Barcelona held by Galatasaray at Camp Nou

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Barcelona held by Galatasaray at Camp Nou

Barcelona were held to a pallid, goalless draw by Galatasaray in the first leg of their round-of-16 match at the Camp Nou.

It was the first time in 19 games that Barcelona did not manage to score at least once during the reign of their new manager Xavi Hernandez.

Despite dominating possession in the first half against the Turkish side, Barcelona remained unable to break through the opposition defense and the score remained level at 0-0 at the break.

Their dull performance was quickly becoming reminiscent of their recent struggles in La Liga.

It was not for the lack of trying though as Barcelona rained shots on Galatasaray with 14 goal attempts against three from the visitors. The irony for the Catalans here was that they were constantly denied by a fine effort from 23-year-old Spanish goalkeeper Inaki Pena who was playing for Galatasaray on loan from Barcelona.

Ousmane Dembele skied a powerful shot from distance over the bar as the second half wore on and Frenkie de Jong hit the post shortly after as Barcelona looked for a winner that would not come.

Galatasaray also made good chances for themselves. Winger Kerem Akturkoglu was a constant threat to the Barca defense with his pace and range of skills. Galatasaray looked to have grabbed the lead against the run of play through Bafetimbi Gomis in the 78th minute, but he was judged to be offsides and the goal was disallowed as Barcelona Galatasaray ended in a stalemate.

The two teams will meet again in Turkey on March 17 for the decisive second leg and a spot in the semifinals.

Xavi Hernandez’s side reached the last-16 with a decisive 4-2 win over Napoli in their playoff round second leg to seal a 5-3 aggregate victory.

 

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