Madrid, Spain – Real Madrid took a big step toward reaching the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday as the Spanish giants coasted to a 3-0 win over Galatasaray in the first leg of their quarterfinal at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid jumped out to a 2-0 lead inside 30 minutes with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema before Gonzalo Higuain's header capped the scoring 17 minutes from time, leaving Galatasaray with a mountain to climb in the second leg in Turkey next Tuesday.
Mesut Ozil set up the first goal after nine minutes with a brilliant through ball to Ronaldo, allowing the Portuguese forward to get into the penalty area and chip the ball over goalkeeper Fernando Muslera and just inside the right post.
Benzema took advantage of some weak defending inside the box for Madrid's second goal when he brought down Michael Essien's right-wing cross at the back post and had time to fire the ball off the near post and into the net despite the presence of Galatasaray defender Emmanuel Eboue.
The former Arsenal man had a chance to make up for his poor defending just before halftime when he exchanged passes with Didier Drogba and had only goalkeeper Diego Lopez to beat. However, Lopez got down to keep the ball out, snuffing out one of the best chances of the game for the visitors.
Madrid was in a comfortable position for most of the second half, and the club padded its lead in the 73rd minute when Xabi Alonso dropped a free kick into the middle of the area for Higuain, who turned a header inside the left post from 10 yards to give the hosts a huge lead ahead of the return leg.
Malaga 0, Borussia Dortmund 0
Malaga, Spain - Malaga and Borussia Dortmund played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal at La Rosaleda on Wednesday.
Both sides had chances to seize the advantage in the two-legged matchup, but both were guilty of being wasteful in front of goal, especially Dortmund's Mario Gotze.
The Germany international spurned a great chance in the 14th minute when he was played in behind the defense but failed to beat goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero with a weak shot that was parried.
Gotze was set up by Ilkay Gundogan a few minutes later, but once more failed to provide a clinical finish, while Malaga defender Martin Demichelis made a crucial block near his own goal line to deny a great opportunity for Robert Lewandowski.
The two sides will square off in the return leg at Dortmund next Tuesday.