Real Madrid v Galatasaray: Live Report

AFP IS CLOSING THIS LIVE REPORT after Real Madrid took a huge step towards securing a Champions League semi-final spot with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Turkish champions Galatasaray in their quarter-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid's Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain (R) celebrates with defenders Raphael Varane (C) and Sergio Ramos after scoring during the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Galatasaray on April 3, 2013 at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo gave Jose Mourinho's side the lead with just nine minutes gone when he coolly chipped goalkeeper Fernando Muslera for his ninth European goal of the season after being picked out with a superb ball from Mesut Ozil.

The hosts made it 2-0 after 29 minutes when a cross from Michael Essien on the right just escaped a leaping Ronaldo only to fall at the feet of French striker Karim Benzema who took a touch before sweeping the ball home.

Galatasaray's Didier Drogba did hit the target with a long-range strike that Diego Lopez could only turn behind for a corner and the visitors had a good claim for a penalty turned down when Sami Khedira appeared to handle inside his own area.

The Istanbul club's manager Fatih Terim brought on defender Gokhan Zah in place of the more attacking Wesley Sneijder at the break, clearly feeling his back four needed help coping with Real's relentless attacking threat..

But the change didn't prevent the hosts scoring a vital third goal after 73 minutes when Xabi Alonso whipped a free-kick into the area for Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain to plant a neat header past Muslera.

Only a huge upset at in the second leg at the Turk Telecom Arena in Istanbul on Tuesday will stop the Spanish league champions from advancing to the last four.

In the night's other Champions League quarter-final first leg, also in Spain, Borussia Dortmund were held to a 0-0 draw away to Malaga despite creating a host of chances.

The big winners in Europe tonight were Real Madrid - read on for a blow-by-blow account of how the Spanish giants swept to a deserved first leg win:

2110 GMT: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is refusing to sound complacent despite his side's strong position after the first leg.

"They [Galatasaray] have players with a lot of experience," Mourinho tells Sky Sports TV. "In think they will fight very hard against us in the second leg."

2058 GMT: Borussia Dortmund were left to rue a host of missed chances in their first leg away to Malaga tonight and there will be all to play for at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund in Tuesday's second leg.

2050 GMT: TV replays show Sergio Ramos may have got a slight touch to the ball before he trod on Burak Yilmaz's foot in the area after 78 minutes, an incident which saw the Turkish striker booked for simulation.

Either way Yilmaz can count himself very harshly done by as there was significant contact, and he will now miss the second leg in Istanbul on Tuesday.

2037 GMT: Tonight's other Champions League quarter-final first leg has ended Malaga 0 Borussia Dortmund 0 at La Rosaleda.

90+3 mins: FULL-TIME - Real Madrid 3 Galatasaray 0

90+2 mins: YELLOW CARD! Real's Luka Modric booked for a petty foul.

90 mins: YELLOW CARD! Sergio Ramos booked for tripping Emmanuel Eboue outside the area, though the Ivorian looks to have conned the referee as replays show there was no contact.

YELLOW CARD! Drogba also went into the book but not clear exactly why.

The Ivorian steps up to take the resulting free-kick but it clips the wall and flies out for a corner.

86 mins: SUBSTITUTION - Defender Pepe replaces winger Angel Di Maria for Real.

85 mins: YELLOW CARD! Real's Michael Essien booked for blocking Nordin Amrabat

83 mins: SUBSTITUTION - The visitors make their final change - Moroccan Nordin Amrabat on for former Liverpool winger Albert Riera.

80 mins: SUBSTITUTION - German midfielder Mesut Ozil replaced by Luka Modric and the Real midfielder gets a resounding round of applause.

78 mins: YELLOW CARD! Burak Yilmaz goes into the referee's notebook for simulation and - to compound Galatasaray's misery - will now miss the second leg.

That seem very harsh on the striker as Sergio Ramos clearly trod on his foot as he burst clear of him in the area.

SUBSTITUTION - Umut Bulut replaces Hamit Altintop for Galatasaray.

76 mins: CHANCE! Almost another straight away for Real as Ronaldo attempts an athletic scissor kick at the back post but Emmanuel Eboue does well to block.

73 mins: GOAL! Real Madrid 3 Galatasaray 0

And that could seal this tie - Galatasaray concede yet another free-kick which Xabi Alonso whips into the area and onto the head of Gonzalo Higuain who plants a neat header past Fernando Muslera.

