Real Madrid clobbers Galatasaray 3-0

Madrid, Apr 3 (EFE).- Real Madrid looks set to advance to the Champions League semifinals for the third year in a row after beating an inferior Galatasaray 3-0 here Wednesday in the first leg of their quarterfinal showdown.

In fact, only a few errant shots and some uneven play kept the Blancos from building up a big enough advantage to make next week's second leg in Istanbul a mere formality.

But even the 3-0 deficit may be too high a hill to climb for the Turkish side, which will be without top scorer Burak Yilmaz, suspended after a receiving a second yellow card in the waning minutes of Wednesday's match.

Galatasaray's offensive-minded approach created openings for the home team, which exploited one such chance to take a 1-0 lead in the 9th minute with a goal by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Didier Drogba blew an opportunity to equalize a few minutes later when he sent a shot sailing over Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

The visitors continued to press and their recklessness set up a second goal for the Blancos, fired in by Karim Benzema at the 29-minute mark.

The final blow for Galatasaray came in the 89th minute as Gonzalo Higuain headed-in Xabi Alonso's free kick to make it 3-0.

Champions League newcomer Malaga could manage only a 0-0 draw at home against Borussia Dortmund in Wednesday's other quarterfinal action.

The German side had the better chances and would likely have come away with a victory but for the heroics of Malaga keeper Willy Caballero.