Champions league - second phase
Real Madrid completed the formalities in the last game of the second phase, drawing 2-2 at Panathinaikos. With his side already through to the next round as group champions, Del Bosque left his entire first choice team at home and took a squad to Greece made up of reserves and B team youngsters. They paid the price early on when Liberopoulos beat Casillas with a volley from the edge of the area in the ninth minute, but two minutes later Morientes levelled the scores heading over Nikopolidis from a Celades cross. Panathinaikos dominated the rest of the first half, with Michaelsen wasting the best chance of the first half with Casillas beaten, and Goumas restored the lead midway through the second half, heading home Vlaovic's free kick. Casillas prevented Michaelsen from increasing the lead with a full stretch save, and five minutes later Madrid equalised again, B team youngster Portillo scoring a spectacular goal from outside of the area only 20 minutes after making his first team debut. Panathinaikos were not too concerned though as a draw was more than enough to see them through to the quarter finals as runners up to Madrid.
Deportivo La Coruña put in a disappointing performance at the Riazor stadium, losing 1-3 to Bayer Leverkusen. With qualification for the quarter finals effectively in the bag, Irureta left Molina, Sergio, Valerón and Diego Tristán on the bench. They were missing their inspiration though, and allowed themselves to be dominated by a German side who needed a win to be sure of classifying. Basturk was one of several who should have opened the scoring, but shortly before half time it was Ballack who finally beat Nuno with a powerful header from Brdaric's cross. Depor seemed to improve after the break, but a lapse of concentration let in Schneider to score from close range following a corner. Depor brought on the big guns, and Diego Tristán pulled a fortunate goal back, his shot taking a wicked deflection off Nowotny. However the Germans continued to attack, and substitute Neuville headed down past Nuno near the end to put the result beyond doubt. They finish group champions, and Depor could now meet Real Madrid or Barcelona in next round. (20.03.02)
Barcelona overcame the hostile crowd in the Ali Sami Yen stadium to beat Galatasaray and qualify for the quarter finals of the competition. The Catalans were given little chance in a stadium where the local side had not lost in European competitions since November 1999, especially in the light of their recent poor performances. 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. Rochemback brought a good save out of Mondragon early on, but other than that the Turkish side had the better of the first half. Barça started to string passes together though in the second half, and Luis Enrique put his side ahead with just under an hour gone, following up after Mondragon failed to hold on to Rochemback's shot. 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. Barça go on to head the group, meaning they will probably avoid Real Madrid and Deportivo in the next round. (19.03.02)