BARCELONA failed to take advantage of the host status when they faced Galatasary in the first leg of the Europa League last 16, Friday (11/3) early morning WIB. Playing dominant throughout the match, Xavi Hernandez’s squad was only able to play a goalless draw.
Barcelona dominated the game with 68% possession. However, the hosts only recorded four shots on target during 2×45 minutes.
This result puts Barcelona under pressure when playing the second leg of the Europa League last 16 at home to Galatasaray on Friday (18/3) early morning WIB. Xavi hopes for a miracle so his team can qualify for the quarter-finals.
Blaugrana should be able to repeat the appearance when eliminating Napoli in the playoffs. Had a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou, Barcelona rose and won 4-2 at home to Napoli.
“It happened to us (against) Napoli and now we will take the same risk in Turkey,” said Xavi Hernandez.
Xavi thinks this result proves that the Europa League is a difficult competition. However, he remains optimistic about welcoming the second leg next week.
“However, I said yesterday. This is the Europa League and the rivals are here with their advantage. It’s a tough and quality competition and we have to be humble in our work,” Xavi said.
Galatasaray coach Domenec Torrent is pleased with the result against Barcelona. Torrent, who was an assistant coach for Barcelona, said his team was ready to welcome Barcelona to Galatsaray in the second leg.
“Xavi is a friend of mine. I told him after the game that we were looking forward to hosting them in Istanbul. Tonight we were physically strong, we improved as a team,” Torrent said. (UEFA/OL-13)
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