Sparkling first-half show gives Galatasaray convincing 3-1 win in CL

Sparkling first-half show gives Galatasaray convincing 3-1 win in CL

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Sparkling first-half show gives Galatasaray convincing 3-1 win in CL

Galatasaray's Didier Drogba (C) celebrates scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen on Oct. 23 in Istanbul. AFP photo

Galatasaray earned its much-needed first Champions League victory this season by crushing FC Copenhagen 3-1 with a dominant display of football at Türk Telekom Arena in Istanbul on Oct. 23.

Goals from Felipe Melo, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba sealed the game in the first half. The Danes reduced the deficit in the 88th minute by Claudemir.

With leader Real beating Juventus 2-1 to take its points tally to nine, Galatasaray jumped to second spot, pursuing their progression to shake off the shock 6-1 Real Madrid defeat of the first week, with 4 points.

After having dropped two points at home against Galatasaray, Juventus lost 2-1 in Madrid and sit third with 2 points.

Galatasaray will next visit Copenhagen, which has one point, and Juventus will host Real Madrid in the group.

With a gung-ho start Galatasaray besieged their rivals’ area from minute one and managed to find an early goal when Melo unleashed a merciless header in a cross from defender Dany Nounkeou. The Brazilian signed his first Champions League goal to stage his trademark “pit-bull” celebration for the first time in the European elite.

Sneijder and Emmanuel Eboue - Galatasaray’s two of the most heavily criticized players so far this season – combined to double the score in the 38th minute as the Dutchman skillfully sent the Ivorian’s brilliant assist into the net.

Emmanuel Eboue dishes out two assists

The veteran Drogba found the back of the net on yet another assist from Eboue in the 45th minute bringing the curtain down on a one-way first-half.

Eboue, who finished the game with a brace of assists, was happy about his individual performance, but happier with the win.

“I provided two assists in this match but it’s all about the team,” he was quoted as saying on “I am happy that we won. I congratulate all of my team-mates. We really enjoyed this match and played very well.”

FC Copenhagen captain Lars Jacobsen admitted that they were done by in the first half.

“The match was more or less decided at half-time,” he said. “They scored three fine goals, where they outplayed us completely.”

Solbakken began the second half with a double substitution, introducing Fanendo Adi and Christián Bolaños for Igor Vetokele and Rúrik Gíslason. The changes helped FCK to gain more possession, though little changed in terms of creating opportunities. For their part, Galatasaray slowed down the pace of the game, given their hefty advantage.

The Istanbul outfit could nonetheless have increased the margin of victory had Burak Yılmaz been a little more accurate in his finishing. He wasted two clear chances within the first 20 minutes of the second period, meaning the forward’s goal drought now spans seven matches. København did eventually pull one back two minutes from time through Brazilian Claudemir following his quick one-two with Nicolai Jørgensen and Youssef Toutouh.