Galatasaray didn’t begin their 2013/14 Champions League run in particularly auspicious fashion, suffering a 6-1 drubbing by Real Madrid in front of a frustrated home crowd at the Turk Telekom Arena.
But the result didn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Fatih Terim’s men outplayed Carlo Ancelotti’s in the first half, enjoying greater possession and territory, and it wasn’t until Isco’s breakthrough goal that things began to take a turn for the worse.
Apart from an Umut Bulut consolation, the hosts crumbled in the second half. The score quickly escalated as Karim Benzema netted a double and Cristiano Ronaldo completed a hat-trick with apparent ease.
It was a result that perhaps put the nail in the coffin on Terim’s tenure as Galatasaray boss, because the side which arrived in Turin to take on the Bianconeri on the next Group B matchday was led by new manager Roberto Mancini.
Just one day after linking up with the Italian for the first time, the Turks emerged from Juventus Stadium with a point thanks to an early strike from Didier Drogba and a last-minute one from Bulut that meant the game ended all square at 2-2.
The double-header with FC Copenhagen that followed produced mixed fortunes. Mancini was all smiles as his side strolled to a 3-1 home win, predominantly the fruits of a ruthless first-half that saw ex-Juve man Felipe Melo, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba all get on the scoresheet before the break.
But the Danes, having thwarted Juventus’ attacking onslaught at Parken Stadium in their first Champions League game, once again proved difficult opponents on home turf as they then triumphed 1-0.
The Turks’ most recent Champions League result was another defeat, 4-1 this time around away at Real Madrid. Bulut was again the scorer against Ancelotti’s men, but Gareth Bale equalised and the hosts at the Bernabeu then ran away with it despite Sergio Ramos’ sending off.
The win, draw and three losses currently leave Galatasaray in third position in the Group B table with four points.