Despite losing Sergio Ramos to a red card midway through the first half, Real Madrid were simply too much for Galatasaray. Second half goals from Álvaro Arbeloa, Ángel Di Maria and Isco powered 10-man Madrid past Galatasaray to claim the top spot in Group B.
More from our team sites
Galatasaray were pushing Madrid from the opening whistle and while it worked well in the opening quarter hour for the most part, they were nearly burned early.
In the fourth minute, Gareth Bale got free behind the high defensive line and raced in alone against Eray Iscan. Bale seemingly looked for the goal but he pushed his shot wide of the far post, a bit of justice for Galatasaray as replays showed Bale was offside.
Madrid were dominating possession and cruising along and then in the 27th minute defender Sergio Ramos lost Umut Bulut and as he attempted to catch up with the midfielder, brought him to the ground. In the referee's judgement Ramos denied a goal scoring opportunity and showed him a straight red card.
In case you were wondering, that's Ramos' 17th ejection as a Madrid player, extending his club record.
Not that the man-advantage helped Galatasaray much though as they still managed to concede the opening goal. After Felipe Melo brought down Pepe 25-yards out, Gareth Bale stepped up and worked a bit of magic. The Welsh striker's free kick went up and over the wall before curling right and dropping, easily evading a confused and frozen Iscan.
To Galatasaray's credit they responded immediately as Madrid's fans were still celebrating Bale's picturesque free kick. Didier Drogba turned defender Nacho out of his boots and provided a picture perfect pass to Bulut who raced past Pepe into space before easily beating Iker Casillas to even the match a 1-1.
Madrid jumped back in front early in the second half thanks to an unlikely source. In the 51st minute Ángel di Maria whipped a cross in from the left that was met by Álvaro Arbeloa, who stuck out his foot and directed the ball past Iscan. Arbeloa turned to check if the linesman's flag was up (it wasn't) and seems momentarily shocked the goal would stand, before celebrating with his teammates.
Amusingly, four minutes later, Arbeloa was shown a yellow card for simulation in the Galatasaray box. Quite the night for the Madrid defender though to be fair, it was definitely not a dive.
Madrid weren't done yet though and in the 63rd minute Arbeloa paid back Di Maria for the earlier assist, setting up the winger for a blast from the edge of the area that eluded Iscan and extended Madrid's lead to 3-1. Just for fun in the 81st minute, Madrid added a fourth goal as Isco recovered the rebound on his own blocked shot and danced into the Galatasaray area before putting a low shot past Iscan.
Real Madrid: Casillas, Marcelo (Carvajal 74'), Pepe, Ramos, Arbeloa, Illarramendi, Casemiro (Alonso 58'), Di María, Isco, Bale, Jesé (Nacho 28')
Goals: Bale (37'), Arbeloa (51'), Di Maria (63'), Isco (81')
Galatasaray: Iscan, Eboue, Gokhan Zan, Chedjou, Nounkeu, Felipe Melo, Inan, Bruma (Sneijder 64'), Umut Bulut, Amrabat (Riera 66'), Drogba
Goals: Bulut (38')