Real Madrid took a huge stride towards the Champions League semi-finals by brushing aside Galatasaray in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

Cristiano Ronaldo handed the hosts an early lead by coolly chipping over goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

Karim Benzema deftly controlled Michael Essien's cross to stroke in the second, before substitute Gonzalo Higuain nodded in after the break.

Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Eboue wasted the Turkish champions' best chances.

Galatasaray were far from outclassed in the opening 70 minutes and created a number of decent opportunities, particularly in the first half, as they searched for a vital away goal.

European kings

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.

But a lethal combination of Real's array of attacking talent and three defensive lapses proved the difference.

Higuain put the gloss on a comfortable home display at the Bernabeu and left Galatasaray facing a monumental task in the return leg in Istanbul on 9 April.

Going into the tie Real boss Jose Mourinho had stressed the importance of Champions League success after conceding the Primera Division title was beyond his side - they trail leaders Barcelona by 13 points.

And his team, aiming for a record 24th semi-final appearance in Europe's premier club competition, made the perfect start against Galatasaray.

Ronaldo latched on to Mesut Ozil's perfectly-weighted through ball and almost nonchalantly lifted the ball over a helpless Muslera after only nine minutes.

However, Galatasaray seemed unfazed by the early setback and responded well, neatly maintaining possession.

Much of the pre-match build-up had centred on the meeting between Drogba and his former Chelsea mentor Mourinho, and the Portuguese boss must have been concerned when the Ivorian forged a clear sight of goal shortly after Ronaldo's opener.

Galatasaray striker Drogba brushed aside home defender Raphael Varane to turn on the edge of the Real penalty area but could only fire wildly over the crossbar.

The powerful forward, who netted Chelsea's winning penalty in last season's Champions League final, also unleashed a 20-yard shot which Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez unconvincingly punched clear.

No Turkish delight

Galatasaray's defeat means a Turkish team is still to win a Champions League tie on Spanish soil after 13 attempts.

But Galatasaray were left to rue those missed opportunities as Benzema doubled Madrid's advantage.

Essien swung in a deep cross from the right flank and Eboue inexplicably ducked away from it, allowing Benzema to kill the ball before placing a firm shot inside the near post.

Former Arsenal defender Eboue could have made amends moments before half-time, only to fire straight at Lopez's legs after playing a neat one-two with Drogba.

Galatasaray boss Fatih Terim sacrificed attacking midfielder Wesley Sneijder for central defender Gokhan Zan at the interval in a bid to provide a more solid platform for his team.

The switch enabled them to stifle Real's attacking intent, but also deprived them of an effective link between their midfield three and strikers Drogba and Burak Yilmaz.

Clear-cut chances had been rare after the break before Xabi Alonso's deep free-kick picked out an unmarked Higuain - the Argentine striker heading his first Champions League goal of the season.

Real take what looks like being a decisive advantage to Turkey for the return leg, but will be without Sergio Ramos and Alonso who picked up suspensions after receiving their second bookings of the competition in the closing stages.

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Champions League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Real Madrid 3-0 Galatasaray FT
(HT 2-0)
  • Ronaldo 9
  • Benzema 29
  • Higuain 73

    Real Madrid

    • 25 Diego Lopez
    • 02 Varane
    • 04 Ramos yellow card
    • 05 Coentrao
    • 06 Khedira
    • 07 Ronaldo
    • 10 Ozil (Modric 80 yellow card)
    • 14 Alonso yellow card
    • 15 Essien yellow card
    • 22 Di Maria (Pepe 86)
    • 09 Benzema (Higuain 65)

    Substitutes

    • 13 Adan,
    • 03 Pepe,
    • 12 Marcelo,
    • 17 Arbeloa,
    • 08 Kaka,
    • 19 Modric,
    • 20 Higuain

    Galatasaray

    • 25 Muslera
    • 13 Dany Nounkeu yellow card
    • 26 Kaya
    • 27 Eboue
    • 04 Altintop (Bulut 78)
    • 08 Inan
    • 10 Felipe Melo yellow card
    • 11 Riera (Amrabat 83)
    • 14 Sneijder (Zan 46)
    • 17 Yilmaz yellow card
    • 12 Drogba yellow card

    Substitutes

    • 67 Iscan,
    • 05 Zan,
    • 22 Balta,
    • 55 Sarioglu,
    • 35 Kurtulus,
    • 19 Bulut,
    • 53 Amrabat
    Ref: Oddvar MoenAtt: 80,000
    REAL MADRID
    GALATASARAY

