Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
NBCSports Header Logo

Highlights and context on Real Madrid’s easy day at their Champions League office


Real Madrid’s players celebrate after Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo scored during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg football match Real Madrid vs Galatasaray on April 3, 2013 at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. AFP PHOTO/ DANI POZO (Photo credit should read DANI POZO/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

If it’s a flashy goal -- an overhead kick; a bomb from distance; or some fancy run that leaves defenders staring vacant space -- we fawn over it for days. The virtues are obvious, but when the skills on display are more mundane -- precise play; a threaded ball; a gently lifted shot -- we clap in admiration and move on.

Not today. This goal deserves our attention, especially considering Real’s 3-0 victory will leave it overlooked.

A nice ball from Xabi Alonso finds Mesut Ozil cutting in front of the defense from the right. One touch to Karim Benzema, one touch back to Ozil, and the German playmaker has time to perfectly push a ball through a tight left channel for Cristiano Ronaldo. Fernando Muslera is in a no-win situation, with a sharp pass giving Ronaldo enough time to set up on his left and chip far post.

It’s not much that any part of that play was particularly remarkable. It was the precision, as if it were executed exactly as you’d draw it up. It was the mundane mastery of Ozil, and it was the preternatural ease of Ronaldo’s finish.

It was the perfect harbinger of an easy day at Real Madrid’s office.

Here are the day’s highlights, courtesy of FOX Soccer.