Galatasaray AŞ registered their first victory in this season’s UEFA Champions League after comfortably beating FC København 3-1 at Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi tonight.
The damage was done during a powerful first-half display by Roberto Mancini’s team, bookended by goals from Felipe Melo and Didier Drogba which sandwiched a Wesley Sneijder strike. Claudemir’s 88th-minute effort was little consolation to the Danish champions. With Real Madrid CF seeing off Juventus elsewhere, the Turkish title holders climbed from bottom to second position in the Group B table.
In Mancini’s first UEFA Champions League home game with the club, Galatasaray got the attacking approach – and resulting goals – needed to keep their knockout stage hopes alive. Following the 6-1 home defeat by Madrid on matchday one and ensuing 2-2 draw with Juventus in Turin, three points here were a major requirement for the hosts.
In accordance with Mancini’s positive selection, Galatasaray started the game pressing Ståle Solbakken’s team high and hard, consigning them to their own half. Their reward came ten minutes into the contest when Felipe Melo, sliding free from his marker, headed Dany Nounkeu’s right-wing cross past Johan Wiland.
Despite falling behind, København did not compromise their disciplined style and created danger inside the Cim Bom penalty box from corners. Yet while the visitors were searching for the equaliser, Galatasaray doubled the lead on 38 minutes. Sneijder applied the quick finish after receiving a pass from Emmanuel Eboué who had carried the ball from the halfway line. Eboué, an influence throughout the opening period with his runs into the opposition area, then assisted Ivorian compatriot Drogba for Galatasaray’s third goal on the stroke of half-time.
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 midfielder Claudemir following his quick one-two with Nicolai Jørgensen and Youssef Toutouh.