Turkish Football News

Galatasaray ease past Lokomotiv Moscow

Galatasaray start off well in Group D

The Lions started their Champions League campaign with an impressive victory over the Russians on Tuesday evening.

Galatasaray returned to the Champions League in style on Tuesday, beating Lokomotiv Moscow 3-0.

After missing the last two season of Europe’s elite club competition, the Turkish champions beat its Russian counterpart with high-tempo tactics and swift counterattacks in the Group D game.

Pacey winger Garry Rodrigues gave Galatasaray the lead in the ninth minute with a low hard shot from just outside the penalty area. In a stadium famously hostile to visiting teams, with the crowd roaring, Lokomotivgoalkeeper Guilherme got a hand on the ball, but couldn’t stop it.

Swiss international Eren Derdiyok doubled Galatasaray’s lead in the 67th minute when he curled a free kick around the Lokomotiv wall.

Badou Ndiaye, who’s on a season-long loan from Stoke City, was sent off in the 87th minute after being booked for the second time for a late tackle on Anton Miranchuk.

Legendary midfielder Selcuk Inan scored Galatasaray’s third from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Guilherme brought down Emre Akbaba on a counterattack. It was Galatasaray’s first home win over a Russian club and their first Champions League victory since beating Benfica in October 2015.

Lokomotiv is back in the Champions League group stage for the first time in 15 seasons. In the other Group D game, Porto and Schalke drew 1-1.

“We were probably too nervous in the beginning,” Lokomotiv left back Bryan Idowu said. “Their goals came out of nowhere. We managed to take the game under our control for some time but it didn’t last long.”

There were some positives for the Railwaymen, especially in the first half. Lokomotiv pressed Galatasaray high up the field and especially in the first half forced errors they tried to exploit with their smart set-piece routines. Lokomotiv’s costliest summer signing, forward Fyodor Smolov, was suspended for the game.

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