18 April 2001


Man United's sorry excuse for a defence gave Bayern a dream start. Sagnol picked out Tarnat who was in acres on space on the left flank, Jancker, Brown and Stam missed his cross, Elber didn't, 1-0. Jancker helped on Kuffour's long free kick, Elber passed to Scholl, he clipped a beautiful first time pass into the box and Jancker crashed the ball against the underside of the crossbar. Jancker failed to punish Brown's hospital pass. Scholl cleared Cole's effort off the line. A marvellous dribble by Jeremies(!) set up Bayern's second although maybe calling his run a dribble is an exxageration as anyone can get past donkey Silvestre. Jeremies passed to Elber, he turned the ball onto Zickler, donkey #2 Gary Neville got a touch, and Scholl slammed the ball past Barthez. Kahn let a well struck effort from Cole slip through his hands but the ball bounced to safety.

Man United, desperately short on ideas, resorted to slinging longs balls into the box. One proved to be successful - Giggs chipped Kahn from close range. Nerves set in for the home side as Man United threatened to stage another miracle comeback. Khan made a spectacular one handed save from an equally spectacular shot by Giggs. Scholes hit a volley straight at Kahn. Sheringham blew two guilt edged chances.

Interesting comments by Keane after the match :

"To say that we're not good enough is hard to accept but it's a fact. It's upto the manager now. I think maybe this team has come to an end especially in Europe, we've not performed over the past two years. We'll have to wait and see.".

Assists : Tarnat, Scholes

Bayern win 3-1 on aggregate


Macca and Salgado blocked off Hasan as he tried to counter attack from a corner, Macca passed to Salgado and his first time cross was poked in by Raul. Taffarel should have cut out the cross. A brilliant header by Helguera gave Real the lead on aggregate. Macca, now on the left flank, playing in Raul with a beautiful disguised pass and his first time shot gave Taffarel no chance.

Guti should have scored a fourth in the first minute of the second half. Gala, unquestionably the dirtiest team in Europe, then resorting to their trademark cheating. Jardel's back heel gave Emre a great opening which he wasted with a mindless, cowardly dive when Roberto Carlos slid in (and got nowhere near). Another dive, this time by Akin Bulent deep in his own half went unpunished when Figo shot straight at Taffarel. As Real were preparing to take the corner, a small object struck the back of Okan's head. He waited a few second (this is no exaggeration) then went down clutching his FACE. Emre stupidly picked up a projectile and launched it into the stands. Minutes later Arif made another half arsed appeal for a penalty, by this time even the Dutch commentator (I was watching the match on a Dutch satellite channel) didn't even bother to mention the incident. Jardel wasted a header. Korkmaz Bulent went straight through the back of Raul and referee Frisk, who I thought was pathetic, only gave a yellow card. Figo may have been elbowed in the face, the replay wasn't clear.

Galatasaray are a disgrace to football. Glad they're out. UEFA should give them a massive fine but they won't.

Real win 5-3 on aggregate

17 APRIL 2001


Kewell gave his team the worst possible start by pushing Victor in the box. Djalminha converted the penalty. Depor had two more penalty appeals turned down. The challenge by Dacourt on Donato was 50/50 but as the ball broke in the box Smith went straight through Djalminha? A desperate block by Ferdinand denied Makaay and Smith wasted a great opportunity late in the half to give Leeds some desperately needed breathing space. He pounced on a mistake by Donato, rounded Molina but shot into the side netting.

Martyn made a fantastic fingertip save to keep out Romero's powerful drive. Dacourt made a great run from the half way line but finished weakly. Makaay headed against the crossbar. A quickly taken free kick cut the deficit to one goal. Substitute Tristan turned in Valeron's centre at the near post. Molina made a brilliant save from Viduka to ensure a nervy finish for the visitors.

Leeds rode their luck. They can console themselves in the fact that Valencia are nowhere near as good in attack as Deportivo but then they are a lot better in defence.

Assists : Victor, Valeron

Leeds win 3-2 on aggregate.

4 APRIL 2001


Harte (one of the best left backs in Europe) found Bowyer in acres of space with a superb cross field pass, Bowyer's first touch took him clear of Romero but Molina denied the competitions top scorer another goal with a superb block. Smith did the Serie A trick - pulled his markers shirt then fell to the floor. Harte smashed the free kick into the roof of the net. Smith made up for a horrendous first half miss by brilliantly stealing between his markers to head past Molina. Ramis foolishly headed Harte's corner back into play and Rio Ferdinand headed in his first ever Leeds goal. Martyn made a fantastic save late on from Pandiani, Depor's only real chance of the match.

Assists : Smith, Harte


From Pires' corner Viera headed against the post and from the rebound Henry's goal bound effort was charged down. Arsenal's offside trap gave Carew a one on one with Seamen, Seamen made a superb save and from the rebound Carew struck the post. Dixon weakly headed Mendieta's cross straight to Ayala and he volleyed Valencia into the lead.

Wiltord's left wing cross found Pires via Kanu, he slipped in Henry with a back heel and as Valencia appealed for offside Henry drew Arsenal level. Parlour took the ball off Kanu, drove forward and left fly from 30yds with an unstoppable shot. Viera released Henry with a superb pass, Henry flew past Ayala, went round Canizares and just before he was about to pull the trigger old man Angloma got back to clear. Henry was denied again, this time by Molina's outstretched foot.

IF Arsenal can match their physical dominance of the second half they have a chance but Valencia are clearly favourites to make their second successive semi-final.

Assists : Pires, Kanu

3 APRIL 2001


Bloody hell, talk about a game of two halves! Yes I know it's a tired old cliché but it's the first time I've ever used it.

Roberto Carlos passed to McManaman wide on the left flank, he played a one-two with Raul and rolled a perfect pass to Figo but he shot wide. Helguera headed Real into the lead from a Figo free kick. Real's second was a super individual goal. From a throw-in Roberto Carlos found Raul, Makelele ran onto his knock-down, vaulted over Bulent's desperate challenge and cracked the ball low into the corner.

Jardel had already wasted a guilt edged chance before Collina awarded Gala a penalty for a stupid, stupid challenge on Hasan by first half hero Makelele. Umit embarrassed Casillas from the penalty spot. Substitute Fatih turned the game in Gala's favour. He beat Salgado to a hopeful punt upfield and pulled the ball back for Hasan to shoot first time past Casillas. Helguera cheaply gave the ball away in midfield, Okan released Fatih, he ran unchallenged down the left flank and whipped a cross into the box which Jardel powered past Casillas. There was a brief floodlight failure. After the re-start Jardel had a goal disallowed for offside. Deep into injury time Okan blazed over from close range.

Real have two away goals, Gala has a one goal lead. This one is wide open. Fantastic match. Gala laid absolute siege to Real in the second half. They should play like that more often.

Assists : Figo, Raul, Hasan, Fatih (x2)