Galatasaray 3-2 Real Madrid: Rating Both Sets of Players
Real Madrid survived a late scare to see off Galatasaray and advance to the next round of Champions League action. Though the bulk of the players for the Spanish side underperformed, they will still be among the last four standing in Europe.
Despite being knocked out of the competition, Galatasaray was able to score an unbelievable three goals. The home side showed heart and a bit of attitude.
The argument could even be made that they outplayed their Spanish rivals.
It was clear that Real Madrid felt as though they had already advanced, but many will still be surprised by just how well Galatasaray handled the Spanish giants.
With that being said, we will now take a look at the player ratings for both sides of the thrilling Champions League clash.
The rating system can be found below:
2—No production whatsoever
3—Very little production
4—Worse than average
8—Very high production
9—Nearly perfect performance
All statistics are courtesy of WhoScored.com.
Diego Lopez: 6/10
The Real Madrid keeper did not have much to contend with for the majority of the game. He made three strong saves and even claimed a dangerous cross.
But allowing three goals will not go unnoticed.
Nestor Muslera: 5/10
Muslera is a very underrated keeper, but on this night he just did not bring his best game. Both goals that were conceded should have been stopped, and the Galatasaray keeper only made two saves on the night
The Galatasaray Defenders
Albert Riera: 7/10
Galatasaray’s left-back did a good job of keeping Angel Di Maria at bay. He was also instrumental around the box. He won every header on the night and made a couple of key stops when Real Madrid was on the break.
Semih Kaya: 5.5/10
Kaya had a very lackluster night.
He struggled to keep up with the Real Madrid attackers in the box. And his one tackle on the night surely did not make up for losing every header he challenged.
Gokhan Zan: 6/10
The 31-year-old defender faired better than his center-back counterpart, but was still severely lacking in the box. He won every aerial duel and made a very important save, but his lack of pace nearly made him a liability.
Emmanuel Eboue: 8/10
The veteran right-back showed that he can still perform at a very high level when he netted Galatasaray’s first goal of the night. His two tackles stopped key attacks, but four fouls really hurt his club.
The Real Madrid Defenders
Michael Essien: 6/10
Slotted as a right-back, Essien gave some important muscle to the Madrid defense. He kept Riera from attacking the flank, but left early with an injury.
The Portuguese defender continued to show that he is struggling lately. He only made one tackle on the night and did not compete for any headers. His pace was severely lacking and Galatasaray took advantage.
Raphael Varane: 6/10
Though the youngster has made a name for himself of late, this was not his night. The French defender did not make a single tackle. He was also beaten fairly easily on multiple occasions, including the chance that led to Galatasaray’s second goal.
Fabio Coentrao: 6/10
Coentrao needed a big game to cement his starting role with Marcelo looking strong lately. The left-back did not disappoint, but he did not excite either.
He only made one strong tackle and cost Madrid a goal late.
The Galatasaray Midfielders
Selcuk Inan: 7.5/10
The midfielder was invaluable in the middle of the pitch, making four very important tackles to win the ball back. Inan also provided cover on the flank and relatively eliminate play on his side of the field.
Felipe Melo: 7/10
Melo was yet again a rock in the middle of the Turkish midfield.
He broke up countless counterattacks and was a force outside of the box. He could have contributed more in the final third, but his defense more than made up for it.
Hamit Altintop: 5.5/10
Though his partners in the midfield showed up in a big way, Altintop certainly did not. Altintop did not connect with the forwards at all and failed to make a single tackle or key pass.
The Real Madrid Midfielders
Sami Khedira: 7.5/10
The German midfielder had more pressure on him than usual with the absence of Xabi Alonso. But Khedira did well to control the midfield on the defense end and opened up the game with a brilliant assist to Ronaldo.
Luka Modric: 7/10
Modric again appeared to be uncomfortable in place of Alonso. Though he won four dribbles, his offensive game was not quite there.
But the Croatian did play very well when he opted to sit back alongside Khedira.
Mesut Ozil: 5.5/10
After several very impressive showings lately, the German playmaker failed to make a real impact in Turkey. He was relatively invisible in the middle of the pitch and the attack suffered due to his absence.
The Galatasaray Forwards
Didier Drogba: 8/10
The former Chelsea man was absolutely everywhere on the night.
He got the better of the Real Madrid defense, including a very good goal. But he did not get enough service to do the damage that it seemed like he was capable of.
Wesley Sneijder: 8.5/10
The Dutch midfielder showed glimpses of his former days at Inter with his impressive play in Turkey. He finished the night with a goal and an assist to his name.
But it was his presence above all else that gave the Madrid defense a nightmare.
Umut Bulut: 6/10
With so much attention on Drogba, Bulut had the perfect chance to surprise the defense. But the striker did not bring his boots on the night and was the glaring weakness in the Turkish attack.
The Real Madrid Forwards
Angel Di Maria: 7/10
The Argentine was kept rather quiet for the majority of the match, but he did contribute well on the defensive end. His speed made him a threat and opened up lanes for his teammates.
Though Di Maria only boasted a 73 percent passing rating, his three tackles were key.
Gonzalo Higuain: 6.5/10
Pipita has been on form in recent matches, but did not bring his best to Turkey. While he did link up well with Ronaldo and the other attackers, Higuain just did not pose much of a threat on the night.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 9/10 and Man of the Match
Cristiano Ronaldo did what Cristiano Ronaldo does best: silence everyone.
His two goals will be the highlight of the night for Real Madrid, but it was his ability to do everything without much help that showed just how good the striker really is.
The Galatasaray Substitutes
Nordin Amrabat: 7/10
Amrabat was a breath of fresh air when he came on in the second half. His assist made Galatasaray believe they could pull off the upset and his tackles kept them in the game late.
Johan Elmander: 4/10
The Swede was brought on very late in an attempt to pull off the upset, but contributed very little.
Sabri Sarioglu: 6.5/10
Sarioglu instantly changed the game for Galatasaray when he entered the game. His assist was vital and his fresh legs exciting.
But one would think that he should have been brought on earlier.
The Real Madrid Substitutes
Alvaro Arbeloa: 4/10
After Arbeloa was brought on to replace the injured Michael Essien it was clear why he is a substitute. The Spaniard was a step behind everyone and his red card late in the match capped off a terrible night for the defender.
Essien's absence in the next round could prove disastrous.
Karim Benzema: 6.5/10
Benzema set up Ronaldo’s second goal of the night and in turn stomped out any thought of a comeback. Other than that the French forward did very little.
But he did not play badly.
Raul Albiol: 5/10
Albio had very little time to contribute as he was brought on late in the game.
How would you rate the players on the night? Who is your man of the match? Will Arbeloa's red card haunt Real Madrid?
Leave your thoughts and comments below.
Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on Real Madrid and the Champions League.