Galatasaray SK 0-2 FC Barcelona
Luis Enrique scored his 100th goal for FC Barcelona as the Catalan giants took charge of UEFA Champions League Group H with a deserved 2-0 victory against Galatasaray SK at the Ali Sami Yen stadium.
Having started their European campaign with a 3-2 defeat of Club Brugge KV last week, Barça are now in a thoroughly commanding position thanks to another impressive performance against the Turkish side, who looked a pale shade of the team which defeated FC Lokomotiv Moskva 2-0 in Russia on Matchday One.
Barça took the lead when Patrick Kluivert drilled past Faryd Mondragon to score his second goal of the season, the Dutchman receiving the ball from Thiago Motta and turning quickly to find the perfect angle to shoot. Ten minutes later, the Dutch striker should have doubled the lead when he was unmarked inside the box, but he headed over the bar after an excellent cross from Gaizka Mendieta.
Galatasaray started well enough, with Brazilian duo Jorge Felipe and João Batista combining well in midfield and creating the majority of the Turkish side's attacks. Jorge Felipe fired a stinging shot wide on 16 minutes and almost put through compatriot Christian on several occasions.
The Rabbit miscues
As the game developed, however, Barça gained more control and Javier Saviola found he had more space to make his darting runs, his shot from the edge of the box on 30 minutes needing slightly more power to trouble Mondragon. With seconds to go before the break, the diminutive Argentinian, known as 'The Rabbit' in his homeland, spun his marker with a deft touch but blasted over.
But. in the 59th minute, Luis Enrique marked what was his 250th appearance for the visitors with his seventh goal of the season, jumping powerfully to nod the ball over on-rushing Colombian keeper Mondragon. The goal had been rehearsed just seconds earlier when Kluivert headed over the bar from an identical corner delivered by Brazilian Motta.
Strike on the cards
The second strike had always looked likely, as Luis Enrique came out after the interval determined to make his class tell, dominating the left side of the pitch with incisive passes and probing running. There was little Galatasaray could do to hold him back. Motta, only playing because Argentinian midfield player Juan Riquelme was injured in training on Sunday, proved a menace on the other side too, wasting no chance to push forward and almost getting on the scoresheet himself with a shot from inside the box.
The hosts had their opportunities to get back into the game after the break but managed to spurn them, Ümit Karan screwing a header off target from a free-kick late on and Hasan Sas firing wide to sum up a disappointing display.