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Real Madrid Vs Galatasaray, Champions League 2013-2014: Arbeloa Helps Madrid In 4-1 Victory

Real Madrid faced a Galatasaray team that was going to try to take advantage of Cristiano Ronaldo's absence to get a much needed positive result at Santiago Bernabéu.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Real Madrid entered the game as first place in group B with 10 points. Galatasaray stood in second place of the group with only four points, the same as Copenhaguen and just one more point than Juventus.

In their previous Champions League match played in Turkey, Los Blancos destroyed Galatasaray 6-1. This time, Galatasaray desperately needed a positive result and Cristiano Ronaldo's absence was great news for them. CR7 was replaced by Jesé.

1st half

It didn't take long for Real Madrid to create danger against Galatasaray. At the 3', Gareth Bale faced a one on one chance against Iscan after a great through ball by Isco. Bale's shot went a bit wide.

Jesé had another opportunity in the 10' inside Galatasaray's penalty area after a great play by Marcelo, but the Turkish defence reacted well and stopped Jesé from getting the first goal for Madrid.

In the first 25 minutes, Real Madrid was clearly the better team. The best (and only) chances so far were Madrid's but that was about to change.

Entering the 26', Sergio Ramos committed a foul on Umut Bulut. The defender lost the position trying to clear a through ball directed to Bulut. The ball fell to the Turkish striker, who was brought down by the white defender before entering Madrid's penalty area. The ref showed Sergio the red card after the play.

However, Real Madrid had a free kick at the 37'. Bale took the shot and scored the first goal for Los Merengues. It was a good shot but Iscan failed to react quickly. 1-0.

Just a minute later, Galatasaray tied the game. Bulut beat Casillas after a brilliant pass by Didier Drogba. Bulut had no trouble getting past Pepe. The Portuguese defender looked completely lost on the play. 1-1.

It was the second mistake by Madrid's defenders. The result so far, a red card and a goal allowed.

That was it for the first half. Ramos' red card gave Galatasaray absolute control of the game.

2nd half

Galatasaray started the second half with a lot of intensity. In the 46' they had their first change with a pass/shot by Bruma that went wide.

A couple minutes later, Umut Bulut had another great chance after another through ball. Bulut beat Casillas again but fortunately for Madrid, Bulut was called offside. Close call by the refs.

In their worst moment of the the entire game, Madrid found a way to take the lead again. In the 51', Álvaro Arbeloa scored the second goal for Los Blancos after a gorgeous cross by Ángel Di María. 2-1.

In the 54' Arbeloa was knocked inside Galatasaray's penalty area. Instead of calling the penalty kick, the ref showed Arbeloa the yellow card for diving. There is clear contact in the play but amazingly, the ref didn't see it.

In the 57', Eboué had another great chance for Galatasaray. Much like Bruma at the beginning of the second half, Eboué tried a pass/shot that went wide. Bulut was just a foot behind the ball.

Xabi Alonso went in for Casemiro in the 58'.

Álvaro Arbeloa had yet another chance in the 59'. He shot the ball after controlling a cross from Marcelo. Unfortunately for Arbeloa, the shot went a bit wide. The Spartan was Real Madrid's best player so far.

Madrid scored again in the 63'. Di María received a pass from Arbeloa inside the penalty box and the Argentine didn't waste it. Nice play by Madrid started by Isco. 3-1.

Mancini's team was starting to look overwhelmed by Madrid. Even with 10, Los Merengues were the superior team once again.

Still, Galatasaray didn't stop trying. In the 72', after easily beating Nacho, Drogba tried to score his team's second goal with a fantastic header, but Iker Casillas made a fantastic save to keep the score 3-1.

Lots of Cristiano Ronaldo chants from the crowd. "Cristiano Balón de Oro" "Cristiano Ronaldo es el mejor del mundo y juega en el Madrid" (Cristiano is the best in the world and he plays for Madrid). The Commander definitely deserves the love.

In the 80', Isco extended Real Madrid's lead. He found a rebound inside the penalty box and after a fantastic cutback to beat the defender, Isco shot to score Madrid's fourth goal of the night. The play was started by Arbeloa once again.

The last 10 minutes of the game didn't offer a lot. The game finished 4-1.

Final notes

It doesn't look like the defensive issues will end any time soon. Tonight, it was Ramos' red card and Pepe's mistake on Bulut's goal. With Varane still recovering from injury it looks like it will take long for Real Madrid to find some positive consistency on defence.

Arbeloa's goal was his second in Champions League history. He finished the game with a goal and an assist and provoked a PK that wasn't called by the ref. Easily Real Madrid's best player of the night.

Considering Cristiano Ronaldo's absence and the fact that they played with 10 men for more than 60 minutes, it was a great game for Real Madrid. The second half was nearly perfect.

With this result, Los Merengues clinch first place in Group B with 13 points.

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