REPORT | 27/11/2013 | Alberto NavarroThe Whites, who were a man down after 27 minutes, sealed their qualification as group winners against Galatasaray with goals from Bale, Arbeloa, Di María and Isco.
- Champions League
- Matchday 5 (Group Stage)
- Wed, 27 Nov
The Whites could have taken an early lead. After just four minutes of play, Isco sent a through-ball to Bale, whose one-on-one with Eray Iscan resulted in a wide shot.
The match took an unexpected turn in the middle of the first half. A long ball over the Madrid defence came in the 27th minute and Umut Bulut, who was on his way towards Casillas' goal, was brought down by Sergio Ramos on the edge of the box. The Spanish international was given his marching orders and the home team had to play 60 minutes with ten men. Ancelotti then changed his system, bringing on Nacho for Jesé.
Real Madrid seemed unaffected by the absence of one of their players, continuing to dominate and finding their first goal in the 37th minute. It came from a spectacular Gareth Bale free-kick from 40 metres away. It was a wonder goal from the Welshman, but the celebrations did not last long. Just one minute, in fact. Drogba set up Umut Bulut, who beat Casillas in a one-on-one. The match was level again and it stayed that way until the break, although Madrid could have started the second half in the lead, had Bale's 43rd minute strike not crashed into the bar.
The next goal came six minutes after the restart. Di María crossed and Arbeloa cropped up to finish it off with his left foot from the penalty spot. It was a sweet goal for the Madrid defender that gave his team the advantage back and he came agonisingly close to a brace minutes later. Marcelo crossed and the Spain international took advantage of a fumble from the visiting defender to control the ball and shoot on the half volley, however, his shot whistled just wide of Eray Iscan's post.
His time would come though, and in the 63rd minute he created a move that resulted in the night's third goal. After spectacularly beating Nounkeu and a one-two with Isco he set up Di María, who was clinical in the one-to-one.
There was still a goal to come, and while the first was spectacular, the fourth was simply sublime. It came from Isco when the clock read 80. The way he skipped past Gokhan Zan and the calm of his finish were yet further proof of his tremendous class. It was a remarkable victory with one player fewer for 60 minutes and a new record in the European Cup. In fact, Madrid are now the first team in the history of the competition to score in 30 games on the trot.