Barcelona 2 - Bayer Leverkusen 1
Puyol, Christanval, De Boer, Coco; Luis Enrique, Xavi (Gerard 47'), Cocu;
Saviola (Geovanni 78'), Rivaldo (Gabri 73'); Kluivert. 4-3-2-1.
Barcelona beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 to head their group on goal average at the end of the day. Rivaldo returned to Rexach's side after doubts about his fitness, and the crowd reacted positively to him after he moaned about the whistles he received the week before. That meant the 'trident' played together up front for only the second time, and they combined for the opening goal, the Brazilian sending Saviola away to set up Kluivert early in the first half. Barcelona dominated the rest of the first half, but Ramelow equalised against the run of play after Ballack headed on a corner. Luis Enrique restored the lead before half time though after Butt saved from Kluivert, Saviola making space for him to shoot into the roof of the net.
The second half was a different game however as the substitution of Xavi by Gerard just after the restart left Barça void of ideas, and only a fine performance from Bonano kept the German forwards at bay. Referee Pierluigi Collina's final whistle came as a relief to the suffering fans, but the three points were worth their weight in gold, and Barça now head their table on goal average (8-3) ahead of Bayer (6-4). Both have nine points, with Lyon on six and Fenerbahçe yet to get off the mark. A draw at Lyon next week should be enough to get them through.