Galatasaray earns goalless draw at Barcelona

Galatasaray earns goalless draw at Barcelona

Galatasaray earns goalless draw at Barcelona

After missing a chance to defeat the Spanish giant at home, Galatasaray earned a goalless draw at Barcelona in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Europa League.

Barça bombarded Galatasaray with 14 goal attempts, all saved by the Turkish side’s indebted 23-year-old Spanish goalkeeper, Inaki Pena.

Trying to create good chances with winger Kerem Aktürkoğlu, Galatasaray had three goal attempts.

“It is an honor to be applauded at Camp Nou,” said Pena after the match. When asked if he would return to Barcelona, Pena noted, “What will happen, will happen. But I now am focused on Galatasaray. I do not think anything else.”

Saying that Galatasaray was very good at a pitch against Barcelona, the Spanish athlete said, “We will see what will happen in Istanbul.”

Barcelona now faces a tricky return leg in Turkey in the only competition it still has a realistic chance of winning.

“We hope our fans will welcome Barcelona as they did to [Olympique de] Marseille,” Galatasaray’s Dutch winger Ryan Babel said regarding the return match on March 17 in Istanbul.

Galatasaray, also known as “Lions,” finished the last seven matches in the European arena undefeated, without conceding a goal in the last four matches.

However, the Turkish giant is having trouble at Turkish Süper Lig, sitting at the 12th out of 20 ranks, with only 35 points in 28 matches.

Lions will host another giant Beşiktaş in an Istanbul derby at Nef Stadium on March 14. Due to heavy snowfall in Turkey’s populous city, there are reports in Turkish media that the derby may be postponed.