Real Madrid’s visit to Istanbul would have ended badly if it weren’t for the presence of living legend Cristiano Ronaldo, who managed to net a goal in each half.
The home team can now look forward to next season with their heads high after staging an impressive comeback to the delight of the fans at the Turk Telekom Arena. Second half goals from Emmanuel Eboue, Wesley Sneijder, and Didier Drogba help bring the Turks back into contention. Cristiano Ronaldo, however, managed to save the day for his team in the dying minutes of the second half with his second goal of the night.
Responding after the match to the broadcast crew of a Spanish TV station TVE, Ronaldo expressed his dissatisfaction at what he tagged a gift from his side to the Turkish side.
“It’s our own fault it became complicated,” he said.
“In football you cannot gift anything. Today (Tuesday) that is what happened and it should serve as an example for the future to play for 90 minutes.
“We are very happy to have qualified. We have achieved our objective and now we wait to see our next opponent.”
For the Real Madrid Manager, Jose Mourinho, they were not just up against 11 men on the pitch. The Portuguese tactician, aiming for a third champions league trophy with three different clubs, believes they were up against another 50,000 as the partisan Gala crowd cheered on their team wonderfully well.
“I had no time to be nervous,” he said. “I don’t have time to feel nervous on the sideline. I know (Galatasaray) are strong. Mentally they are strong. They did not play with eleven men today; they played with 50,000 incredible supporters. It was hard and they deserved to win.”
For Fatih Terim, the Galatasaray coach, there is nothing to be disappointed at after the match. “Our fans were magnificent,” he said. “There was a fantastic atmosphere here in the stadium. When they enjoy the game, we do too. Maybe we couldn’t knock Real Madrid out of the competition but we deserve the respect of the whole world. I hope they win the champions league so then we can say we lost to the champions.”
Madrid advanced to the semi final on 5-3 aggregate with the score line from the two legs identical to those in a champions league quarter final in 2001.
In other news, Dortmund stunned Malaga in the other quarter final match of the day to book a spot in the semi final. Dortmund, initially trailed by a 2- 1 margin after an 82nd minute goal from Eliseu put the visitors up front on the night and on aggregate. The game ended in a dramatic fashion, Marco Reus and Felipe Santana staged a comeback for Dortmund to make it to the last four of the competition on 3- 2 aggregate.