| First leg - 14 August 2002
Barcelona 3 - Legia Warsaw 0
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Puyol (Christanval 84'), De Boer, Fernando; Mendieta, Xavi, Cocu, Motta; Saviola, Luis Enrique (Riquelme 59'); Kluivert. 3-4-2-1
Barcelona took a big step towards qualifying for the first league stage with a three goal victory over Legia Warsaw. Van Gaal included three B team youngsters, Víctor Valdés, Fernando and Motta, in his first official line up of the season, with Víctor getting the nod in goal ahead of new signing Enke, who was substitute, and Bonano, who had to watch the match from the stands. It was veteran defender Frank De Boer who put them in front though with a well struck free kick in the eighth minute which left keeper Stanew with no chance.
After that it was one-way traffic, with Xavi hitting the post with another free kick, and Kluivert, Saviola and Luis Enrique all bringing good saves out of Stanew. Gradually though the Poles got back into the game, and Víctor had to make the save of the game from Kucharski to stop them from drawing level.
With half an hour left, Van Gaal brought on Riquelme for his debut in the Nou Camp, and the Argentine star showed why he is rated so highly with his team's second goal near the end, squeezing a fierce long shot past the keeper and in to the net off the far post.
The fans relaxed, and with the game in injury time Cocu rose to head home Mendieta's corner despite Stanew's best efforts to keep the ball from going over the line. It was an important goal, and should be enough to see Barcelona through the second leg in a fortnight's time and on to the big-money next stage of the competition.
|Second leg - 28 August 2002
Legia Warsaw 0 - Barcelona 1
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Christanval, De Boer, Puyol; Mendieta, Xavi, Cocu, Fernando; Saviola, Luis Enrique (Dani 73'); Kluivert (Geovanni 70'). 3-4-2-1
Mission accomplished. Barcelona qualified for the lucrative league stage of the competition with a second victory over Polish champions Legia Warsaw. It was a controlled performance from the Catalans, who have now only let in one goal in their last five games, and the result was never in doubt despite early pressure from their opponents.
With Motta suffering from a throat infection and Riquelme out with a groin strain, Fernando Navarro played on the left of midfield and Christanval came in to the back three. A three goal lead from the first leg meant that Van Gaal's side had a big margin to play with, although they got off to a shaky start and Luis Enrique had to clear off the line with a quarter of an hour gone.
Only a minute later though the Barcelona captain broke through at the other end and was unlucky to see his toe poke drift just over the crossbar. Slowly but surely the Spaniards got used to the poor conditions of the pitch, and they started to knock the ball around with ease. Mendieta worked a quick one two with Kluivert but his shot under pressure also just cleared the bar, and Luis Enrique got the ball in the net only to see his effort ruled out for a marginal offside.
Midway through the second half Kluivert was brought down in the area, and Mendieta stepped up to slot the resulting penalty past Stanew. It was the away goal Barça needed to be sure of the tie, and after a five minute break for a smoke bomb thrown from the crowd, Van Gaal's thoughts turned to his Sunday league opener with Atlético Madrid and he took off Kluivert and Luis Enrique.
Legia had hardly troubled Víctor Valdés in the Barcelona goal, and to make matters worse the Poles ended the game with ten men after Magiera got himself sent off near the end for pulling back on substitute Geovanni's shirt. By then though it didn't matter much, and Barça go in to tomorrow's draw together with Valencia, Deportivo and Real Madrid.