Cristiano Ronaldo led the way as Real Madrid brushed aside Galatasaray 3-0 in the first leg of its Champions League quarter-final clash at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain also chipped in with a goal each to put Jose Mourinho’s club in the driver’s seat ahead of the return leg in Turkey.
The Spanish champions wasted no time in getting down to business as Angel Di Maria’s high flick found Benzema, who just headed over the crossbar.
It was a sign of things to come and the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute when Mesut Ozil’s delightful pass found Cristiano Ronaldo, who slipped it past the keeper.
It was no less than what Real Madrid deserved in the early going, but Gala almost found a quick equalizer; however, Didier Drogba’s lifted his shot high over the bar.
It was a bad miss but also served as a reminder that the visitors do have some significant firepower upfront.
Drogba had another good opportunity just before the 30-minute mark when he unleashed a rocket that Diego Lopez punched away.
The visitors were starting to look comfortable but were soon dealt a blow when Michael Essien’s cross eluded two defenders and fell conveniently for Benzema, who made no mistake from close range.
Cristiano Ronaldo almost put the match to bed moments later but his curling free kick just missed the roof of the net by a few inches.
Gala had a huge mountain to climb and tried to cut into the lead before halftime, but Emmanuel Eboue’s low drive was parried away by Diego Lopez.
Real Madrid looked content to spray the ball around the pitch for the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Cristiano Ronaldo then tried his luck from 25 yards near the hour mark, but it was too close to Fernando Muslera, who made an easy save.
The home side then went forward searching for a third goal that would likely kill the tie off. Di Maria found himself eight yards from goal but his weak lob was caught by Muslera.
Madrid then got the goal it was looking for when Xabi Alonso’s delivery found Gonzalo Higuain, who headed past Muslera.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid saw out the rest of the game with relative ease and will take a 3-0 lead into the return leg in Galatasaray.