The Breakdown: Galatasaray vs Real Madrid

Galatasaray gave their fans reason for cheer with a 3-2 home win over Real Madrid that even saw them hope for a Champions League semi-final berth for a glimmer of a moment.

The Dutchman took a while to get involved.

By FOX Sports Staff

Trailling three goals from the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, Gala faced an uphill task that was made more difficult with Cristiano Ronaldo's early goal in the seventh minute. 

They came back stronger after the break and, much like Liverpool's thrilling second-half fightback against AC Milan at the same ground in 2005, they scored three rapid goals within fifteen minutes through Emmanuel Eboue, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba. 

Although Madrid were down to ten men with the dubious sending-off of Alvaro Arbeloa, the fans at the Turk Telekom Arena did not get to witness a historic comeback as Ronaldo scored again in injury time to settle the tie and secure a place in the semi-finals for the Spanish giants for a second year running. 

FOX Sports rates the players in the game and pinpoints what worked for the Turkish side in the second half.



Emmanuel Eboue was a terrific outlet for the home side as he dilligently ran down the right flank, despite having to face a stern opponent in Real's Fabio Coentrao. The former Arsenal right-back was never hesitant to send in a cross or a shot and achieved success in the 57th minute with a scorching effort, taken on the run, that brought his side back into the tie. 

On the opposing flank, Albert Riera was a calming influence for the Yellow-Reds as he regularly shepherded the ball away from the box with some neat passing and dribbling. 

The Gala defence, as a whole, kept a tight line and ensured that, unlike in the first leg, the Real attackers did not get many chances to break free of the offside trap and secure one-on-one opportunities against the impressive Fernando Muslera. 

Muslera - 7 | Eboue (off 80') - 8.5 | Zan - 7.5 | Kaya - 7 | Riera - 8


Selcuk Inan was the captain for the night and gave a good account of himself as he helped distribute the ball around from the middle. Unfortunately for the home fans, he was not particularly inspirational with his passes and could not really unlock the Real defence. 

The other midfielders were instructed to clean up the middle of the park and Felipe Melo, one of the least technical Brazilians around, did just that with an industry and physicality that saw a number of his opponents familiarise themselves with the pitch in Istanbul. The midfielder was a brute force of nature in the game and was quite lucky not to earn a yellow card or two for his efforts. 

However, Hamit Altintop did not do himself proud as he saw several passes go astray and was rightly substituted off at half-time with replacement Nordin Amrabat doing a much better job in supporting Melo's job of intercepting the passes and the tackling of Real midfielders. 

Altintop (off 45') - 6 | Melo - 7.5 | Inan - 7.5


Two moments of sheer individual brilliance saw Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder justify their marquee status and it really gave Galatasaray hope of producing a sensational comeback. Sneijder did brilliantly to control a pass and skip past Varane to fire a goal while Drogba's backheel left Diego Lopez flummoxed in the 72nd minute.  

There could have even been a second goal for the Dutchman as he somehow contrived to miss from close range when a poor defensive clearance presented him with the perfect opportunity to level the tie. 

In contrast, Umat Bulut, brought in place of the suspended Burak Yılmaz, was largely anonymous for much of the game and Fatih Terim would have regretted not putting an extra midfielder in his stead. 

Sneijder - 8 | Bulut (off 63') - 6 | Drogba - 8


With just ten minutes remaining, veteran forward Johan Elmander was brought on by Terim but the Swede could not pose the Real backline any questions during his brief stint. Sabri Sarıoğlu came on in the second half and, roared on by the expectant crowd, the one-club man ran with his heart on his sleeve for the duration of the game. 

Sarioglu (on 63') - 7 | Amrabat (on 45') - | Elmander (on 80') - N/A

Real Madrid


For much of the game, Coentrao had Eboue in his pocket but the Ivorian's goal in the second half unleashed his full potential and the Portuguese was hard-pressed to keep a close check on the right-back from then on. 

The central partnership of Pepe and Raphael Varane also buckled under the pressure although the young Frenchman did remarkably well to beat Drogba in the aerial and physical battles inside the box. 

They were left exposed during counter-attacks, however, as an enthusiastic Sami Khedira opted to join the attack with greater frequency than usual in this particular game. 

Michael Essien's injury did force a change to the tactical dimension of the game as Alvaro Arbeloa simply could not provide the same level of support down the right flank that the Ghanian had been admirably providing early in the game. 

Lopez - 7 | Essien (off 30') - 7.5 | Pepe - 7 | Varane - 7.5 | Coentrao - 7


Devoid of the passing talents of Xabi Alonso, Madrid were clearly struggling to get the ball up the pitch and therefore Ronaldo had to track back far too often.

Luka Modric, given a rare start, did well in the early stages of the game but could not get into the right places to receive the ball in the second half. The Croat needs to really sit down and analyse Madrid's passing rhythm and movement off the ball to really integrate himself into the team set-up. 

It was Argentinean Angel di Maria who took on the creative responsibilities and he was quite a handful for the Gala defence even as Mesut Ozil had something of a low key outing and produced an uncharacteristically sub-par performance. 

Ozil (off 81') -7 | Di Maria - 7.5 | Modric - 7 | Khedira - 7.5


Without Ronaldo's goals, Madrid would definitely be a different side as the Portuguese has the deadly instincts of a poacher - he did superbly to tap in a cross for his first goal and was perfectly placed to kill the game with an injury-time goal as well. 

The forward always looked like he would score the goals but it was a credit to Gala's defensive brilliance that he did not get many chances to fire shots. His supply was throttled and the Portugal captain had to resort to try and win fouls in order to make his presence felt within the game. 

But he did more than Gonzalo Higuain as the Argentinean appeared to have switched off as he probably took the result for granted. 

Higuain (off 73') - 6 | Ronaldo - 8.5


There were farcical scenes on the night when Alvaro Arbeloa was handed two consecutive yellow cards - the first for a foul and the second for criticising the referee - although the Spain international should have shown some discipline and did probably contribute to his own downfall. 

Luckily for Jose Mourinho, his other substitution in Karim Benzema put in a professional performance as he was composed enough, following a quick counter-attack, to pass the ball on to Ronaldo in the middle, thereby allowing the striker to net the crucial late goal that put the tie to bed. 

Arbeloa (on 30') - 6 | Benzema (on 73') -7.5 | Albiol (on 81') - N/A

comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update