Real Madrid cruise towards Champions League last four

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Real Madrid took a big step into booking their place in the Champions League semi-finals last night after easing to a 3-0 victory over Galatasaray in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

Jose Mourinho’s men never looked in any real danger and were two goals ahead before the half-hour mark thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. 

Gonzalo Higuain then added a third in the second half and wrapped up a comfortable win, as well as Madrid’s first clean sheet in this season's Champions League.

Madrid never looked threatened despite the visitors starting quite well and with an attacking formation that saw Wesley Sneijder, Hamit Altintop and Selcuk Inan all pushing forward to try and support Didier Drogba and Burak Yilmaz. 

However, it took only nine minutes before the deadlock was broken as a slick move saw Mesut Ozil feed Ronaldo, who clinically chipped the ball over Galatasaray keeper Fernando Muslera to put the home side ahead.

Then, although the Turkish giants continued to push forward and test Diego Lopez in the Los Blancos goal, they were punished moments later for some poor defending and Real extended their lead. 

Michael Essien played a good ball into the box and as Semih Kaya and Emmanel Eboue failed to deal with it, Benzema controlled and slotted the ball into the Santiago Bernabeu net.

The second half saw Sneijder withdrawn and although the Turkish side looked more solid, they lost their attacking momentum and showed no sign of causing Madrid real problems.

Therefore it was no surprise when Madrid extended their lead as a curling free-kick into the box from Xabi Alonso was met by the head of Higuain, thus sealing the win in the Spanish capital.

This result, helping Mourinho to maintain his record of never losing a European quarter-final, leaves Gala with it all to do ahead of next week’s second leg in Istanbul.

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