The Argentine striker had only been on the pitch for eight minutes to score his 13th of the season in all competitions.

70 mins: YELLOW CARD! After that warning from the referee earlier, Galatasaray's Felipe Melo goes into the book for dissent.

Galatasaray getting increasingly desperate here and the foul count is mounting.

68 mins: Real's Michael Essien is fouled on the right after being checked - the resulting free-kick is whipped in dangerously to the penalty area but Selcuk Inan clears with a header.

65 mins: SUBSTITUTION - Real make a change - Gonzalo Higuain replaces goalscorer Karim Benzema up front.

61 mins: CHANCE! Angel Di Maria is picked out with a simple dinked pass into the Galatasaray area and seems certain to score his side's third of the evening but can only tamely poke a left-footed it into the arms of Fernando Muslera.

57 mins: Galatasaray's Felipe Melo gets a talking to from the Norwegian referee Svein Oddvar Moen after a cynical late body-check on Xabi Alonso in the centre-circle. Another of those and he'll be in the book.

50 mins: Real's Angel Di Maria goes down clutching his stomach after a challenge from Dany Nounkeu but there seemed little in that.

1947 GMT: SECOND-HALF - They're under way again at the Santiago Bernabeu.

1947 GMT: SUBSTITUTION - Centre-back Gokhan Zah has come on in place of Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder for the second half for Galatasaray.

Fatih Terim clearly fearing more goals from Real's attacking machine.

1945 GMT: In tonight's other game between Malaga and Borussia Dortmund it's 0-0 at the interval.

1940 GMT: Some debate at the break as to whether Karim Benzema should still have been on the pitch when he scored the second goal - TV replays show his boot was very high when he caught Galatasaray defender Semih Kaya in the face with 20 minutes gone.

Manchester United's Nani was sent off for a similar offence against Real at Old Trafford in the last round.

45+2 mins: HALF-TIME - Real Madrid 2 Galatasaray 0

45+1 mins: Another opening for Galatasaray as Drogba controls it on his chest outside the area but Raphael Varane nicks it away from him.

44 mins: CHANCE! Best opening of the half for the visitors as Eboue plays a one-two with fellow Ivorian Drogba inside the area and fires in a stinging low right-footed shot but straight at Lopez who gets a foot to it.

41 mins: YELLOW CARD! Galatasaray's Dany Nounkeu in the book after being outwitted by Benzema on the edge of the area and bringing down the striker.

Ronaldo fires in a trademark dipping free-kick but it flies just over the crossbar.

37 mins: Essien is vindicating his selection for this game with a succession of good crosses -- the Ghanaian gets another one in from the right which Cristiano Ronaldo tries to get to but defender Semih Kaya does well to block the Portuguese.

31 mins: Just before that second goal Galatasaray had a strong shout for a penalty rejected. Felipe Melo kicked it at Sami Khedira from close range in the area and the German midfielder clearly handled it though whether it was inadvertant is debatable.

29 mins: GOAL! Real Madrid 2 Galatasaray 0

Cross from Michael Essien on the right just escapes a leaping Cristiano Ronaldo in the Galatasaray area but falls at the feet of French striker Karim Benzema who takes a touch before sweeping the ball home.

The defenders around him were slow to react and hat's a soft goal for the Turkish champions to concede.

26 mins: CHANCE! Drogba makes a run about thirty yards out before unleashing a powerful strike with swerves viciously in front of Diego Lopez but the Real goalkeeper manages to punch it clear.

Not the first time the ball has moved extravagantly through the air tonight.

22 mins: By the way, that was Cristiano Ronaldo's ninth Champions League goal of the season, nudging him ahead of Lionel Messi and Galatasaray's Burak Yilmaz at the top of the scoring charts.

20 mins: Emmanuel Eboue is down near the half-way mark clutching his head after a high boot from Benzema but it seemed accidental.

16 mins: Galatasaray's Hamit Altintop picks the ball up 20 yards out but fires it wide of Diego Lopez's righthand post.

12 mins: CHANCE! First opening for the visitors as former Arsenal full-back Emmanuel Eboue finds Didier Drogba on the edge of the area. The big Ivorian turns his man but blasts the ball high over the crossbar.

11 mins: Galatasary fans started the game making plenty of noise for their team, who they call 'Cimbom' or even 'Cimbombom' (pronounced 'Jim Bom Bom' I learnt today).

