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Champions League Classics: Galatasaray 3-2 Real Madrid

Watch this dramatic 2013 quarter-final decider in full on UEFA.tv now; but first a bit of background.

A 3-0 first-leg win gave Real Madrid a decent cushion to take to Istanbul, but Galatasaray were to make them fight all the way to reach a record 24th semi-final.

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Context

Six days earlier Madrid had cruised to victory in the first leg, with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and substitute Gonzalo Higuaín. Trailing Barcelona by some distance in the Liga title race, José Mourinho's side were focused on ending an 11-year wait for a UEFA Champions League crown, and although Galatasaray had chances in the first half, they seemed set for the same fate as in 2001 – a quarter-final exit to Madrid.

Highlights: Real Madrid 3-0 Galatasaray
Highlights: Real Madrid 3-0 Galatasaray

Key players

  • Cristiano Ronaldo: Earlier in the campaign, Ronaldo had passed 500 career games and 300 goals, and 2012/13 would be the third of six straight seasons in which he scored at least 50 for Madrid. Indeed, he won his second Ballon d'Or for his exploits in 2013.
  • Wesley Sneijder: The ex-Madrid player had quit Inter for Galatasaray in January 2013, having suffered through injury in the previous season and a half. He had made a promising start in Istanbul but this was the game that cemented Sneijder's place in fans' hearts.
  • Didier Drogba: Having left Chelsea in summer 2012 after scoring the winning penalty in the UEFA Champions League final, Drogba moved on to Galatasaray following a spell in China, arriving a few days after Sneijder. His taste for the big occasion showed against Madrid.
GALATASARAY 3-2 REAL MADRID IN-DEPTH


What happened

Watch five great Galatasaray goals
Watch five great Galatasaray goals

Ronaldo's goal on seven minutes left Galatasaray needing to score five and the tie looked to be over, especially when it was still 1-0 at half-time. However, in the 57th minute Sneijder cut back for Emmanuel Eboué to smash the ball in.

Although the Dutchman then missed a great opportunity, he made amends with 20 minutes to go with a drilled finish from the edge of the box. Barely had the celebrations ended when Drogba back-heeled in Nordin Amrabat's pass. Anything appeared possible in a deafening atmosphere, particularly after substitute Álvaro Arbeloa was sent off, but Madrid held on and Ronaldo struck again in added time.

Reaction

Fatih Terim, Galatasaray coach: "Our half-time team talk was about the desire not to lose the game and this brought about the victory. After the third goal, we started to dream of the semi-finals. If Drogba's last effort had gone in, everything would have changed."

José Mourinho, Madrid coach: "I don't have time to feel nervous on the sidelines. I know [Galatasaray] are strong. Mentally they are strong. They did not play with 11 men today, they played with 50,000 – incredible supporters. It was hard and they deserved to win tonight ... We are in the semi-finals and that is all that matters."

Elsewhere that evening

Matchday 4 highlights: Real Madrid 6-0 Galatasaray
Matchday 4 highlights: Real Madrid 6-0 Galatasaray

On a truly memorable night, it was also 3-2 between Borussia Dortmund and Málaga in Germany, albeit this tie had started at 0-0 and Málaga seemed all but certain to go through when they went 2-1 up with eight minutes remaining – only for Dortmund to score twice in added time.

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Aftermath

Dortmund were to face Madrid in the semis and Robert Lewandowski netted four times in a 4-1 first-leg win. Madrid then came even closer to an unlikely fightback than Galatasaray had, Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos scoring in the last seven minutes of the second leg to leave Mourinho's side agonisingly short. Ronaldo's 12 goals made him UEFA Champions League top scorer for the first time since 2007/08; he would be at least joint first for six seasons in a row.

Madrid finished 15 points behind Barcelona in the league and lost the Copa del Rey final to Atlético as Mourinho departed to return to Chelsea; Carlo Ancelotti was to oversee the long-awaited tenth European Cup success. Galatasaray retained the Turkish title by a ten-point margin.

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