Goals from Emmanuel Eboue, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba gave Galatasaray a 3-2 win over Real Madrid, but Los Blancos made it through 5-3 on aggregate thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Jose Mourinho recalled most of key his players for the second leg clash in Istanbul. Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil were named in the XI after being rested at the weekend, whilst Pepe and Luka Modric came in for the suspended Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos. The Turkish team meanwhile gave Umut Bulut a starting berth with Burak Yilmaz banned.
And it seemed like the rest had done Ronaldo the world of good, as within just eight minutes, he had scored the opening goal of the game. A cross from Sami Khedira found the Portuguese forward just two yards out, and he tapped into an empty net to give Los Blancos a 4-0 aggregate lead.
Fatih Terim’s men slowly started to get back into the match however, but the presence of Drogba up front wasn’t rattling the Madrid backline – and the Ivorian could only threaten with a series of speculative efforts.
Class was clearly telling, and Mourinho’s men were punishing the Super Lig team’s narrow midfield with better width and better tempo. Fabio Coentrao, Michael Essien, Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria were all benefiting from the space they were afforded – and it was the Argentine who almost doubled their lead, only for Fernando Muslera to make a superb save with half an hour gone.
Wesley Sneijder and Umut Bulut attempted to store some pride back with efforts at goal late on, but a mixture of good goalkeeping from Diego Lopez and poor finishing meant the away team were in control at half time.
After the break, the game followed very much the same outline. Los Blancos were happy to let the home team have the ball, and were quick to use their advantage out wide when hitting them on the counter.
Ronaldo missed a glorious opportunity from one such pattern of play, and it came back to haunt the capital club just moments later – Eboue struck a glorious shot from the edge of the area into the top left-hand corner to leave Diego Lopez motionless.
Momentum then inexplicably swung in the hosts favour. Drogba was hassling Raphael Varane for the first time, and it was the former Chelsea man’s persistence that almost led to a second goal. The Ivorian forced the young defender into a mistake, played it to Sneijder, but the Dutchman could only shoot wide from inside the area.
The Netherlands playmaker made amends though on 71 minutes – nutmegging Varane, he coolly slotted home from inside the area to give the Lions’ a lead on the night.
They weren’t finished there however, as just a minute later, Drogba back-heeled a Sabri Sarioglu cross from six yards out for a 3-1 lead on the night.
Alvaro Arbeloa talked himself into a sending off in the last minute, and Ronaldo bagged his and Real Madrid’s second of the game in stoppage time to end a breathless game.
Galatasaray 3-2 Real Madrid
Scorers: Eboue 57 (G), Sneijder 71 (G), Drogba 72 (G); Ronaldo 8, 90+2 (RM)
Galatasaray: Muslera, Riera, Gokhan, Semih, Eboue (Elmander 80), Melo, Selcuk, Sneijder, Altintop (Amrabat 45), Umut (Sarioglu 63), Drogba
Real Madrid: Diego López; Essien (Arbeloa 30), Varane, Pepe, Coentrao; Khedira, Modric; Ozil (Albiol 81), Di María, Ronaldo; Higuaín (Benzema 72)
Red card: Arbeloa 90 (RM)