Real Madrid defeats Galatasaray 3-0 in Champions League
MADRID (AP) -- With a dominant display, Real Madrid put itself in prime position to reach the Champions League semifinals.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored nine minutes in, and Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain added goals in a 3-0 win over Galatasaray on Wednesday night in the first leg of their quarterfinal.
Ronaldo put the nine-time champions ahead with when he split defenders Emmanuel Eboue and Semih Kaya, ran onto a perfectly weighted through-pass from Mesut Oezil and chipped goalkeeper Fernando Muslera with a left-footed shot from 10 yards. Ronaldo has 45 goals this season, including a Champions League-leading nine.
Benzema doubled the lead in the 29th with a right-footed shot from 8 yards after Michael Essien's cross went over Eboue and landed at Benzema's feet.
Higuain replaced Benzema in the 65th and scored Madrid's third goal eight minutes later on a 7-yard header on Xabi Alonso's free kick.
Galatasaray, led by Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder, faces a tough tak in the second leg of the total-goal series Tuesday in Turkey.
"If we score a goal, they will have to score five. But in football I have seen so many incredible things, nothing can surprise me,'' Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said. "Istanbul is a very difficult place to play. They will fight very hard against us. The story of football is full of miracles, and I will try and convince my players that it's not all over yet.''
Alonso and Sergio Ramos will be suspended for the second leg for yellow-card accumulation.
"Of course 3-0 is a bad result,'' Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim said, criticizing Norwegian referee Svein Oddvar Moen. "The referee did not dare give a couple of penalties against us. We had our chances, too, but we failed to convert them.''
In Wednesday's other game, Malaga was help to a 0-0 tie by visiting Borussia Dortmund. In Tuesday's games, Barcelona tied 2-2 at Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich won 2-0 at home against Juventus.