Galatasaray vs. Real Madrid: Final score 1-6, Merengues cruise in Istanbul

Denis Doyle

Cristiano Ronaldo, take a bow.

Led by Cristiano Ronaldo and his hat trick, Real Madrid went to Istanbul and absolutely hammered Galatasaray, 6-1. A slow start to the match turned with a gorgeous goal for Isco then Ronaldo led the way in a dominant second half put the Turks away as the Merengues got their Champions League campaign off on the right foot with three points.

The only bad news for Madrid was an injury to Iker Casillas, whose return to the field lasted just 15 minutes before a collision with Sergio Ramos forced him off with injured ribs. That brought first choice keeper Diego Lopez on and he showed why he has taken the throne from Casillas, making a phenomenal save to keep Madrid level in the early going.

Galatasaray actually had Madrid on the back foot in the early going as they slowly built into the attack and exploited a Merengues midfield that took nearly a half hour to get into the match. But once Madrid found their footing, it was all over.

Isco gave the visitors a lead in the 33rd minute as he got the ball on the counterattack and nearly single-handedly undid the Galatasaray defense. He turned them inside out before cutting to the center and firing off the post and in for a 1-0 lead.

Galatasaray lost Didier Drogba to a shoulder injury just before halftime and without him and an outlet, their defense fell apart.  Real Madrid doubled their lead in the 54th minute when Karim Benzema got in behind the Galatasaray defense and fired past Fernando Muslera. From there, the visitors were off and running.

Ronaldo got the first of his goals just after the hour mark when he jumped on a rebound to make it 3-0 and three minutes later, he did it again on a rebound. Benzema matched Ronaldo with a brace of his own in the 81st minute, but Ronaldo made sure that he would be the star of the day in stoppage time by undressing a defender and smashing the ball home to make it a hat trick for the Portuguese.

Galatasaray did get on the scoreboard through Umut Bulut in the 84th minute, but it wasn't nearly enough. They were completely outclassed by Ronaldo and Co., who are sitting pretty under new manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Galatasaray: Muslera, Eboue, Chedjou, Nouenkeu, Riera, Inan, Melo, Sneijder, Baytar (Bruma 62'), Yilmaz, Drogba (Amrabat 45').

Goals: Bulut 84'

Real Madrid: Casillas (Lopez 15'), Pepe, Ramos, Carvajal, Arbeloa, Khedira, Modric (Illarramendi 72'), Di Maria, Isco (Bale 64'), Ronaldo, Karim Benzema.

Goals: Isco 33', Benzema 54', Ronaldo 63', Ronaldo 66', Benzema 81', Ronaldo 90+1.

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