A combined total of eight years away from UEFA Champions League football did little to sharpen the appetites of Galatasaray SK and FC Girondins de Bordeaux, with the two clubs battling out a largely uneventful 0-0 draw in Istanbul's Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium.
Despite both coaches signalling their intention to go for all three points by playing two strikers, the first half was a largely scrappy affair as neither side proved capable of maintaining possession. A succession of stray passes and niggling fouls left referee Roberto Rosetti with plenty of work to do and Bordeaux midfielder Pierre Ducasse was booked for a scything foul on Saša Ilić.
The few opportunities available fell mostly to the home team, with captain Hasan Şaş instrumental in launching a series of probing runs into the Bordeaux half. Galatasaray went close on 12 minutes when Ümit Karan just failed to connect with a low cross fed in from the right by Sabri Sarıoğlu, and again on 18 minutes when Ümit narrowly missed a looping centre from Arda Turan. The best chance of the half fell to Hasan Şaş himself when he caught a loose ball on the edge of the Bordeaux penalty box only to see his blistering shot deflected for a corner.
Bordeaux's best opening in the first period fell to Marouane Chamakh on 38 minutes. He finished off a probing run down the left of the Galatasaray area with a weak attempt into the arms of Faryd Mondragón, the only time the home goalkeeper was unduly troubled
The second half started in the same vein with neither team prepared to give any ground and few real openings created. Johan Micoud fired wide for the French side, while at the other end Bordeaux custodian Ulrich Ramé did well to get a hand to a powerful header from Necati Ateş, though neither set of supporters had much to cheer.
In a bid to up the tempo, Galatasaray coach Erik Gerets replaced Ümit with Hasan Kabze, and introduced Mehmet Topal and Cihan Haspolatlı for Hasan Şaş and Ilić 15 minutes later, albeit to no great effect. With five minutes remaining, Bordeaux coach Ricardo Gomes followed suit by sending on Edixon Perea and Lilian Laslandes to bolster his front line in place of Chamakh, and Jean-Claude Darcheville, again with little impact.
With tempers fraying and time ebbing away, there was still time for drama, with both Sabrı Sarıoğlu and Necati Ateş blazing shots over the crossbar from ten metres out. In the end it finished goalless, a result that should please Bordeaux more than than their hosts in Turkey.