This piece was written by The Pride of London contributor Muneeb Khan. Follow Muneeb on Twitter @MUK734
Before being paired in the Round of 16 of this year’s Champions League, there was only one instance in which Chelsea FC and Galatasaray SK played each other. The two clubs first met back in the group stage of the 1999-00 Champions League. It was Chelsea’s first time ever taking part in the tournament while Galatasaray were regular participants due to their form in the Turkish SuperLiga. On September 28, 1999 the two clubs faced each other for the first time in London at Stamford Bridge. Both clubs were struggling in the campaign and had only earned one point in their first two matches.
The Turkish champions were the more aggressive side in the first 20-30 minutes but were not able to break through the Chelsea defense. The momentum shifted heavily to Chelsea after Galatasaray goalkeeper, Claúdio Taffare, was sent-off in the 30th minute for a deliberate handball outside the marked penalty area. With Galatasaray down to ten men and Chelsea able to create more chances, it was only a matter of time before they scored. In the 55th minute, defender Dan Petrescu was able to score courtesy of a lovely through ball by Gianfranco Zola. Petrescu’s initial shot was saved but the deflection fell kindly to him and he kept his composure long enough to finish the move.
Watch the key moments of the match at Stamford Bridge here:
The match was a major turning point in Chelsea’s European campaign that year and they defeated Galastaray 5-0 in the return leg at Istanbul. In all, Chelsea earned 7 points in the last 3 matches which allowed them to finish 1st in the group. In the 2nd Group Stage Phase, they finished 2nd before being knocked out by Barcelona in the Quarter-Finals. A similar scoreline would send Chelsea through to the next round but after Saturday’s defeat to Aston Villa and a big match coming up on the weekend, a comprehensive victory may be needed to boost team morale.
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