Süper Lig powerhouse Galatasaray crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday after a 2-1 defeat by Scotland’s Rangers in the playoff round, leaving Sivasspor only Turkish club competing in the tournament, which was drawn against Villareal, Qarabag and Maccabi Tel Aviv on Friday.
After a goalless first half, Rangers opened the scoring with a 52nd-minute goal by Scott Arfield, which was further extended by a second goal from James Tavernier seven minutes later.
Struggling to create chances against its opponent, Galatasaray’s Colombian star Radamel Falcao scored in the 87th minute but it came too little and too late.
Speaking after the match, coach Fatih Terim voiced his dismay at the performance of his players.
“We lost the game between the 50th and 60th minutes. We conceded two goals. Some of our players showed mediocre performance. There is no second-leg match. You can play like this in Turkish Süper Lig but not here. Some of our players sadly performed poorly,” Terim said.
Meanwhile, Rangers coach Steven Gerrard said his players achieved a well-deserved win against a notable opponent and manager.
“We defeated a really challenging opponent and manager. I believe we deserved it. We need to keep this up. We were drawn against a really difficult opponent. Galatasaray is a major team. It had some great managers,” former Liverpool captain said.
Tensions on the side of the pitch briefly rose during the match after Gerrard gestured with his hand suggesting that Terim was talking too much, which turned into a heated argument between the two managers.
Despite the brief bickering, Gerrard didn’t refrain from praising him after the result, saying he had a lot of respect for Terim and he was happy to beat such a manager.
The defeat by Gerrard’s players also marked the first time Terim lost a qualification round in European competitions. Before Thursday’s loss, Terim had won four Champions League and two Europa League qualifying matches with Galatasaray.
And with Galatasaray’s ejection from the Europa League, Sivasspor became the only Turkish team left competing in the tournament, which was paired on Friday with Spain’s Villareal in Group I, along with Azerbaijan’s Qarabag and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Rangers was drawn against Portugal’s Benfica, Belgium’s Standard Liege and Poland’s Lech Poznan.
Group of death for Başakşehir
Meanwhile, Süper Lig’s defending champion was placed in Champions League Group H on Thursday’s draw, which was quickly named the group of death as it includes some of Europe’s mightiest clubs, including last year’s runner-up Paris Saint-Germain.
The other two opponents Başakşehir will face in the group stages are Manchester United and RB Leipzig, last year’s semifinalist.
PSG will have an opportunity for revenge against Manchester United, who ousted the French club in the Round of 16 two seasons ago.
Leipzig and PSG met in last season's semifinals in Lisbon in August, with Paris winning 3-0 before losing to Bayern Munich in its first-ever final appearance.
The draw, usually held at a lavish ceremony in a seaside conference hall in Monaco, this time took place in a Geneva television studio due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The late start to the season – a knock-on effect of last season being interrupted by the pandemic – means that the six matchdays will be played between Oct. 19 and Dec. 9, a month less than usual.
Shortly after the ceremony, UEFA announced that spectators would be allowed to watch matches, up to a maximum of 30% of stadium capacity, if local authorities allow.
Messi-Ronaldo clash looms
In other groups, the draw set up a faceoff between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo after Barcelona and Juventus were paired in Group G along with Dynamo Kyiv and Hungarian side Ferencvaros, which is back in the group stage after a 25-year absence.
Ronaldo, 35, and Messi, 33, the two highest scorers in Champions League history with 130 and 115 goals respectively, have not clashed since the Portuguese left Real Madrid to join Juventus at the end of the 2017-18 season.
The pair have only met five times in the Champions League, most recently in 2011 when Barcelona beat Real 3-1 on aggregate in the semifinals.
Group D will feature Liverpool and Ajax, who have won the competition 10 times between them, plus Atalanta, who reached the quarterfinals on their debut last season, and Denmark's Midtjylland.
Thirteen-time champions Real Madrid were drawn in Group B alongside Antonio Conte's Inter Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Monchengladbach. Inter beat Shakhtar 5-0 last month in the Europa League semifinals.
Group E appeared to be one of the most open groups, featuring Europa League winners Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar and Rennes.
However, it could bring back unhappy memories for Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui, who was fired as Spain's coach at the team camp in Krasnodar two days before the start of the 2018 World Cup.
Group F is also unpredictable with Zenit St Petersburg, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio and Club Brugge.
Manchester City will start as clear favorites in Group C with Porto, Olympiacos and Olympique de Marseille likely to battle for the second spot.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.