Panathinaikos 1 - Barcelona 0
Nikopolidis; Saric, Henriksen, Kirgiakos, Goumas, Fissas; Liberopoulos (Boateng
59'), Basinas, Kolkka; Vlaovic (Olisadebe 73'), Konstantinou (Vokolos 90').
Barcelona rounded off a disappointing couple of days for Spanish sides when they lost 1-0 to Panathinaikos in their first leg quarter final tie. The only goal of the game came in the seventy-ninth minute from a Basinas penalty after Norwegian referee Terje Hauge ruled that Abelardo had brought down Kolkka, even though the Spanish international defender appeared to have reached the ball with his tackle. Up to that point the game had been rather dull, with Rexach lining up with a five man defence looking to take a draw back to the Nou Camp next Tuesday. Once again he left Xavi on the bench, the young international taking his place next to Saviola and Rivaldo, who returned to the squad but was not fit enough to start the game. Luis Enrique was suspended and Motta came in on the left of midfield, with Overmars passing a late fitness test to line up alongside Kluivert up front.
Neither keeper was particularly troubled in the first half, with Rochemback shooting just wide and Konstantinou heading past the post on a rapid counter attack. Barça increased the pressure after the break though, and Nikopolidis did well to save from Kluivert. With an hour gone Markarian took off Liberopoulis, who had been marked out of the game by Coco, and Rexach immediately took off his Italian full back, his job done. Xavi had already replaced Cocu, and with twenty minutes to go he threw on Rivaldo. The Brazilian international immediately brought a good save out of Nikopolidis, but then came the penalty leaving the Catalan side with an uphill battle next week. The prize for victory though is a possible semi-final tie with Real Madrid, and they will surely give it their best. Rexach's job depends on it.