Galatasaray gave Real Madrid a slight scare by fighting back from a goal down lead to 3-1 before Cristiano Ronaldo sealed a 5-3 aggregate victory with his second goal of the night
That was an entertaining second-half. And though for the briefest moment Galatasaray had a scintilla of hope, Real's ability to break with such devastating speed was always likely to puncture the home side's optimism. Still, it was much better than I had anticipated. Thanks for your emails. Good night.
Benzema, on as a sub, cuts it back from the right to the edge of the box and Ronaldo belts his shot past Muslera. That's 11 goals in this season's European Cup for him.
90 min+1: Amrabat drags a shot from 20 yards wide of López's right post.
90 min: Sneijder eventually takes the free-kick after Arbeloa's slow walk off but he mishits it but is reprieved when they get another from a hand ball outside the box. Riera takes this one and Pepe glances it behind but the referee gives a goal kick.
88 min: Arbeloa is booked for tossing about after Gala are given a free-kick wide on the left 30 yards from goal. Now he's been sent off for arguing.
87 min: Varane sees off Drogba, anticipating the ball over the top to the centre-forward's feet and nicking it away.
86 min: Sabri makes a dart off the ball and gets beyond Coentrao but the pass from Amrabat is too strong and skips out of play.
84 min: "|No one ever comes back from three down in Istanbul," writes Paul Griffin … but … but … oh! At the moment Gala are again going up the right with Sabri but Di Maria drops bacfk to help Coentrao and gets the ball 50 yards away from danger.
82 min: "Girlfriend is no longer keen on leaving," writes Tom Tharakan. "Atmosphere is sensational." I'm sure it is, Tom. Again Real try to draw the sting by stringing passes together but Arbeloa's touch lets them down, giving it straight to Kaya who recycles it quickly but the Gala lose it, too.
81 min: Real Madrid substitution Raul Albiol on for Ozil.
79 min: Galatasaray substitute: Elmander for Eboué. The free-kick is curled towards the penalty spot by Inan but Lopez is out to punch. When the ball goes out to Sabri he plays it into the box via Elmander and Drogba rolls it into the net but was a foot or so offside.
78 min: Modric is trying to regain some control by holding on to the ball, drawing Melo and then hitting a sublime pass out to the right for Ozil to chase but Gala get it back and win another free-kick 30 yards out when Drogba controls the ball on his chest and is buffeted from behind.
75 min: Free kick for Galatasaray 25 yards out on the left but Felipe Melo is penalised for challenging Varane in the air and Real Madrid get the free kick.
74 min: Two to go? Possible?
Sabri, who has been outstanding as an outside right, slipped a cross to Drogba who stood up to Varane's challenge and backheeled it past Lopez.
Took a lovely touch to steal between Varane and Pepe froma diagonal pass from the right to his inside-left position then with his second touch slotted a 16-yard shot past Lopez. Fine touchm fine goal. He's back.
66 min: Higuain drops deep to rob Felipe Melo and tries to start a counter but again Galatasaray snuff out the move and get the ball forward quickly to Amrabat. He has to go backwards but they keep hold of it and switch to the right to Eboué who finds Sabri on the overlap. He centres it to the far post where Pepe just nods it out inches before Sneijder got his head to it.
64 min: Free-kick for Galatasaray after Higuaín fould Melo. Roughly 25 yards out and Drogba belts it straight into their shins. the ball goes out to the right and is played to the far post where Drogba has run and though he tries to steer a shot towards the other post the angle is too tight, his connection too weak and Pepe too fast for him to score. Drogba claims a foul and hence a penalty but it didn't look like Pepe got him before the ball.
63 min: Sneijder, who has been better this half, his pass setting up Eboué's equaliser, can't believe he missed that chance and neither can anyone else.
62 min: Gala sub – Bulut off for Sabri.
60 min: Sneijder has just missed an absolute doozy. Drogba squares it to him in the box with the keeper wrong-footed and the former prince of No10s completely fluffs his tap-in, toblerone-booting it off horizontally. What a miss.
Twaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! Smashed it from 18 yards, latching on to a drag back across the box and larruped it into the top corner. Take that Tom's girlfriend.
56 min: Ronaldo has just missed a sitter by trapping the ball, or taking a touch seven yards out after Di Maria's excellent cross, and then kicked it into his standing leg and past the post.
54 min: The drama and urgency have drained away. Everyone's trying but not too much. Di Maria now has a writhe on the floor after a foul.
52 min: Khedira is on the floor after being strong-armed over by Gokhan Zan. Khedira claims Zan did a polka on his ribs while he was on the floor and trying to retrieve the ball. I think he was exaggerating.
50 min: Amrabat look lively but limited. In the space of a minute he's tried to push it past Arbeloa and outsprint him and failed and then he tripped him when he came back at him.
48 min: Fatih Terim has his arms crossed and looks agitated. The substitute Amrabat cuts the ball in from the left touchline to Selcuk Inan who tries a driven diagonal 25-yard shot that doesn't curl back towards Lopez's left post but goes straight … and out for a goalkick.
46 min: Drogba goes up for a header with Lopez for an up and under-type hoof and the referee blows his whistle to punish Drogba who did nothing wrong. What a miscarriage of justice that was. Free Didier Drogba.
"Whatever happened to Wesley Sneijder?" asks Matthew Cobb. He moved to Istanbul … er … "I mean, I know what happened to him – he got slicked-back hair and moved to Istanbul. No, what happened to him? He used to be good." Ah. What happened? The World Cup happened. Knacked him and he ain't been right since.
"I'm on holiday in Istanbul and have dragged my girlfriend into a pub to watch the match," writes Tom Tharakan. "Girlfriend wants to leave after a dismal first half. I need to convince her otherwise and suspect that a mention on your blog may convince her. PS she's already taken a disliking to Eboue."
Really? A mention of the word "girlfriend" and she might stay. Hmm. This Eboue dislike? Is she prejudiced?
Thems the stats.
That's half time. Back shortly.
45 min: Higuaín just strays offside when Modric slips it through the inside-left channel, a gloriously deft 15-yard pass with the outside of his left boot. Shame that.
44 min: Eboue makes the universal sign language gesture for "dive" when he trips Ronaldo and is booked.
42 min: Real manipulate the ball among themselves, Ronaldo breaking up the left touchline with that harum scarum running style he adopts for skittering sprinting dribbles. The last pass in the move from Modric is too heavy and Galatasaray get it away.
40 min: Now Umut Bulut has a shot from the right of the box as Varane closes him down after a neat reverse pass from Inan teed the Gala forward up.
38 min: Khedira goes right through Sneijder, trying to nick the ball between his legs but flattens him with Sneijde collapsing in a heap. From the free-kick Eboué makes a dart up the right and plays a threatening looking ball across the box to Drogba who can't get the right connection. Decent ball from Eboue.
36 min: Drogba chases an overhit diagonal pass and tangles with Coentrao who tries to usher it out and seemed to be fouled by the centre-forward. Altintop cuts the corner to the edge of the box where Sneijder is unmarked but scuffs his shot along the bobbly turf and Lopez dives to his right to gather.
34 min: "Arbeloa is near enough an equivalent for Steve Finnan," writes Matt Dony. "Shame he's on the wrong side for Justin Kavanagh's somewhat hopeful theory." Never say never? I'm ready for Gareth Hunt, Matt.
32 min: Make that Inan fancies it, sending Altintop into the box but he smashes it into the wall and it balloons out for a corner to be taken by Altintop. He curls it into Melo who can't glance it across the box but Drogba retrieves it on the edge of the box and he spins it towards the penalty spot and Lopez gathers.
31 min: Sneijder wins a free-kick by pretending that Arbeloa has wrestled him to the ground 30 yards out, slightly to the left of centre. Altintop fancies it.
