Galatasaray Vs. Real Madrid, Champions League 2013-2014: Madrid Make Statement, Cristiano Scores Hat-Trick In 1-6 Win

Burak Kara

Even though the team played a poor first half, Real Madrid managed to score five goals in the second half. Iker Casillas left the game in the 13th minute after what appeared to be a non-dangerous clash with Sergio Ramos. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick and Benzema got a double as well, but it was Isco the man who scored Real's first goal and made things much easier.

Ancelotti decided to start Sami Khedira and Ángel Di María, leaving Illarramendi and Bale on the bench. After both players made his debut last Saturday without an appropriate preseason, it was a good decision to keep them on the bench and then let them play the final minutes of a game that was well in Real's hand already.

It's obvious that Real Madrid didn't play well at all for the first 25 minutes. Modric could never find a way to receive the ball and it seemed that Iker Casillas' injury in the 13th minute stopped things a little bit. He collided with Sergio Ramos and Diego López had to come off the bench after Casillas felt pain on his ribs.

Real Madrid have not released an official report on Casillas' status, but the club apparently spoke with Televisión Española and denied a fracture. One way or another, Diego López had the time to save his team once again with yet another impressive save to a Felipe Melo header when the game was still 0-0.

When Real Madrid were struggling to find the groove and rhythm, Di María assisted Isco, who protected the ball with his small body and finished with a strike to the near post in the 33rd minute. Shortly before halftime, Didier Drogba had to leave the game as well with what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder. Things were much easier for Real Madrid after that, as Karim Benzema scored his first goal off a terrible mistake by Galatasaray's defenders in the 54th minute.

Cristiano Ronaldo had the chance to get his first goal of the night. Gareth Bale made his second appearance since signing with Real Madrid minutes after, replacing Isco Alarcón, who finally got some rest after playing a lot of minutes in this start of the season. Bale played well but he could've scored another goal after a good pass by Benzema. Muslera saved that shot. Gareth Bale delivered a fantastic cross off a free-kick that ended up being Cristiano Ronaldo's second goal though. The Welsh player might be an interesting piece for Ancelotti on set-pieces.

The game was all but done, Illarramendi played 20 minutes to get in shape as well while Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo completed Real Madrid's score. Ronaldo's third goal was brilliant. Luckily enough for Galatasaray, Bulut found a way to beat Diego López thanks to a good finish by Bulut.

Yes, Real won 1-6, but it wasn't that easy for los blancos tonight, as they still need to improve.

Considering that Copenhaguen and Juventus drew 1-1, this 1-6 win against Galatasaray is a really good result for Real Madrid. But Ancelotti's men still have to start the games with a better attitude if they want to compete against the greatest teams in Europe. Real Madrid were a much more solid team with Khedira -and Di María's defensive work rate- on the pitch today, even though the German has had better nights throughout his career.

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