Champions League news

Drogba: Real taught Galatasaray a lesson

April 4, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Didier Drogba said Galatasaray had been taught "a good lesson" by Real Madrid after the Turkish side were all but eliminated from the Champions League.

Champions League
AssociatedDrogba: Left Chelsea last summer for pastures new

• Blog: Gala play into Real's hands
• Blog: Brave but outplayed

Next Tuesday's second leg in Istanbul is still to be played, but Fatih Terim's men appear likely to go no further after a 3-0 defeat in the Spanish capital. Drogba, 35, was powerless as goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain eased Madrid to within touching distance of a record 24th semi-final appearance in the competition.

"We're not at their level, but I think it's a lack of experience more than anything else," Drogba told beIN Sport. "We're learning, we're a young team. There are things that need improving.

"It's a good lesson, and one we have to show we've learned well in the return leg. We wanted to contain Madrid, but we could have done it in a different way, with more audacity and aggression. We could have caused them problems as we had chances, but that's the way it is."

Though he looked in excellent physical shape despite only returning to Europe in January, Drogba was all but shackled by the Madrid back four, who had the advantage of the insight of coach Jose Mourinho, the Ivorian forward's mentor at Chelsea.

"In [Drogba's] first challenge, he made a chance, and we had to watch him after that, because - physically - he's very strong," Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane told beIN Sport. "You have to know how to handle him, and it's not easy. You have to step in at the right moment against him. Mourinho had told us about how he uses his body. You mustn't dive in."