UEFA Europa League – Galatasaray rolls, Fenerbahce blows it.
The Europa League would open up for both Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. Galatasaray would go into a cauldron in Athens, while Fenerbahce would open up at home. Galatasaray would come out with a win, with sports daily Fanatik referring to the win as an “Athens conquest”. Fenerbahce would not be as lucky, as they would blow a lead to lose to FC Twente.
Both teams would have roster changes to start off. Panathinaikos had Djibril Cisse miss the match due to a yellow card suspension. Galatasaray would start off the night with a surprise addition to the lineup. Arda Turan would be left on the bench for Frank Rijkaard’s side, while Elano would get the start. Elano, the former Manchester City player, would score within five minutes of the match’s opening whistle to give the visitors a quick lead. Milan Baros would set up Elano with a cross which the Brazilian headed in from close range. The second goal in the 48th minute would see a reversal of roles, as Elano would cross the ball to Milan Baros, who would put the ball in the bottom right hand corner of the goal. Elano would conclude Galatasaray’s scoring in the 57th minute as he blasted a free kick into the back of the net, which was set up by Niko Spiropoulos’ foul on Mustafa Sarp. Elano would eventually get substituted as Arda Turan would replace him in the 63rd minute. Panathinaikos would get a consolation goal from Dimitris Salpingidis in the 78th minute, but it was too little, too late.
As for Fenerbahce, to put it bluntly, the Canaries simply blew a lead to FC Twente of Holland. The first half would not feature any goals. The first half wouldn’t feature much in terms of attacking football. The second half was a different story. Mehmet Topuz, Fenerbahce’s big domestic signing, would score a free kick that sporx.com described as a “bazooka”. Topuz would come into the match in the 64th minute replacing Roberto Carlos. Topuz would go play on the right wing, while Andre dos Santos went into the central midfield; and Colin Kazim-Richards would move to the left wing of the pitch. But Fenerbahce would go on to blow the lead. Swiss international Blaise N’Kufo struck one back in the 75th minute, as he would blast a shot into Fenerbahce’s net as Diego Lugano and Fabio Bilica would be caught out of position. N’Kufo would strike again in the 79th minute, as Andre dos Santos tried to clear the ball, but the ball went straight to N’Kufo. N’Kufo would blast the ball into the net making the eventual final score 2-1 to Twente. Boo birds were heard at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium, as Fenerbahce would hear it from their fans after losing a game they really shouldn’t have.