    Possession

    • Real Madrid 50%
    • Galatasaray 50%

    Attempts on target

    • Real Madrid 9
    • Galatasaray 6

    Attempts off target

    • Real Madrid 2
    • Galatasaray 7

    Corners

    • Real Madrid 2
    • Galatasaray 4

    Fouls

    • Real Madrid 12
    • Galatasaray 15
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:08 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
    • 90:00+1:32 Booking Luka Modric is booked.
    • 90:00+1:20 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nordin Amrabat by Luka Modric. Direct free kick taken by De Carvalho Felipe Melo.
    • 90:00+0:53 Selcuk Inan takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Gonzalo Higuain.
    • 90:00+0:04 Didier Drogba fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
    • 90:00+0:04 Booking The referee shows Garcia Sergio Ramos a yellow card for dissent.
    • 89:18 Emmanuel Eboue fouled by Xabi Alonso, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 86:53 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kleper Pepe by Didier Drogba. Kleper Pepe takes the direct free kick.
    • 85:34 Free kick awarded for a foul by Selcuk Inan on Sami Khedira. Garcia Sergio Ramos takes the direct free kick.
    • 85:01 Substitution Kleper Pepe on for Angel Di Maria.
    • 83:53 Selcuk Inan takes the direct free kick.
    • 83:53 Booking Michael Essien is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
    • 83:40 Unfair challenge on Nordin Amrabat by Michael Essien results in a free kick.
    • 82:13 Substitution Albert Riera leaves the field to be replaced by Nordin Amrabat.
    • 82:13 Angel Di Maria gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Selcuk Inan. Selcuk Inan restarts play with the free kick.
    • 81:23 Luka Modric takes a shot. Save by Fernando Muslera.
    • 80:15 Selcuk Inan takes a shot. Save made by Rodriguez Diego Lopez.
    • 79:13 Substitution Luka Modric on for Mesut Ozil.
    • 78:10 The ball is sent over by Mesut Ozil, save by Fernando Muslera.
    • 77:55 Substitution Umut Bulut comes on in place of Hamit Altintop.
    • 77:33 Rodriguez Diego Lopez takes the direct free kick.
    • 77:33 Booking Booking for Burak Yilmaz.
    • 77:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Burak Yilmaz on Garcia Sergio Ramos.
    • 75:16 Cristiano Ronaldo takes a shot. Blocked by Emmanuel Eboue. Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Mesut Ozil.
    • 73:10 Booking Didier Drogba goes into the referee's book for dissent.
    • 72:38 The assist for the goal came from Xabi Alonso.
    • 72:38 GOAL - Gonzalo HiguainReal Madrid 3 - 0 Galatasaray Gonzalo Higuain finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the penalty box. Real Madrid 3-0 Galatasaray.
    • 72:02 Unfair challenge on Garcia Sergio Ramos by Didier Drogba results in a free kick. Xabi Alonso delivers the ball,
    • 71:07 The offside flag is raised against Gonzalo Higuain. Indirect free kick taken by Fernando Muslera.
    • 70:07 Xabi Alonso crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing.
    • 70:07 Booking Booking for De Carvalho Felipe Melo for dissent.
    • 69:51 Free kick awarded for a foul by Selcuk Inan on Mesut Ozil.
    • 68:22 The ball is delivered by Angel Di Maria, Didier Drogba manages to make a clearance.
    • 67:52 Unfair challenge on Michael Essien by Albert Riera results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Mesut Ozil, Gokhan Zan makes a clearance.
    • 65:28 The offside flag is raised against Albert Riera. Rodriguez Diego Lopez takes the free kick.
    • 65:09 Didier Drogba produces a cross, Garcia Sergio Ramos manages to make a clearance.
    • 64:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Eboue by Angel Di Maria. Semih Kaya takes the direct free kick.
    • 64:09 Substitution Gonzalo Higuain joins the action as a substitute, replacing Karim Benzema.
    • 62:49 De Carvalho Felipe Melo produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
    • 61:06 Angel Di Maria takes a shot. Comfortable save by Fernando Muslera.
    • 60:09 Gokhan Zan concedes a free kick for a foul on Mesut Ozil. Direct free kick taken by Mesut Ozil.
    • 58:41 Free kick awarded for a foul by De Carvalho Felipe Melo on Xabi Alonso. Free kick taken by Xabi Alonso. Cristiano Ronaldo takes a shot. Comfortable save by Fernando Muslera. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hamit Altintop by Alexandre Fabio Coentrao. Hamit Altintop takes the free kick.
    • 56:11 Michael Essien crosses the ball.
    • 53:50 De Carvalho Felipe Melo takes a shot. Save by Rodriguez Diego Lopez.
    • 50:15 Burak Yilmaz has an effort at goal. Save by Rodriguez Diego Lopez.