Nobody could tell me what either of these names means though.

But they're already being drowned out by chants of "Viva Espana!" from the Real fans. Not very original but I'll give them time...

9 mins: GOAL! Real Madrid 1 Galatasaray 0

Guess who? Cristiano Ronaldo puts Madrid ahead with a delicate chip over the onrushing 'keepe after being picked out by Mesut Ozil. The perfect start for Real Madrid.

3 mins: First half-chance of the game for Real as Angel Di Maria breaks down the right and crosses for Karim Benzema but the striker's header loops harmlessly past Fernando Muslera's lefthand post.

1845 GMT: KICK-OFF - Real Madrid get us under way at the Santiago Bernabeu, and Malaga are also under way against Dortmund.

1840 GMT: Kieran Canning points out that at this stage of the competition last season Real had little trouble getting past Apoel Nicosia - and this tie may prove to be a touch tougher for the Spanish champions:

"15 mins to kick-off and this definitely has a different feel to last year's CL QF here...against APOEL. Finished 8-2 on agg." @KieranCanning

1832 GMT: Large swathes of Galatasaray fans at the stadium as expected, and they're making a racket, my colleague adds:

"It will be interesting how atmosphere created by Gala fans will affect tonight. Madrid fans not known for their vocal capacity."

1825 GMT: My AFP colleague Kieran Canning covering the game at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight not impressed by the inclusion of Essien:

"Have to say I'm surprised at inclusion of Essien. Surely Ramos at right-back and Pepe at centre-back a better option," he writes on his Twitter handle @KieranCanning.

1820 GMT: Galatasaray meanwhile have named two former Real players in their side as Hamit Altintop and Wesley Sneijder returned to the Bernabeu.

And up front Didier Drogba, who scored the decisive penalty to win the competition for Chelsea last season, partners the competition's joint-top scorer in Burak Yilmaz, who has eight Champions League goals along with Cristiano Ronalso and Lionel Messi.

1815 GMT: Looking at those line-ups, it seems Jose Mourinho has sprung a surprise by dropping Alvaro Arbeloa in favour of Michael Essien at right-back.

Otherwise Mourinho has named an unchanged side from the one which won 2-1 away at Manchester United to book their place in the last eight, with French striker Karim Benzema leading the attack.

Diego Lopez kept his place in goal despite Iker Casillas' return from a hand injury and Xabi Alonso also returned after being rested in recent weeks due to an ongoing back problem.

1808 GMT: Here are the starting line-ups for tonight's Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu:

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1):

Diego Lopez; Michael Essien, Sergio Ramos (capt), Raphael Varane, Fabio Coentrao; Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira; Angel Di Maria, Mesut Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo; Karim Benzema

Coach: Jose Mourinho (POR)

Galatasaray (4-3-1-2):

Fernando Muslera; Emmanuel Eboue, Dany Nounkeu, Semih Kaya, Albert Riera; Hamit Altintop, Selcuk Inan (capt), Felipe Melo; Wesley Sneijder; Burak Yilmaz, Didier Drogba

Coach: Fatih Terim

Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)

WELCOME TO AFP'S LIVE REPORT on the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final between reigning Spanish champions Real Madrid and Turkish giants Galatasaray at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.

Real are already nine-time European champions and Jose Mourinho's side are now fully focused on a fabled 10th title this season - or 'La D├ęcima' as it is known to their fans - as their hopes of retaining their league title look slim with a 13-point deficit to leaders Barcelona.

Managed by the combustible Fatih Terim, Galatasaray have a less illustrious history in Europe, last reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1989 though they did win the UEFA Cup in 2000.

Another intriguing aspect to tonight's game will be the performance of the Didier Drogba for the reigning Turkish league champions against a side managed by his former boss Mourinho at Chelsea.

Mourinho brought Drogba to Chelsea in 2004 and the pair enjoyed immediate success, winning back-to-back Premier League titles, two League Cups and the 2006-07 FA Cup.

The Ivorian striker signed an 18-month contract with Galatasaray in January after an unsuccessful spell with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

Tonight's other Champions League game is also in Spain, with Malaga hosting Borussia Dortmund at La Rosaleda.

Kick-off in both games is less than an hour away at 1845GMT (1945 BST) so stay with us for all the action as it unfolds in Madrid and goal updates from Malaga.

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Writer: AFP
Position: News agency