening 22 minutes of football. That incident was very similar to the Nani challenge at Old Trafford. That is the inconsistency that does annoy players and supporters alike.

24 minAgain the away side force the issue around the edge of the box as Sneijder combines with Altintop before feeding a low ball behind Varane, but Diego Lopez is out to collect at the vital moment. The end-to-end period of the match remains, but there have been no real chances in the last few minutes. Neither side is really in control of the possession as things stand.

26 minWe have not seen too much from the likes of Drogba and Yilmaz in the opening 26 minutes of the match, which means they will probably score three times each in the second period. I have been known to curse these sort of things. Madrid craft around the box once more with Khedira, but the German fells Melo before Essien's cross is headed away by Kaya.

28 minCHANCE! Another shooting effort from the away side as Drogba strikes one from distance, but Lopez just manages to palm it away. The resulting corner also causes problems in the Madrid box, but Ramos manages to clear. Galatasaray have been really impressive in possession this evening. They have come to play that is for certain.

29 minEboue is involved down the right as he rides two challenges before firing a low cross towards Drogba, but Ramos is across to make the challenge. The resulting corner is whipped towards Yilmaz, but it was always too high for the Turk. The away side want a penalty moments later following a shout of handball, but the referee is not interested.

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29 minGOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Galatasaray (Benzema)

30 minMadrid have their second of the evening as Benzema collects a loose ball in the penalty area before firing his effort into the bottom corner. Horrific defending from the away side, but it was still a smart finish. Galatasaray are in trouble here.

32 minWell, the Turkish outfit have been quite impressive in the opening 32 minutes of this match, but they find themselves 2-0 down. Drogba is in a bit of discomfort moments later as he clashes with Ramos, but there was nothing in it. Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining, with Madrid in control of this quarter-final.

34 minMadrid again flood forward on the counter as Ronaldo collects possession on the left before feeding Ozil, but Eboue is across to make the challenge. Di Maria is involved down the other end moments later, but his cross is cleared by Kaya. Madrid are just toying with their opponents at the moment as they keep possession of the ball.

36 minHalf-chance for the away side this time as Drogba collects possession outside the box before finding Yilmaz, but the striker can only fire his effort wide of the goal. That has been his first sight of goal in this match. You just get the feeling that the Turkish outfit will get chances this evening. But can they take them?

38 minAgain it's good football from the away side as Altintop collects possession outside the box before finding Eboue, but his cross is blocked by Coentrao. Sneijder is involved outside the box moments later, but his pass towards Drogba is cleared by Khedira. Little over five minutes of football remaining in the first period, with Madrid leading 2-0 on the night.

40 minShaky moment in the Madrid defence as Varane and Ramos collide in the box, but Essien is on hand to pick up the pieces. It has been a good response from the away side, but they continue to look vulnerable in defence. I would he astounded if we did not have more goals in this match.

42 minEnd-to-end football as Yilmaz beats the offside trap before advancing on goal, but his touch is just too powerful, with Varane across to make the clearance. Benzema attempts to find the run of Ronaldo down the other end moments later, but he is ruled offside.

43 minNounkeu has his name taken for a challenge on Benzema outside the penalty area. Ronaldo takes the resulting free kick, but he can only find the top of the net. The ball dipped wickedly at the final moment, but it just did not have enough to trouble Muslera. Little over two minutes of the first period remaining in the Bernabeu.

45 minAgain the away side impress with their ability on the ball, but they just cannot find that final pass. Finally Sneijder finds Eboue in the box, but his effort is straight at the goalkeeper. What an opening for the Turkish outfit. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute of stoppage time.


45 min+1HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 2-0 Galatasaray

8.32pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Madrid leading 2-0 on the night courtesy of goals from Ronaldo and Benzema. In truth, the Turkish outfit have been impressive in the first period, but they have struggled in defensive areas.

8.36pmSTATISTICS: The away side have had more of the ball with 51%, while they have had eight attempts to Madrid's seven. If it were a boxing match, then arguably they would be leading on points, but their defending has been poor at times. You just get the feeling that they need to score an away goal in the second period.

8.40pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a host of attacking options on the bench in the shape of Kaka, Luka Modric and Higuain. Meanwhile, Galatasaray have the likes of Amrabat and Bulut in reserve. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

8.44pmUPDATE: There is of course another Champions League quarter-final taking place this evening with Malaga welcoming Borussia Dortmund to Spain. The home side have shaded the possession, but Dortmund have had the better of the attacking chances. Right, the second period is just moments away.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. One change for the away side at the interval as Sneijder is replaced by Zan. The next goal could be decisive in terms of the tie as a whole. A 3-0 win for Madrid would place Galatasaray in a very difficult position. The home side get the half underway.

48 minHere is a statistic courtesy of OptaFranz on Twitter: "The only time Madrid lost a CL match after leading by two goals at HT was exactly 12 years ago v Galatasaray (2-3 on 03/04/01)." Can lightening strike in same place twice? Be sure to remain with us for the entirety of the events. Early free kick for Madrid as Zan fells Ronaldo outside the box.

50 minRonaldo strikes the effort, but it is straight into the wall. Benzema picks up the pieces outside the box before finding Ozil, but the German can only run into traffic. I have to admit that it is not too surprising that Sneidjer has been taken off at the interval. The Dutchman simply could not get into the match.

52 minHalf-chance for the home side once more as Alonso floats a cross behind Eboue, but Di Maria just cannot make contact at the final moment. The Turkish outfit attempt to move forward with Melo moments later, but the Brazilian cannot find the feet of Drogba. Fairly low-key start to the second period with a couple of offside decisions for Madrid in quick succession.

54 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Varane meets a header from Drogba, almost beating his own goalkeeper, but Lopez is on hand to claim the danger. Madrid want a penalty moments later as Di Maria is bundled over in the penalty area, but the referee is not interested. It could and perhaps should have been awarded.

