Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid brushed aside Galatasaray last night to put one foot into the semi final of the champions league.
Infront of a packed Santiago Bernabeu Christiano Ronaldo ended a fine move with a perfectly executed chip, and karim Benzema slotted home with grace to put the hosts 2-0 up inside 30 minutes, leaving Higuain to nodd home the 3rd and all but book their place in the next round. The turks had a number of chances but even Mourinho’s old boy’s Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder couldn’t give the visitors that much needed away goal. Galatasaray had a late call for a penalty when Ramos stood on Yilmaz’s foot but instead of awarding the clear penalty the ref harshly gave a yellow card to the striker.
Xabi Alonso and Mourinho both said after the game that the tie isn’t over and unlike the Spanish media they were not going to take things for granted, respectively saying that a goal in Turkey would leave Galatasaray needing to score 5, and that Istanbul is a very difficult place to go. There will be no doubt that the electric atmosphere in Turkey will lift their players but surely unless Madrid implode they have already booked their place in the semi.
But as always where Mourinho goes controversy follows, and all the indications are that Sergio Ramos’s late booking for needlessly kicking away the ball was premeditated meaning what he now misses the return leg leaving him free to play in the semi finals.
Real Madrid are aiming to be crowned European champions for a record 10th time. They have not won the Champions League since Zinedine Zidane’s stunning volley beat Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden in 2002.