Europa League: Barça step back against Galatasaray

Galatasaray had not conceded a goal in Europe (they drew 0-0 in their visits to Marseille and Lazio and beat Lokomotiv Moscow 0-1) and it continues unbeaten after passing through the Camp Nou, old visitor cemetery. Barça is a Europa League team and suffered the same fate as those. It stayed dry and unmarked. The problem will be if next Thursday he is eliminated in Istanbul, just like the first victims of the Turkish team.

The draw returned Barça to the same situation as against Napoli: having to go through with a tie in the first leg

The step back that meant the draw returned Barça to the same situation as in the previous tie, when he traveled to Naples with the first leg 1-1. The mishap of playing it away from home will be the same as last month. He came out of that difficulty singing and revitalized.

Galatasaray’s last visit (2002-03) found Xavi on the bench, and the Egarense was still there, although not as a substitute but as coach, challenging Domènec Torrent in their respective and relatively brief careers as first. Shaking on the band, Xavi rummaged in his brain looking for ideas. He did not find them beyond trying and putting players, moving pieces from one side to another until finishing in the arms of Luuk de Jong to resolve a final attack that would alleviate what will once again be a disturbing exit to the continent.

Galatasaray had not conceded any goals away from home, they defended wonderfully and remain unbeaten.

Rest to the thirty

The fresh people that Xavi brought in to revitalize the team intended to give the thirtysomethings a night of rest that could not be completed. At the older of those affected (Pique, Busquets and Aubameyang) It was added that they are among the most charged of minutes. There is no one to relieve Alba, and he keeps running down the wing until he bursts, prouder than ever yesterday to enjoy the Barça captaincy in the center kick.

Xavi was forced to cut the holiday in half, given how bogged down the team was, in a cumbersome surgical intervention with three substitutions at half-time: he missed the start from behind and recovered Piqué; there was a lack of fluidity in the midfield and called Busquets; he was scarce the overflow in front and appealed to Dembélé; The miracle is missing and he trusted Luuk de Jong.

Xavi changed half the team and had to appeal to the veterans at the break.

In the hands of Araujo

Until then, Araujo built the game for Barça because Galatasaray wanted it that way, just as Elche wanted. They left the Uruguayan free for being the least fine in the touch, although he already dared a little more to advance dragging the ball, but without forcing a rival to jump him so that a teammate was free or sneaking a poisoned inside pass so needed yesterday.

It wasn’t just his fault: sometimes Nico blocked his space, other times Ferran it was not offered clearly enough for him to leave a midfielder in the face. When Araujo left, the one who was left free was Eric, more skillful with both legs and more daring to approach the visiting area.

Frenkie de Jong, who hit the post, was the midfielder before Busquets appeared.

markings on man

Frenkie de Jong, who finished off the post, was the midfielder before Busquets appeared, but he was annulled by the former Valencian player Feghouli -he greeted affectionately with Jordi Alba, since they coincided in Mestalla-, who marked the man. He tried to drag along with him so that this central space was used but there was no one free: Nico and Pedri were also accompanied by the two Turkish midfielders. Pedri is the one who had more imagination and more courage in approaching individual initiatives. That’s why he stayed in the field. He has the status of indispensable today.

Only from that perspective, from the imagination, could the order of the Galatasaray. Adama repeatedly proved it in constant challenges to Van Aanholt. As soon as the Dutchman turned him inside, denying him the favorite dribble outside, Adama ran out of resources and the attack stalled.

Not a successful striker

It was a serious matter, because there was no news about the other strikers, Ferran drowned in the center and Memphis was not very artisanal, author, however, of the only two Barça shots in the first half. Ferran started in the center and Memphis in the band, they exchanged positions and the sluggishness persisted. Aubameyang had to enter. With Dembélé, the factor of unpredictability increased, a kind of lottery that did not even give the refund last night.

Nobody altered the extraordinary serenity of Galatasaray’s defense, as if excursions to European competition relaxed the team, distressed in the League (it is 12th) for having the moral obligation to show the initiative of the game and poised when it goes away from Turkey . Back home, he faces a major challenge. Similar to Barça, which was restoring its prestige.


barca: Ter Stegen (6); Dest (6), Araujo (5), Eric (6), Alba (5); Nico (4), F. de Jong (5), Pedri (6); Adama (6), Ferran (4), Memphis (5).

Technical: Xavi Hernandez (5).

Changes: Piqué (6) by Araujo (m. 46); Busquets (6) by Nico (m. 46); Dembélé (5) by Ferran (m. 46); Aubameyang (4) for Memphis (m. 60); L. de Jong (sc) by Adama (d. 80).

Galatasaray: Inaki Pena (9); Boey (6), Nelsson (7), Marcao (6), Van Aanholt (5); Antalyali (5), Kutlu (6); Babel (4), Feghouli (7), Akturkoglu (8); Muhammad (4).

Technical: Domènec Torrent (7).

Changes: Gomis (6) by Mohamed (d. 68); Kilinç (5) for Babel (d. 68); Cicaldau (sc) by Feghouli (d. 78); Yilmaz (sc) by Aktürkoglu (d. 92).

goals: There was not.

Referee: Benoit Bastien (6), French.

cards: Kutlu (d. 30), Memphis (d. 35), Antalyali (d. 76), Alba (d. 88).

Stadium: CampNou.

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spectators: 61,740.

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