Real Madrid beats Galatasaray 6-1 in Champs League
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as a dominant Real Madrid started its Champions League campaign by crushing Galatasaray 6-1 on Tuesday.
Gareth Bale, the world's most expensive footballer, made his Champions League debut for Madrid in the second half of a physical Group B match that saw goalkeeper Iker Casillas replaced by Diego Lopez due to injury. Captain Casillas had not started a match for Madrid since breaking a bone in his hand 238 days ago.
Francisco "Isco'' Alarcon opened the scoring after 33 minutes and Karim Benzema went on to strike twice during a second half in which Ronaldo was unstoppable.
Umut Bulut scored a late consolation goal for Galatasaray.
The first shot on target of the match came in the third minute when Casillas was forced to tip Felipe Melo's powerful shot around the post.
Eight minutes later Madrid's `keeper had to come off in visible discomfort after defender Sergio Ramos crashed into him during a defensive move. Casillas returned to the field after being heavily bandaged around his ribcage, but three minutes later he was substituted by Lopez.
Lopez was soon in action when he had to save a close range shot by Melo in the 17th after Ramos had been penalized for a foul on Didier Drogba.
Isco scored the opener after skillfully controlling a long pass from Di Maria and firing his shot in off the post.
Madrid defender Pepe crashed into the back of Drogba just before halftime and the forward left the field clutching his left shoulder in pain. Nordin Amrabat came on for Drogba after the break.
Benzema scored his first after racing forward from midfield and collecting a pass from Di Maria before sending a low shot into the net in the 54th minute.
Ronaldo found the net from close range in the 63rd minute after a goalmouth scramble - just before Bale came on for Isco. Bale promptly sent in a free kick two minutes later which Ramos met with a header that keeper Muslera failed to hold - allowing Ronaldo to pounce on the rebound.
In a hectic ending, Benzema score his second from an assist by Ronaldo in the 81st, Bulut skilfully side-footed Amrabat's long cross past Lopez in the 84th and Ronaldo rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.