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56 minAlonso is again involved for Madrid as he slices the Galatasaray defence open with a wonderful pass, but Eboue is across to make the challenge at the vital moment. Drogba has possession down the other end moments later, but once more Khedira is on hand to make the clearance. It is so delicately poised with 56 minutes on the clock.

58 minAgain it's good work from the away side as Drogba collects possession before finding Eboue, but his cross is headed clear by Varane. Essien is involved down the other end in a similar situation, but his cross was always too long for Ronaldo. Neither team is really in control of possession as we approach the hour mark in the Spanish capital. Still no movement on either bench.

60 minRiera is involved down the left this time as he threads a pass behind the Madrid defence, but Varane is across to make the clearance. There are plenty of suggestions that the away side can grab an away goal this evening. They just need to be more clinical in the final third. Sloppy from Madrid in the last couple of moments as they continue to relinquish possession.

62 minHalf-chance for the home side as Ronaldo strikes an effort from distance, but it was always straight at the goalkeeper. Galatasaray need more from Yilmaz and Drogba as we enter the final stages of this match. Drogba does indeed become active moments later as he collects a pass from Kaya, but he cannot control, with Lopez on hand to claim the danger.

64 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for the home side as Alonso finds Di Maria in the penalty area, but the Argentine can only fire his effort straight at the goalkeeper. That could have been goodnight if that had found the back of the net. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining in the Spanish capital, with Madrid leading 2-0 on the night.

66 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Melo strikes an effort from distance, but it was always moving wide of the target. They have had opportunities this evening, but have not really been able to worry Lopez. Meanwhile, it appears that Higuain will soon be joining us. I suspect it could signal the end of the evening for Benzema, who has his goal.

67 minThe change is indeed made and it is indeed Benzema as the Frenchman is replaced by Higuain. Not a bad replacement to bring on! You just get the feeling that there is going to be another goal this evening, which way it goes could decide the outcome of this entire tie.

69 minAgain it's good pressure from the away side as Drogba spins and fires a low cross into the box, but once more Ramos is on hand to make the clearance. Higuain collects possession down the other end, but Kaya is across to challenge the Argentine striker. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining, with neither team offering too much in the final third.

71 minBetter from the home side in the last couple of moments as Ozil collects possession down the left before finding Di Maria, but his cross is cleared by Drogba. The Ivorian striker is involved in an attacking sense moments later, but his effort is blocked by Varane. End-to-end football, but Madrid continue to lead by two clear goals.

73 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Varane wins a header in the Galatasaray penalty area, it drops to Higuain, but the linesman had raised his flag. Still no movement on the away side's bench as we approach the latter stages, but you suspect they will make a change in the next 10 minutes or so. Bitty period of the match as the fouls continue to be made by both sides.

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73 minGOAL! Real Madrid 3-0 Galatasaray (Higuain)

74 minMadrid have their third of the evening as Higuain meets a cross from Alonso before flicking his header into the back of the net. Poor defending from the Turkish outfit. Is that game over? Galatasaray simply need to score to have a chance in my opinion.

76 minYou cannot say that it hasn't been coming. In truth, Madrid have not been too worried by the away side in the second period. Ronaldo is involved moments later as he collects possession on the left before driving into the Galatasaray box, but Kaya is across to make the challenge. Half-chance for Ronaldo moments later, but his effort is blocked by Eboue.

78 minDecent possession from the away side in the last couple of moments. They want a penalty as Yilmaz hits the deck in the penalty area, but the referee is not interested. However, replays have shown that it should have been given. Change for the Turkish side as Bulut replaces Altintop.

80 minMadrid attempt to add their fourth on the counter as Ozil feed a low cross into the box, but it just could not fall for Ronaldo. You just get the feeling that there is another goal in the final 10 minutes of this match. Incidentally, that booking for Yilmaz rules him out of the second leg. Meanwhile, Modric will soon join the action.

82 minThe change is indeed made as Modric replaces Ozil, who rarely completes 90 minutes. Galatasaray need to produce something in the final 10 minutes of this match. They need Drogba or Yilmaz to step forward and take responsibility. Reira puts a cross into the box moments later, but Lopez is on hand to make the save.

84 minHalf-chance for the home side as Modric attempts to curl one from outside the box, but Muslera is equal to the danger. The Turkish outfit attack down the other end, but once more the final pass is wide of the desired target. Meanwhile, the away side make their third change as Riera is replaced by Amrabat.

86 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Inan meets a cross from Eboue, but his header was always straight at the goalkeeper. There is still time for the Turkish outfit to secure something from this match. Meanwhile, Madrid make their third and final change of the match as Di Maria is replaced by Pepe.

88 minNot too much to report in the final couple of moments with Madrid comfortable in possession of the ball. A long pass towards Ronaldo threatens to cause concern in the Galatasaray defence, but Kaya is on hand to make the clearance. I shouldn't think we will have too much added time.

90 minPerhaps one final chance for the away side to secure something in this match as Drogba fights with Varane for possession, but once more the danger is cleared. Have we seen the last of the scoring this evening? Perhaps not as Eboue is felled outside the penalty area by Ramos. Free kick Galatasaray.

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90 min+1However, Drogba's effort is straight into the wall. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of stoppage time and we are indeed into the first of those. One more chance?

90 min+2Another chance for the away side to put a long ball into the box, but once more it just would not fall for a Galatasaray player, with Varane on hand to clear the danger. Little over one minute of normal time remaining.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 3-0 Galatasaray

9.36pmSo there we have it. Madrid score three times to take charge of the quarter-final against Galatasaray. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to stick around for all the reaction. Until then!

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho on the touchline against Getafe on January 27, 2013
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