FC Barcelona 3-0 Legia Warszawa
Coach Louis van Gaal said FC Barcelona "can do better" after watching the Spanish challengers ease to a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Polish champions Legia Warszawa at Camp Nou.
Champions League success
Van Gaal, who led AFC Ajax to UEFA Champions League success in 1995, is eyeing further glory with Barça as they virtually assured themselves a place in the first group stage through goals from Frank de Boer, Juan Riquelme, in his first competitive game for the club, and Philip Cocu.
Early De Boer goal
The hosts had gone ahead as early as the eighth minute when De Boer, one of a legion of Dutchmen at the Catalan club, curled in a free-kick reminiscent of Rivaldo, who did not feature for Milan AC, his new club, in their third qualifying round first-leg match played simultaneously at the San Siro.
With Patrick Kluivert in majestic form in attack, it looked as if more goals were only a matter of time. Kluivert, another Dutchman, was at the centre of all of his side's forrays forward, setting up chances for Luis Enrique and Javier Saviola, only to see them wasted.
Legia hardly produced an attack worthy of the name, but young goalkeeper Víctor Valdés allowed Moussa Yahaya to head on to the roof of the net in a rare Barcelona lapse. Xavi Hernández then hit the outside of a Legia post with a free-kick, but at half-time Barça had just the early goal as reward for their domination and eleven shots.
The second half saw more of the same, with Barça continuing to prod and probe without quite finding the mark. Sensing his side needed a fresh impetus in attack, Van Gaal threw on Riquelme just before the hour. The move proved inspired as the €11m Argentinian struck a wonderful goal from range with ten minutes remaining.
'Happy with the result'
Kluivert wasted another gilt-edged opening before Cocu popped up at the end to ensure returning coach Van Gaal savoured victory on his latest debut at Camp Nou. "We created a lot of chances and that was the highlight, but we can do better," said Van Gaal. "But this is an example of how we should play against teams like Legia. We have scored a few goals as we have done during pre-season, so I am happy with this result."