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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Real Madrid on Pole as Malaga Hold Dortmund

 Spanish outfit Real Madrid took a giant stride towards qualifying to the UEFA Champions League semis after easily dismissing Galatasaray 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and substitute Gonzalo Higuain were all on the mark for the 9-time champions who look set to advance to the semis for a third consecutive season.

Madrid went into the match at the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw at Real Zaragoza but needed just under 10 minutes to take the lead when Cristiano Ronaldo latched onto a precise Mesut Ozil through ball and lobbed past Fernando Muslera in the Turks’ goal.

Galatasaray threatened to level but Didier Drogba was thwarted twice before Los Blancos got their second. Michael Essien whipped in what looked like a harmless cross to Champions League-esque defenders but the Turks’ defence failed to deal with ball which fell on Benzema’s feet. The French international controlled and riffled in to give Madrid a two goal lead with only half an hour into the match.

Gala continued to bomb forward in search of a vital away goal but the best they came to was a thunderbolt from Eboue which drew a fine save from Diego Lopez.

The second half lacked the fireworks of the first with Galatasaray rarely threatening Jose Mourinho’s men. Another goal was imminent though and it came to the merit of the home team. Madrid won a free-kick with 17 minutes remaining. Xabi Alonso took the initiative and tossed the ball into the penalty area which found the head of Gonzalo Higuain who directed it into the net to make it 3-0 and end the tie as a contest.

The match however would not end without controversy as Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso were yellow carded meaning they will miss the return leg which looks to be on the bag for the Spanish side.

Alonso was booked for dissent while Ramos deliberately kicked the ball away for his booking. The duo could be suspended for the return leg in Turkey but will be available for their semi-final clash should they qualify as expected.

Alonso and Ramos were involved in a similar incident in 2010 when they received red cards against Ajax in order for them to be banned for two matches but have no bookings on their record for the next round matches.

Meanwhile Malaga and Borussia Dortmund played to 0-0 stalemate at Estadio La Rosaleda meaning the two teams will have all to play for in the return leg.

The second leg matches will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday next week with Borussia and Galatasary hosting Malaga and Madrid respectively on Tuesday while Paris Saint Germain travel to Camp Nou to face Barcelona while Juventus will be looking to reverse a 2-0 first leg loss when they welcome Bayern Munich in Turin on Wednesday.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!