Cristiano Ronaldo admits Real Madrid almost allowed Champions League tie with Galatasaray to 'get out of hand'

Spanish side move into last four despite defeat in Turkey

Real Madrid reached the Champions League semi-finals for the third straight season last night despite losing 3-2 to Galatasaray following a second-half resurgence by the Turkish team.

Madrid needed a double from Cristiano Ronaldo to advance 5-3 on aggregate, but only after conceding three goals in a 16-minute span to raise Galatasaray's hopes of pulling off what would have been a remarkable comeback.

Ronaldo looked to have wrapped up the quarterfinal series by scoring in the seventh minute for a 4-0 overall lead, requiring Galatasaray to score at least five goals to advance.
The Portugal forward scored again in stoppage time for his 48th goal - including a competition-high 11 in the Champions League - in 47 matches this season. But only after Galatasaray came alive following Emmanuel Eboue's 57th-minute leveler.

Galatasaray forward Wesley Sneijder scored in the 71st, before Didier Drogba added another goal a minute later. Both previously played under Madrid coach Jose Mourinho - Sneijder at Inter Milan, Drogba at Chelsea.

Madrid was hanging on at this stage as the crowd, whipped up into a fervor, urged Galatasaray on.

"During a few minutes, the tie was open when it shouldn't have been after we had gone ahead," said Mourinho. "But when they play with this passion, and not just with 11 but with 50,000, anything is possible."

Madrid right back Alvaro Arbeloa was sent off in injury time after being booked twice.

Also on Tuesday, Borussia Dortmund beat Malaga 3-2 to win their quarterfinal.

It will be Madrid's 24th semifinal appearance in Europe's top-tier club competition, although the team has been eliminated at that stage the past two years. It will be the fourth straight year Mourinho has reached the final four, having led Inter to the title in 2010.

Madrid completely dominated the match until Eboue's equalizer, which awakened Galatasaray's attack and transformed the match from a placid stroll to a frantic contest largely staged in Madrid's last third.

"We're happy for the classification, mission complete," Ronaldo said. "This match will serve as an example for us in the future. In football you cannot just give chances away. It was our own fault that the game almost got out of hand."

Ronaldo opened last week's first leg with a goal in the ninth minute to set Madrid on course, and he bettered that by two minutes Tuesday as the nine-time winners search for their first European Cup since 2002.

Making a tough challenge even more difficult, Galatasaray was without suspended top-scorer Burak Yilmaz, responsible for eight of the team's 11 goals in the tournament. But after a tepid first half, veterans Sneijder and Drogba proved they were worth their winter signings.

Madrid is feared for its deadly pace and firepower on the break, but its opening goal was a product of a passing combination, helped by Galatasaray's porous defense.

Ronaldo slipped along the six yard box, just staying onside to expertly redirect Sami Khedira's cross into the far side of the net with his right foot after Mesut Oezil had played his fellow Germany midfielder clear on the side.

Ronaldo almost set up a second goal in the 24th when his nifty back-heeled pass left Angel Di Maria unmarked in the area, only for goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to palm the rising shot and send it high and wide.

Ronaldo looked sure to double Madrid's advantage in the 57th but uncharacteristically stumbled and sent Di Maria's pass by the post with Muslera beaten.

Seconds later, Eboue equalized with a blistering blast from the edge of the area into the top corner of the net following a pass by Sneijder.

The goal ignited the crowd and Madrid's nerves started fraying. Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao came close to gifting Sneijder a goal when his poor clearance across his own area gave the Netherlands midfielder a golden chance, but he angled his strike wide.

Sneijder made up for his miss with a beautiful touch to tap a pass beyond Raphael Varane, rounding the defender before slotting the ball home.

Drogba, who had until then been little trouble for Madrid's defense, expertly flicked in Nordin Amrabat's low cross with the back of his right heel while facing away from goal and fending off Varane to send the home fans wild.

"Our halftime team talk was on the desire not to lose the game and this brought the victory," Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim said. "After the third goal, we started to dream about the semifinals."

Galatasaray pushed for another goal - needing two more at that time due to Madrid's away goal - but the visitors soaked up the pressure.

Ronaldo polished off his team's qualification to the next round three minutes into injury time by converting substitute Karim Benzema's pass.

"Maybe we could not knock Real Madrid out of the competition but I think we deserve the respect of the whole world," Terim said. "We need to keep our heads high."

AP

Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin