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Drogba leads Gala' night at Schalke

GALATASARAY, spearheaded by Didier Drogba, struck twice before half-time and survived a second-half barrage to oust Schalke 04, denying Germany a full house in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Galvanised by a superb swerving strike by Hamit Altintop against his old club, the Turks dominated the first half, held on for grim life in the second and snatched the last-16 second leg 3-2 with a stoppage time goal on the break against bewildered opponents.

Their 4-3 aggregate win justified their decision to splash out on big-name signings Wesley Sneijder and Drogba in January, while Schalke became the first German side to exit the Champions League proper this term.

Drogba, who missed a penalty in a league defeat against Genclerbirligi on Friday, was hugely influential on his favourite Champions League stage after his short stint in Chinese football.

Galatasaray's progression to the quarters for the first time since 2001 seemed unlikely when Roman Neustadter gave Schalke a 17th-minute lead.

It was wiped out by Altintop's effort in the 37th minute when he collected a free kick and scored with a 30-metre shot which swerved away from Timo Hildebrand and went in off the foot of the post. Burak Yilmaz then put Galatasaray ahead with a breakaway goal five minutes later, making him the competition's joint top-scorer with Cristiano Ronaldo on eight goals.

"We completely went to sleep in the first half," said Schalke 04 coach Jens Keller, whose team had been boosted by a 2-1 win over bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.


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