Real Madrid turned Ali Sami Yen into Hell for Galatasaray
By Marco Fumagalli
It was an easier victory than expected for Real Madrid in Istanbul against Galatasaray.
Only five months after the 2012-2013 UEFA Champions League quarter final, Real Madrid and Galatasaray faced each other again in the top European competition.
Last time here in Istanbul "Los Merengues" had to keep their 3-0 first leg advantage but didn’t have it all their own way until the last minute when Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second goal of the night and sealed the aggregate result to what ended up being a 3-2 victory for Galatasaray.
Last tonight Turk Telekom Arena hosted "Los Blancos" who were wearing blue for the occasion; Iker Casillas in the goal, a four men defense with Carvajal and Arbeloa on the sides, Pepe and Sergio Ramos in the center; asymmetrical formation in the midfield and offense with Khedira and Luka Modric in front of the defense, Isco as offensive midfielder, Angel Di Maria on the right side, Ronaldo very offensive on the left and Karim Benzema alone up front.
4-3-1-2 with diamond shape for the home team; Muslera in the goal, 4 men defense with Emmanuel Eboue and Riera on the sides, Chedjou and Danny in the center; Felipe Melo in front of the defense, Engin and Selcuk on his sides, Wesley Sneijder behind the two forwards Didier Drogba and Burak Yilmaz.
Galatasaray took the leadership of the game from minute one by pressing very high and with a very good ball possession while the guests were defending with 10 players in their half in what seemed a defensive mentality last seen with Jose Mourinho.
No chance for Iker Casillas who had to leave to field after 10 minutes after an involuntary collision with his teammate Sergio Ramos who hit his ribs. Diego Lopez took his place in the goal.
The first chanceof the match was for Galatasaray with a powerful shot from outside the box by Felipe Melo who found Casillas very attentive. The Turkish team maintained the control of the match and had a few more occasions with the most dangerous one being again thanks to Melo on minute 30 when his head deflection after a cross saw Diego Lopez making a brilliant save diving towards his left.
The first clear chance for the merengues came at minute 19 when Benzema kept in play a ball which was thought lost, dropped it back to Cristiano Ronaldo who collided with an opponent but the referee didn’t judge it worth a penalty while the ball ended in Di Maria’s feet who’s shot ended barely above the bar.
Real Madrid’s first goal came on minute 33 when Isco controlled with his left foot a long ball from Di Maria, danced between Galatasaray center defenders and touched the net with a right foot shot that landed on Muslera’s right side. The Spanish talent showed why the blancos signed him and let Mesut Ozil go.
Right before the half time, a nasty push of Pepe from behind in an aerial challenge put Drogba ko with what seemed a shoulder injury.
The second half started with amrabat instead of the Ivorian forward for the home team; the game seemed still open as in the first 2 minutes first Muslera avoided the second goal of the guests with a superb save while Burak’s head on the following counter attack landed not far from Diego Lopez’s right post; Galatasaray’s ball exploded shortly after as on minute 54 another mistake of the center defenders let Benzema be one on one against Muslera and hitting scoring the second goal for Real Madrid.
Arbeloa was lucky as was not cautioned in the first half after two questionable interventions and elbowing Engin in the second half which may have changed the game if judged differently.
Ronaldo hit the net twice on minute 62 and minute 66 when Galatasaray was already inconscient and unrecognizable, missing the fighting spirit which made them famous. Benzema also scored his second personal goal of the night which set the score for an unexpected 0-5 which left Ali Sami Yen Stadium quiet as never seen.
Umut Bulut’s goal saved the little honor left for the night. The only positive news came from Bruma who showed briefly his talent.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s hunger has no limits and when everything seemed over, he showed an amazing goal after dancing between three Galatasaray defenders to fix the final tennis-like score of 1-6.
The Real Madrid seen in the first half did not convince yet, however the efficiency rate is impressive and Isco is the extra weapon that the madridistas were missing these past seasons.
It’s just the beginning.