Real Madrid comfortably saw off Galatasaray at the Santiago Bernabeu to take top spot in their Champions League group with a game to spare, despite the early sending off of Sergio Ramos.
Gareth Bale, Alvaro Arbeloa, Angel di Maria and Isco grabbed the goals for the hosts – who were without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo – while Umut Bulut scored for the Turkish outfit.
Madrid had the better of the opening twenty minutes and enjoyed an incredible 65% of possession. Bale missed a good chance early on, running through on goal but curled his effort wide with just the keeper to beat.
With just 25 minutes on the clock though, Carlo Ancelotti’s men faced a more difficult challenge as Ramos was sent off for tussling with Umut Bulut when the forward was through on goal. It was the 17th red card of Ramos’ Real Madrid career, and he extended his lead as the club’s most sent off player – Fernando Hierro is next on the list with 12 reds.
The incident was not too dissimilar to the harsh red card given to Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus when the Italian outfit was in town, but Scottish referee Willy Collum whipped out the red card and Ramos was off down the tunnel. Ancelotti decided to shuffle his pack and replaced Jese with Nacho, denying the youngster the chance to impress with some game time.
It was the 10 men who soon took the lead though, and it was a stunning effort too. Felipe Melo gave away a free kick about 35 yards out – well within Bale territory. And the Welshman obliged by sending his effort over the wall before dipping under the bar into the corner of the net to the delight of the home support.
Los Blancos held the lead for just one minute though, as the visitors went down the other end and equalised immediately. Veteran striker Didier Drogba slipped a ball through for Bulut who poked home past the onrushing Iker Casillas.
With a point good enough to secure top spot, it would have been understanding if Madrid had settled for a draw, but Ancelotti’s side took the lead five minutes after the break when Alvaro Arbeloa found himself in unfamiliar territory to side foot home a Marcelo cross. The scorer turned provider 12 minutes later when his low cross was finished off by Angel di Maria.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Madrid extended their lead through Isco’s well taken goal. The 30 million euro man took the ball down nicely when it fell to him in the Galatasaray box, and the 21-year-old calmly finished past the helpless keeper.
Los Blancos slowed the game down in the closing minutes as they kept possession and cruised into the next round.