Galatasaray vs. Real Madrid: 6 Things We Learned
There are few things in life that Real Madrid and club president Florentino Perez like more than an attention-grabbing, table-thumping scoreline to make the world take notice. The Spanish club managed this and then some with the remarkable 6-1 thrashing of Galatasaray in a Champions League group opener in Turkey.
It was a very timely win to appease fans, who were perhaps a little disgruntled at what had been a little flat start to the league campaign—Madrid are already trailing Barcelona by two points at the top of the table after just four games.
Here’s a few talking points for the supporters to chew over the morning after the match.
6. The scarier the mosaic, the worse the team
Of course, this is only a wild generalisation, but when home supporters are urged to unfold banners featuring tough unruly types brandishing swords ahead of big games, it is a pretty clear indication that the home team are not much cop. Properly scary teams and atmospheres do not need gimmicks to advertise this whole “Ooh, beware!” narrative.
It is the football crowd equivalent of wearing a T-shirt with the motto “I like drinking and shagging, me.” Clearly, only one of those pursuits is actually taking place with the owner.
5. Real Madrid are already ahead of the curve
When calculating the points expected to be picked up in Madrid’s Champions League group, Carlo Ancelotti must have hoped for one at best in this particular clash. Galatasaray are normally more than a little flaky away from home, but quite competent at home.
To come away with three points and in such a commanding fashion, too, would have been above and beyond any expectations for the Italian boss.
The 6-1 win and two dropped points of Juventus against Copenhagen give Madrid a little bit of breathing space in the doubleheader against the Serie A side, the true battle of which side will come out of the group on top.
4. Everything might go a little over the top in Madrid
The Madrid press tend to get very excited indeed at the start of every Champions League campaign. The mantra tends to be that this time, this time, this time, the club has the players to lift the club’s 10th big European title.
It is hard to imagine what the praise, and therefore pressure, will be like on Wednesday morning after that result which saw a rampant Real Madrid taking advantage of a somewhat clumsy Galatasaray.
The lesson is to enjoy the result for what it is but not get too excited about the chances of winning the Champions League again. That usually doesn't go well.
3. A timely brace for Karim Benzema
Booing the Frenchman is a fun pastime for Real Madrid fans in the Santiago Bernabeu, even if the striker scores. Benzema has a reputation for being a lazy bum in and around the box, especially in comparison with the industrious Gonzalo Higuain, who's now at Napoli. This feeling was cemented further with a hapless display against Villarreal at the weekend.
Benzema needed a big performance against Galatasaray to make the reception a little easier in Sunday’s home clash with Getafe, and that is exactly what the striker pulled off with a brace.
Now the challenge for Benzema is to keep the goals flowing to keep the fans at bay.
2. Life is not so hot for Iker Casillas
Maybe the Real Madrid captain keeps on nicking the last of the coffee without refilling the pot and teammates are getting payback? Maybe Casillas is suffering an almighty dose of cosmic karma for lifting the World Cup and looking mighty fine with stubble?
Being injured by one teammate is unfortunate enough, as happened with Alvaro Arbeloa last January in the Copa del Rey, a boot to the hand that pushed Jose Mourinho into bringing in Diego Lopez.
But being put out of action after just 10 minutes by a very early but sharp elbow to the ribs from Sergio Ramos is ridiculously unlucky.
That was bad enough, but the Champions League and the Copa del Rey are set to be the only competitions that Casillas is going to be playing in this season, with Lopez now the top goalkeeping dog in the team.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo is still pretty good
So that is now 206 goals in 204 official games for Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished off a hat-trick against Galatasaray with a ridiculously good effort.
There is not much more to be said about the imperious Portuguese poacher, aside from the fact that if the footballer sees out the rest of his career at Real Madrid, Ronaldo will be the greatest player in the club’s history.
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