Real Madrid stumbles to a 3-2 defeat to Galatasaray, but qualify for semis
Real Madrid survived a 3-2 scare in Istanbul, after an easy victory against Galatasaray last week. The Spanish football powerhouse grabbed a 3-0 victory over their Turkish opponents at Santiago Bernabeu a week ago, but Jose Mourinho and Co. were unable to replicate their success at Turk Telekom Arena on Tuesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo drew first blood to take Real Madrid’s aggregate to 4-0, but that’s when the dragon woke from its slumber. Galatasaray hadn’t really threatened Real Madrid till this point. Given that the Turkish outfit needed five goals to get them past Real Madrid; it appeared as if Fatih Terim and his men had an impossible task at their hands. Therefore, the proceedings were quite astounding.
Former Arsenal defender Emanuel Eboue struck a thunderbolt strike to score Galatasaray’s first, a strike that kicked off their comeback. A wonderfully self-orchestrated goal from former Real Madrid midfielder Wesley Sneijder came back next, which was followed by a brilliant back heel goal from Didier Drogba.
All of a sudden it came to dawn upon Real Madrid that Galatasaray needed only one more goal to spark an upset. At this point Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho quickly recalibrated his team for a more defensive approach; thus successfully stopping Galatasaray from scoring any more goals. Cristiano Ronaldo, who kicked off the proceedings, ended the night with the final goal as well. The Portuguese forward was found to be brilliant once again.
With the final aggregate standing at 5-3, Real Madrid confirmed their place in the Champions League semifinals. After the tenuous battle, Jose Mourinho admitted he was happy to have qualified for the semifinals despite defeat.
“We had (the Ronaldo opportunity) to score an open goal, and that would have made it 2-0,” Jose Mourinho told ITV. “But because of their style of play, it was always going to be hard. I know that (Galatasaray) are strong mentally, I know they play with 50,000 plus 11.
“But we are in the semi-final and that's what really matters. The team was ready to work hard and they want to go to Wembley and play the final. Now we have a semi-final against a great team.”
Real Madrid have qualified for the Champions League semifinal for the third consecutive year under Jose Mourinho. The Spanish outfit hasn’t been able to grab the Champions League trophy during the past three terms, but it appears as if this might finally be the year when Jose Mourinho and Co. march on to European glory.