Galatasaray 1-2 FC Barcelona: Comeback in Istanbul

Galatasaray 1-2 FC Barcelona: Comeback in Istanbul

Goals from Pedri and Aubameyang cancel out the home side’s opener and earn a place in the last eight of the Europa League

FC Barcelona produced the performance they needed to march into the quarter finals of the Europa League on the back of a 2-1 victory in Istanbul, comeback included.

Galatasaray once again looked anything like a side struggling in mid-table in the Turkish league. They put up a tremendous fight and even took the lead on 28 minutes.


But Barça brilliantly weathered everything else that the home side threw at them and produced some beautiful football of their own to eventually clinch victory and ensure their name will be among the eight in Friday’s draw.


Turks ahead

The atmosphere at the old Ali Sami Yen was legendary, but clearly nothing has changed now that Galatasaray play at the NEF Stadyumu. It’s infectious. Right from the start, this was game that oozed passion.

Gala may have sat back and defended at Camp Nou, but today they took a far more proactive attitude. They were troubling Barça from the start, and a fabulous block from Jordi Alba prevented Gomis from putting the Turks ahead. But on 28 minutes the home side did draw first blood, captain Marcao diving to meet a corner and heading the Turks into the lead.


Pedri and Auba swing it around

But this was a game of end-to-end drama. Barça were creating chances too, the best driven just wide by Frenkie de Jong, but the Catalans didn’t take long to find an answer to Galatasaray’s goal.

Pedri dodged and shimmied his way through a minefield of Turkish defenders until he found the right spot to pop the ball past Iñaki Peña and level things at 1-1.

But there’s away goals rule in Europe any more. There was still work to so.

Moments after the interval, Barça could breathe even more easily. Hard lines to Iñaki Peña, who made two brilliant saves in quick succession, one off Sergio Busquets and the other off Pedri, but the ball was still in play and was eventually plopped onto Aubameyang’s head by Frenkie and the Gabonese striker did the rest.


Turkish delight

Barça led, and were enjoying two thirds of the possession, but were still not entirely uncomfortable. The home side were giving it 110% as they chased every ball and weren’t shy of getting physical when they needed to.

Galatasaray were adamant that they were going to use up every drop they had left in the tank, and there were moments when the excitement on the terraces started spilling onto the pitch…

The Barça defence made sure their final passes never found their mark, while also creating a series of late chances of their own.

Their character shone though, and it’s all smiles on the flight back home to start preparing for another huge game – Sunday is El Clásico day!

Força Barça
Força Barça

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