Athens: The last of the first leg quarter-final matches in the Champions League had Barcelona taking on Panathinaikos. The Greek side were supposedly the weakest of the last eight. They are currently third in the Greek first division and therefore in danger of missing out for the Champions League next season, since only the top two teams from Greece qualify. Panathinaikos had the early possession but it was Barcelona with the first shot at goal after 13 minutes. A pass by Mark Overmars found Patrick Kluivert, but the Dutch striker's shot was just wide. Konstantinou went for a cheeky long shot in the 26th minute after he found Barcelona's keeper out of position. Banano however recovered well. Eleven minutes later, a long-range effort from Barca's Fabio Rochemback was just wide. The last chance of the half fell to the Greek side. But yet again Konstantinou's header was wide. Panathinaikos had the first chance of scoring in the second half. Boetang made a long-range effort but it was well saved by the Barca keeper on the second attempt. Kluivert had another attempt from just outside the penalty area, but the host keeper pulled off a great save. Barcelona finally got Rivaldo on in the 72nd minute. And the Brazilian made an impact just a minute later. In the 77th minute Panathinaikos got the break they wanted. The Barca captain Abelardo brought down Finnish striker Joonas Kolkka in the area and the referee pointed to the spot. Replays showed that Abelardo had been hard done. Basinas had little trouble converting the penalty, sending Banano the wrong way. Barcelona put a lot of players ahead to try and get the equalizer but they failed. Rivaldo tried from long range but it was off target. The final whistle after four minutes of overtime saw Panathinaikos going on to a crucial 1-0 win. It was their fifth home victory in the Champions League this season.
Topics : Football