    • 49:28 The official flags Cristiano Ronaldo offside. Fernando Muslera takes the free kick.
    • 48:00 Unfair challenge on Karim Benzema by Dany Nounkeu results in a free kick. Xabi Alonso takes the free kick.
    • 47:23 The referee gives a free kick against Mesut Ozil for handball. Emmanuel Eboue restarts play with the free kick.
    • 46:01 Gokhan Zan challenges Cristiano Ronaldo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Cristiano Ronaldo from the free kick.
    • 45:52 The referee gives a free kick against Didier Drogba for handball. Free kick taken by Xabi Alonso.
    • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
    • 45:01 Substitution Wesley Sneijder leaves the field to be replaced by Gokhan Zan.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:04 The match has reached half-time.
    • 45:00+0:30 Karim Benzema gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Semih Kaya. Fernando Muslera restarts play with the free kick.
    • 43:19 Emmanuel Eboue takes a shot. Rodriguez Diego Lopez makes a save.
    • 40:07 Cristiano Ronaldo has an effort direct from the free kick.
    • 40:07 Booking Dany Nounkeu receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 40:03 Foul by Dany Nounkeu on Karim Benzema, free kick awarded.
    • 39:16 The official flags Cristiano Ronaldo offside. Indirect free kick taken by Fernando Muslera.
    • 35:25 Karim Benzema concedes a free kick for a foul on Dany Nounkeu. Direct free kick taken by Fernando Muslera.
    • 34:11 A cross is delivered by Didier Drogba, Effort from inside the area by Burak Yilmaz misses to the right of the target.
    • 32:43 Corner taken by Mesut Ozil from the left by-line.
    • 31:56 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Eboue by Cristiano Ronaldo. Direct free kick taken by Emmanuel Eboue.
    • 28:23 Assist on the goal came from Michael Essien.
    • 28:23 GOAL - Karim BenzemaReal Madrid 2 - 0 Galatasaray Karim Benzema scores a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Real Madrid 2-0 Galatasaray.
    • 28:17 The ball is swung over by Michael Essien,
    • 26:32 Emmanuel Eboue crosses the ball, clearance by Raphael Varane. Outswinging corner taken by Selcuk Inan from the right by-line.
    • 25:35 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Save by Rodriguez Diego Lopez. Corner taken by Wesley Sneijder, Raphael Varane manages to make a clearance.
    • 22:39 The ball is crossed by Angel Di Maria, Semih Kaya manages to make a clearance.
    • 19:42 Unfair challenge on Semih Kaya by Karim Benzema results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Semih Kaya.
    • 18:28 Hamit Altintop crosses the ball, clearance made by Michael Essien. Corner taken short by Selcuk Inan.
    • 18:00 Mesut Ozil takes a shot. Save by Fernando Muslera.
    • 17:04 Hamit Altintop has an effort at goal from long distance that goes wide left.
    • 15:28 Free kick awarded for a foul by Selcuk Inan on Mesut Ozil. Xabi Alonso takes the free kick.
    • 14:52 Wesley Sneijder has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.
    • 13:48 Free kick awarded for a foul by Sami Khedira on Didier Drogba. Wesley Sneijder restarts play with the free kick.
    • 13:28 The ball is sent over by Cristiano Ronaldo, comfortable save by Fernando Muslera.
    • 11:49 Dany Nounkeu concedes a free kick for a foul on Mesut Ozil. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Mesut Ozil from right wing, save made by Fernando Muslera.
    • 11:20 Effort on goal by Didier Drogba from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
    • 10:52 De Carvalho Felipe Melo produces a volleyed left-footed shot from 25 yards. Raphael Varane gets a block in.
    • 8:54 The assist for the goal came from Mesut Ozil.
    • 8:54 GOAL - Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid 1 - 0 Galatasaray Cristiano Ronaldo finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Real Madrid 1-0 Galatasaray.
    • 8:28 Free kick awarded for a foul by Albert Riera on Karim Benzema. Xabi Alonso takes the direct free kick.
    • 6:46 Mesut Ozil challenges Selcuk Inan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Dany Nounkeu takes the direct free kick.
    • 4:39 Didier Drogba challenges Sami Khedira unfairly and gives away a free kick. Xabi Alonso takes the free kick.
    • Correction - 3:36 Shot by De Carvalho Felipe Melo from outside the box goes over the target.
    • 3:36 Effort on goal by Hamit Altintop from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 2:28 Headed effort on goal by Karim Benzema from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.
    • 0:00 The game kicks-off.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.