Galatasaray 0 - Barcelona 1
Mondragon; Pérez (Capone 79'), Emre, Korkmaz, Hasan Sas; Fleurquin,
Ergum, Ayhan (Nicolescu 62'), Berkant; Arif Erdem (Suat 75'), Umit Karan.
Group B final league table:
Barcelona overcame the hostile crowd in the Ali Sami Yen stadium to beat Galatasaray and qualify for the quarter finals of the competition. With a run of poor performances behind them, the Catalans were given little chance in a stadium where the local side had not lost in European competitions since November 1999,. Rivaldo was out with an ankle injury, and a last minute attack of gastric enteritis meant that Frank De Boer also dropped out, with Abelardo coming in after only playing 30 minutes of football in the last year. Rexach decided on experience for this game, leaving out his young stars Saviola and Motta and counting on Luis Enrique and Overmars to support Kluivert up front. Both teams needed a victory to be sure of going through, although a draw could have been enough for Barça depending on the result between Liverpool and Roma in the other group match. All four though had a chance of qualifying, and the small contingent of visiting fans groaned when the announcement came through that Liverpool had taken the lead in their game with an early Litmanen penalty, a result which went against them.
Rochemback brought a good save out of Mondragon early on, but Gabri had to save the day when Abelardo gave the ball away, and Fleurquin headed over twice before the break as the Turkish side dominatedthe first half. Barça started to string passes together though after the break, and Luis Enrique put his side ahead with just under an hour gone, following up from a questionably offside position after Mondragon failed to hold on to Rochemback's low drive. Two minutes later Coco headed off the line as Umit's shot was going in the net, but from there on Barcelona were in charge and Rochemback and then Christanval missed easy chances to extend the lead. Even so with Liverpool beating Roma 2-0, a goal from Galatasaray would have left the Spanish side out of the competition, with the English and Italian clubs going through. That would have been an irony after the Galatasaray players had been beaten up by overzealous police in Roma's Olympic stadium the week before, and maybe for that reason the Turks' hearts were not in it. Barça go on to head the group, meaning that at the time of writing they will probably avoid Real Madrid and Deportivo in the next round, not to mention Manchester United. Rexach's job is safe it seems at least to the end of the season.