Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Real Madrid into the Champions League Semifinals Despite Losing 3-2 at Galatasaray

Real Madrid have reached the Champions League semifinals for the third straight season on Tuesday despite losing 3-2 following a second-half revival of Galatasaray by scoring 3 goals. This will be Madrid's 24th semifinal appearance in Europe's top-tier club competition, although the team has been eliminated at that stage the past two years.
Madrid’s Ronaldo looked to have wrapped up the quarterfinal series by scoring in the seventh minute for a 4-0 overall lead, requiring Galatasaray to score at least five goals to advance. The Portugal forward scored his second of the match in stoppage time for his 48th goal of the season, which includes a Real Madrid record of 11 in the Champions League. 
Madrid completely dominated the match until Eboue's 57th minute equalizer, which awakened Galatasaray's attack and was the start of a 16 minute span in which Galatasaray scored 3 goals transforming the match from a mild stroll to a frantic contest largely played in Madrid's last third. Forward Wesley Sneijder scored in the 71st, before Didier Drogba added another goal a minute later.
Madrid is feared for its deadly pace and firepower on the break, but its opening goal was a product of a passing combination, as Ronaldo slipped along the six yard box to redirect Sami Khedira's cross into the far side of the net with his right foot after Mesut Oezil had played his fellow Germany midfielder clear on the side.
Eboue equalized with a blast from the edge of the area into the top corner of the net following a pass by Sneijder.  Sneijder not done there made another beautiful touch to tap a pass beyond Raphael Varane, rounding the defender before slotting the ball home. Drogba expertly flicked in Nordin Amrabat's low cross with the back of his right heel while facing away from goal and fending off Varane to send the home fans wild.
Ronaldo polished off his team's qualification to the next round three minutes into injury time by converting substitute Karim Benzema's pass. That goal sealed the match for Real Madrid and its places into the semifinals with a 3-2 loss to Galatasaray

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Real Madrid Cruise to a 3-0 win over Galatasaray in Champions League Quarter-Final

Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid have put themselves in great position for the Champions League semi-finals after a 3-0 win over Galatasaray at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of their quarter-final clash. Madrid seldom looked in any real danger by the Galatasaray attack and was two goals up before the half-hour mark through Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. The match was put away by a second-half header from substitute Gonzalo Higuain which made the win for Madrid a greater deficit for Galatasaray ahead of next week's second leg in Istanbul.
Galatasaray started off the match reasonably well, with their squad suggesting an aggressive attacking formation with Wesley Sneijder, Hamit Altintop and Selcuk Inan all pushing forward to try and join Didier Drogba and Burak Yilmaz. At the nine minute mark the deadlock was broken flowing Mesut Ozil thru ball sending Ronaldo free down the left hand side as he chipped the ball over Fernando Muslera in clinical fashion.
Madrid's continued pressure in the second half lead to Real extending their advantage as Xabi Alonso curled a free-kick into the box that Higuain headed into the corner to score. Galatasaray did have a late call for a penalty denied when Sergio Ramos stepped on Yilmaz's foot but the striker was booked for embellishment instead. Ramos later picked up a strategic booking that ruled him out of the second-leg when he kicked the ball away with just minutes left leaving him eligible for the semi-finals with no yellow card accumulation. 
Another real positive from Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Galatasaray in the Champions League quarter-finals was the fact that this was their first clean sheet in the competition. 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Real Madrid settles for just a point as they draw Real Zaragoza 1-1

Real Madrid and Real Zaragoza traded goals in the first half but neither side could find the winner and both had to settle for a point a piece and a 1-1 draw.
Real Zaragoza came out strong from the start of the match and was rewarded with an early goal that put Real Madrid under immediate pressure.  Madrid’s Luka Modric was beaten to a loose ball in the midfield by Apono who moved the ball forward with one touch pass to Rodri. The midfielder moved into the Madrid area and beat Diego Lopez over his right shoulder to give Zaragoza the early 1-0 advantage.
Real Madrid was able to level the score seven minutes from halftime, taking advantage of a mistake by Zaragoza’s Glenn Loovens. The Dutch defender misplayed a long ball, giving possession to Gonzalo Higuain just outside the Zaragoza area. Higuain moved the ball to Ronaldo who was able to dribble into the box and beat goalkeeper Roberto Gago just inside the near post. Gago appeared to misjudge Ronaldo's intent and moved just enough from the post to create the space that the Portuguese striker needed.
A potential game changing moment in the 59th minute was denied as Zaragoza were not given a clear penalty by the referee as Michael Essien pulled down Helder Postiga with two hands on his shoulder. Diego Lopez made a match saving save in the 78th as Francisco Montanes backed into the Madrid area and sending a ball across to Postiga at the far post. Postiga's header looked sure to put Zaragoza ahead of Lopez came flying across to deny the striker.  With the late game heroics of Lopez Real Madrid and Real Zaragoza were only able to net a goal apiece to settle for the 1-1 draw.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Real Madrid comes from behind Twice to beat Mallorca

Real Madrid trailed twice before fighting back with three goals in a seven-minute span to beat Mallorca 5-2.  Mallorca led 2-1 at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after goals from Emilio Nsue and Alejandro Alfaro with Gonzalo Higuain scoring for Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo rallied Madrid back into the game with an equalizing goal in the 51st.  Luka Modric put Madrid ahead three minutes later with a terrific shot from long range, similar to his Champions League goal against Manchester United, with Higuain completing the surge by scoring his second of the night in the 57th.
Madrid has seen its title defense damaged due to poor games to modest Spanish teams this season, thus the reason why they trail leader Barcelona by 10 points.  This pattern seemed as if it would continue until Madrid reacted to a poor first half and quickly imposed itself on the relegation-threatened visitors.
Ronaldo’s frustration grew as the match progressed and at one point the Portugal forward slammed his fist into the turf and threw his arms up in disgust several times as Madrid were failing to discovery their game. For the start of the second half coach Jose Mourinho sent on Mesut Ozil and Benzema hoping for them to make an immediate impact, and that they did.   Ronaldo put Madrid level again when he met Ozil's corner at the near post.  Ozil then picked out Higuain for Madrid's fourth of the night.  Madrid showed great tenacity in fighting off their struggles to overcome going behind twice in the match to beat Mallorca 5-2 on the night.