Istanbul welcomes Barcelona: Galatasaray vs Barcelona UEL RO 16 2nd leg

Europa League trophy

The second legs of the UEFA Europa League kick-off on Thursday night, with tournament favourites Barcelona heading to the NEF Stadium to face Turkish giants Galatasaray. Barcelona will look to take a step towards the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League when they face Galatasaray in the second leg of the round of 16. On Thursday, Galatasaray will play Barcelona in a crowded stadium. I didn’t expect Barcelona to score four times against Galatasaray as they did against Napoli, and the Turkish team’s fantastic defence in the first leg is to blame for that. 

Barcelona has previously faced Galatasaray eight times in Europe (W5 D2 L1, winning Barcelona’s last three matches). Barcelona has lost just two of their last 35 home games (W25 D8) in the round of 16 European majors (W25 D8). Barcelona is in the Europa League for the first time in almost 18 years. They finished third after that they had to resign from the Champions League group stage.

Barcelona endured a disappointing night at the Camp Nou when Turkish giants Galatasaray called off a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Europa League. Barcelona failed to score for the first time in 17 games and had to settle for a crushing home draw to Galatasaray in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday. Barcelona couldn’t find a way to get past Turkish giants Galatasaray’s tenacious defence that night, despite the former Spain international setting up his big shots in the second period. Now Barcelona will have to win in Turkey to reach the quarter-finals.

Not a single goal in the first 45 minutes at the Camp Nou with Memphis Depay’s two chances pose the biggest threat to the hosts, with Turkish giants Galatasaray threatening in a counterattack. Barcelona started the first half as the best team, but Galatasaray defended well and eventually improved. Barcelona had a lot of ball possession at the beginning of the first half, but Galatasaray supports it very well. Barcelona have a lot of ball in Galatasaray’s half, but every time Barcelona got close to Galatasaray’s zone, Marcos seemed to show up.

Galatasaray have never won at the Camp Nou against Barcelona and only once escaped defeat. After a comfortable win over Osasuna to continue their Liga winning streak, Barcelona is back in action for some European action on Thursday night as they visit the Turkish giants Galatasaray to the most fantastic stadium in Turkey for their Europe’s second leg.

A 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou against the fiery Barcelona under Domenec Torrent gives Galatasaray a lot of confidence ahead of the second leg, where the atmosphere is crazy in Istanbul. The last game before the break is El Clasico, and it will take place three days after a long trip to Turkey for the second leg of the European Championship against Galatasaray. Let’s see how Barca will handle this. 

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Author: Vishal Patra