Real Madrid beats Galatasaray 3-0 in Champs League

Associated Press
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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal, top left, is challenged by Galatasaray's Semih Kaya, right, during the Champions League quarterfinal first leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Galatasaray at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

MADRID (AP) — With a dominant display, Real Madrid put itself in prime position to reach the Champions League semifinals.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored nine minutes in, and Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain added goals in a 3-0 win over Galatasaray on Wednesday night in the first leg of their quarterfinal.

Ronaldo put the nine-time champions ahead with when he split defenders Emmanuel Eboue and Semih Kaya, ran onto a perfectly weighted through-pass from Mesut Oezil and chipped goalkeeper Fernando Muslera with a left-footed shot from 10 yards. Ronaldo has 45 goals this season, including a Champions League-leading nine.

Benzema doubled the lead in the 29th with a right-footed shot from 8 yards after Michael Essien's cross went over Eboue and landed at Benzema's feet.

Higuain replaced Benzema in the 65th and scored Madrid's third goal eight minutes later on a 7-yard header on Xabi Alonso's free kick.

Galatasaray, led by Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder, faces a tough tak in the second leg of the total-goal series Tuesday in Turkey.

"If we score a goal, they will have to score five. But in football I have seen so many incredible things, nothing can surprise me," Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said. "Istanbul is a very difficult place to play. They will fight very hard against us. The story of football is full of miracles, and I will try and convince my players that it's not all over yet."

Alonso and Sergio Ramos will be suspended for the second leg for yellow-card accumulation.

"Of course 3-0 is a bad result," Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim said, criticizing Norwegian referee Svein Oddvar Moen. "The referee did not dare give a couple of penalties against us. We had our chances, too, but we failed to convert them."

In Wednesday's other game, Malaga was help to a 0-0 tie by visiting Borussia Dortmund. In Tuesday's games, Barcelona tied 2-2 at Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich won 2-0 at home against Juventus.