In their first preseason friendly on home soil, Galatasaray played out a thrilling 3-3 draw against Spanish La Liga side Malaga. The game was tightly knit, open and physical during different parts of the 90 with a winner being out of the question.
Galatasaray started out brightly as they put together some nice passes to create chances on goal. They sat well in the middle and final third as their opponents had a bit of trouble containing them. Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba each scored in the opening half, which showed that they are still in capable form from last season.
Sneijder came to the team in January of this year with practically no field minutes from the first half of the season at Inter Milan. He was able to play 60-75 minutes tops when he first arrived in Turkey, but judging by his running and strength today, he may finally be ready to put in at least 80-85 minutes per game in the Turkish Super League and Champions League … although, he did only play half of today’s game. He will be in even better shape come August 17.
Drogba was his usual roaming self in the final third but fell down a bit too easily and played a bit too much with the ball at times. He needs to be the on-field leader in the final third and at times, he needs to drop back a bit more to help out his midfield and defense.
Defensively, the goals Gala allowed can solely be blamed on them. Whether they pushed up too much or whether the last defender dropped the striker to get ejected and give away a penalty, this team needs to be organized at the back throughout the 90. Fatih Terim has his work cut out for him to figure out who will be in his starting back four.
Overall, Gala looked set to stay on track in defending their league title. But if the defense is not fixed up quickly and solidly, their plans of success can be ruined.