29 min: Michael Essien has hamstring jigger and his "Daddy" is going to send on Alvaro Arbeloa to replace him.
28 min: "I expect at half time Chiles will go on about the atmosphere and Keane will compare it to a Sunday afternoon walk with Triggs," writes David Flynn. "Being as he is, contractually obliged to disagree with everything that comes out of poor Adrian's mouth." Is it a contractual obligation or a moral one or a professional one? I'm confused.
26 min: I do like Khedira especially when he steals forward up the right. Here he almost hooks the ball into Higuain's feet eight yards out but falls over.
23 min: Brilliant move from Real Madrid is countered by an even more brilliant save. Modric flicked the ball to Ronaldo who was standing on the edge of the D and he flicked it to his left with his heel into the box where Di María ran in to curl it with the outside of his left boot into Muslera's top left-hand corner and the keeper dived up and back to tip it over.
21 min: Fatih Terim clutches his head in disbelief when Felipe Melo was penalised for a foul on Coentrao which again seemed a little pernickety. "'Right - this 3-0 defecit. No one has managed to overturn that scale of first-leg lead in this tournament since Super Depor walloped Milan 4-0 (having gone down 4-1 at San Siro"', writes Peter Kirwan.
"Mind you, Fulham did something a bit (you know, kind of) similar in the quarter finals of the Europa League vs. Juventus in 2010. They lost 3-1 in the first leg in Turin, but won 4-1 at the Cottage. I know, I know: different tournament, different scorelines. But such was the giddy, sweet, madness of that night I would have fancied the Whites to overturn any first leg deficit.
No greater day, etc:
19 min: Drogba is booked for protesting when Eboué is penalised for trying to round Coentrao which did look a ridiculously fussy decision.
17 min: Ozil is free deep on the right, Riera nowhere near him, and the No10 squares to Higuaín who pirouettes too quickly and aims his shot on to his standing leg as it bobbles away back to Ozil who is now offside. "
Why is there no shirt sponsor for Madrid?" asks David Sinton. I don't know but someone will. Advertising gambling issues?
15 min: Gala have improved no end and Sneijder, now hanging out on the right, plays a lovely chipped cross that Varane prevents Drogba cashing in on if that's not one preposition too many.
14 min: A better move from Gala, though the usually admirable Altintop's poor control almost ended the move but he recovered, played it out to Sneijder, got it back, slipped it to Bulut and out to Drogba on the right of the box but his square pass across the box eluded his own side and was clumped away by Varane.
12 min: Their heads have gone, Brian. Real again slice through midfield, work the ball virtually unchallenged out to Michael Essien who overhits his cross straight behind the goal.
10 min: Coentrao easily takes the ball of Umut Bulut's toe as the Gala forward attempted to round him up the right wing. Gala have been woeful so far, the passing's been poor, the movement lacks zip and Real are bossing it.
8 min: The cross came from Khedira after the keeper Muslera punched his corner clear and Drogba's attempt to control the aerial ball broke down and Real quickly stormed back up the left. Gala need five goals now.
Sharp driven cross across the six-yard box turned in by Ronaldo easily.
5 min: Hamit Altintop has just hit the hardest five-yard pass I've ever seen, almost makes Inan's chest go concave or is it convex? Let's pass over this physics embarrassment. A huge amount of whistling accompanies a period of Real possession and keepball, Essien crossing to Higuain who claims his header was handled by Zan as it went out for a corner.
3 min: Altintop takes the ball from López's goalkick and tries to thread a pass through to Umut Bulut and fails. Real break like lightning, out comes the keeper to try and stop Di María who pokes it past him and as it trickles the 20 yards towards the open goal Kaya turns it away for a corner which comes to nowt.
1 min: "There are home fans then there are these fans," says Clive Tyldesley. Modric goes up the inside left channel after Gala are judged offside moments after the kick-off but Eboué tackles him, passes to Felipe Melo who bundles the ball forward.
"One goal and this place will erupt," Chiles says. "As ever the first goal is crucial."
