Barcelona – Galatasaray: Barcelona frustratingly held to a goalless draw (0-0)
Barcelona continued their Europa League campaign by hosting Group E winners Galatasaray in the Round of Sixteen, with the two sides meeting for the first time in almost twenty years, with each of their previous six matches coming in the Champions League’s group stage. In spite of being the dominant side in the match, the hosts failed to trouble the scorekeepers and had to settle for a goalless draw.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
Xavi-ball has taken full effect as Barcelona of late as the Catalan club had been unbeaten in their last eight fixtures with six wins and two draws - their longest run of matches without defeat in all competitions this season. Having been eliminated from both domestic cup competitions and trailing Real Madrid by fifteen points in LaLiga, the Europa League represents their only reasonable shot at a noteworthy trophy this season.
Barcelona would have been fairly happy with the draw which put them against a struggling Galatasaray side that has not been in the top half of the Süper Lig table since last December. Ex-Barcelona assistant manager Domenèc Torrent was appointed as their head coach in January, but he got off to a very poor start as he oversaw three losses, before slowly starting to turn things around with two wins and two draws in the next four matches. Their most recent league fixture had seen them dealt yet another setback, though, as second-placed Konyaspor beat them comfortably.
The home side lined up in their traditional 4-3-3 formation yet again, with Marc-André ter Stegen’s goal primarily protected by a defense composed of Sergiño Dest, Ronald Araújo, Eric Garc . . .