Galatasaray Vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League 2013: Drogba Scares Madrid (3-2)

Alex Livesey

Real Madrid got a 0-1 lead heading into the dressing room at halftime, but a great second half from Didier Drogba, Varane's first disappointing performance in this season and a great atmosphere at the Türk Telekom Arena cost Real Madrid a big scare.

In the same evening when Málaga lost the tickets to the Semifinals in just three minutes, Galatasaray ran out of fuel in what was a great second half by Didier Drogba and his teammates. Real Madrid played well for 60 minutes until Galatasaray scored their second goal. Then, the crowd and Didier Drogba took over and forced los blancos to play defensively for the rest of the match.

Real Madrid only needed one goal, and they got it early. Ronaldo scored in the seventh minute and the whole team then believed that Galatasaray was going to surrender. But Didier Drogba is wearing the orange and red shirt, and he's not the kind of player that gives up on a suicide mission that easily. It still amazes me how Florentino Pérez let this player go when he was still at his best. Him and Francesco Totti would've been legends in this club, and they should've worn the white jersey at least for some years.

It's not easy to play against that crowd, that's for sure. Tonight, Raphäel Varane played his worst game since he shocked the world against Leo Messi and FC Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey tie, where he saved two clear chances and equalized the game off a brilliant header. And he had to face Didier Drogba. He's only 19 years old and Varane will certainly learn from this experience. He's still someone Mourinho should trust as the season goes on. If not, his confidence could be heavily affected.

Michael Essien had to leave the game in the first half, and he will undergo tests to see if he can be ready for the first match of the Semifinals. Arbeloa was sent off with two yellow cards in the same play, so Real Madrid won't have a pure right back if Essien's injury is worse than expected.

Galatasaray had a great run in the second half with three goals in just 15 minutes. Furthermore, Cristiano Ronaldo could've sentenced the tie when Real Madrid was still leading 0-1, but he tried to stop the ball and then shoot instead of first-touching it to the net.

Eboué opened the can with a brilliant goal in the 57th minute and then Sneijder and Drogba gave hopes to the Turkish fans. Drogba's use of his body in his goal was simply amazing, and a must-see for every football fan around the world.

Mourinho introduced Benzema for Higuaín and the team improved a bit. Luka Modric, who had a great first half, started to feel important once again. Di María then moved to the left wing. In Real Madrid's last substitution, Mourinho placed Raúl Albiol in the midfield for Mesut Özil. The German playmaker didn't play his best game as a madridista, but it's true that today's context didn't benefit his style much.

Real Madrid cooled the game down and stopped the bleeding. It was Cristiano Ronaldo the one who wrapped the tie up by scoring the team's second and last goal. As he suggested after the game concluded, the team now needs to realize that you have to play with the exact same intensity in every Champions League match if you don't want to struggle.

Mourinho's team lost the match, but Real Madrid has a ticket to the Semifinals for the third year in a row since the Portuguese coach took over. Los blancos had been knocked out in the Round of 16 for the last eight years before Mourinho arrived, so Real Madrid's return to the European elite might have something to do with The Special One.

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