… as Roy Keane insists that Gala haven't got an earthly and the audience drifts off to watch Wheeler Dealers on Discovery Turbo plus one.
"In light of the bearpit/cauldron/hell references that get thrown about before Galatasary matches," writes Elliott Carr-Barnsley, "I thought it might be worth doing some delving." ("Crunching" is the Guardian's preferred verb these days, Elliott, but carry on …)
"In the 10 two-legged European ties they've played since the turn of the century, where the second leg has been at home, they have overcome a first leg deficit just once (against FC Sion before the group stage in 07-08).
"Nevertheless, they have performed much better when defending a positive position, having won at home following a drawn away first leg twice, won at home following a first leg away win three times, drawn at home to hold onto a win/away draw once.
"They have failed to overcome a first leg deficit/draw three times though. So essentially it's one comeback win to three comeback failures, despite a 7 out of 10 success record in such ties."
Top work. So … they're not going through, then.
Justin Kavanagh that is, in a missive headlined with the Jimboesque "Deja Voodoo": "Three-nil down in Istanbul against a major European powerhouse playing in all-white, with the team in red (and yellow) seemingly dead and buried half way through a Champions League tie? Sounds familiar. Here's hoping for another Miracle of Istanbul tonight." If only they could take Steve Finnan off, Justin, it would be nailed on.
Galatasaray: Muslera; Eboué, Gokhan Zan, Semih Kaya, Riera; Altintop, Felipe Melo, Selcuk Inan; Sneijder; Drogba, Umut Bulut.
Subs: Iscan, Yilmaz, Elmander, Balta, Kurtulus, Amrabat, Sarioglu
Real Madrid: Diego López; Essien, Pepe, The Wonderful Varane®, Coentrão; Modric, Khedira; Di María, Ozil, Ronaldo; Higuaín.
Subs: Casillas, Marcelo. Arbeloa, Albiol, Callejon, Morata, Benzema.
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (France)
Right - this 3-0 defecit. No one has managed to overturn that scale of first-leg lead in this tournament since Super Depor walloped Milan 4-0 (having gone down 4-1 at San Siro. Below are the briefest highlights. Look at the scorers: Walter Pandiani, Juan Valerón, Albert Luque and Fran. Pandiani and Valerón are still playing in their late 30s but Luque's career never recovered from the injury he sustained early on after a £9.5m transfer to Newcastle nor from the expectation given the size of the fee.. The teams are in. Give us a sec and I'll type them up.
And welcome to live coverage of Galatasaray v Real Madrid. This match here in the UK is on ITV. Two hours of prime time devoted to seeing whether Gala can overturn a first-leg three-goal deficit. I would have thought a re-run of That Beryl Marston… ! the most unenticingly titled show in the admittedly bleak history of ITV comedy would guarantee a much bigger audience. But who am I to quibble. You know the brother in the song? Jock? That's me that is, and you too. Fitba crazy. Fitba mad. The fitba it has taken away the wee bit o sense we ha' … We even call our wives Pat McGinty in our sleep.
Speaking of songs I was prompted by Jose Mourinho's assertion that Gala need a miracle ("They need a miracle but miracles happen in football. The history of football is full of miracles, why can they not dream of a miracle?) to compile a list of appropriately miraculous themes for tonight. But when I got as far as Simple Minds, Hot Chocolate, Culture Club, Eurythmics, Sinitta, Queen, Jon Bon Jovi, The Pasadenas, Curtis Stigers, Mike and the Mechanics and Sir Cliff "hal-o-wedddddd be thy name' Richard I thought I'd spare you the bother of finding knitting needles to gouge out your ear drums.
So what did we learn from the first leg? That some dubious refereeing cost Gala a pair of penalties, Real's artfulness at accruing convenient bookings is quite staggering to behold, Xabi Alonso can pass the ball as well as Günter Netzer and that José and Didier are sitting in a tree. K–I–S–S–I–N–G. And who can blame him after Drogba's goal at the weekend …