19 March 2002
LIVERPOOL 2-0 ROMA
Houllier was back on the bench and, understandably, despite the drama less animated than in the past. Antonioli parried a well struck effort from Smicer. From the resulting corner Liverpool were awarded a penalty for Assuncao's clumsy challenge on Murphy. Litmanen checked his run, noticed Antonioli about to move and sent the ball into the opposite corner. Antonioli spilled Riise's fiercely struck free kick and Candela charged down Heskey's follow up. Henchoz, who has been AWESOME in recent weeks, made a phenomenal interception as Batistuta seemed certain to head Assuncao's cross past Dudek.
Montella and Delvecchio came on for Lima and the lethargic Batistuta at the start of the second half. Dudek saved with his feet to deny Totti following good work by Assuncao. Antonioli, who is rarely as busy as he was tonight, denied Riise again as he ran onto Litmanen's pass and shot through Samuel's legs. Heskey got tremendous height as he towered above Aldair and powerfully headed Murhpy's free kick past Antonioli. Hyppia made a fantastic block to keep out Montella's volley. European Footballer of the year elect (in his mind) Cassano came on for Assuncao and if Totti and Montella couldn't get any change out of Hyppia and Henchoz, Cassano had no chance.
It's taken Liverpool five games to put in the type of performance many of us had expected throughout their European campaign. Message to the teams that finished top in their groups - avoid Liverpool like the plague.
Assists : Murphy x2 (pen, fk)
13 MARCH 2002
ROMA 1-1 GALATASARAY
Antonioli made one of the saves of the season when he tipped Victoria's free kick onto the post. Zebina's terrible clearance smacked off Ergun's face and bounced towards goal, Umit flicked the ball forward away from Samuel, stuck it between his legs then drilled it into the corner. Outstanding goal. I cannot remember anyone ever dummying Samuel. Victoria failed to cut out Aldair's 50yd cross to Cafu, he spotted the 'keeper off his line and stuck out a boot, the ball looped over Mondragon into the net. Excellent finish.
A massive brawl erupted Emre and Lima got into a fight. The Galatasaray players and police fought on the pitch.
"I don't know how it started as all I was trying to do was send my players into the locker rooms" - Fabio Capello
"I just want to talk about the match. The problem with what happened after the game is that there were too many policemen that thought they were fans." - Mircea Lucescu.
"Gala players were beaten and hit by Italian police, this is a scandal. We came here to play football not to be beaten. Three of our players have been hardly hit by police (not in the sense that they were barely touched he means hit hard)." - Galatasaray team manager Albayrak.
Assists : Ergun, Aldair
26 FEBRUARY 2002
GALATASARAY 1-1 LIVERPOOL
Henchoz should have earned at least a yellow card for a shocking foul on Ergun in the first half. As in their first encounter there were some great saves and awful finishing before two rare moments of quality. The first from Niculescu who stole a yard on Hyppia and from a standing position powerfully headed Arif's cross past Kirkland. Substitute Litmanen touched the ball onto Heskey from a Riise throw in and the big donkey lashed home the equaliser.
Assists : Arif, Litmanen
ROMA 3-0 BARCELONA
Christanval had a large chunk of Totti's shirt right in front of the ref, in the box. I didn't realise FIFA had given the Danish ref permission to pull the rules of out his arse but then it was Kim Milton Neilsen. Totti knocked the ball back to Candela and his ferocious first time strike took a wicked deflection off Emerson leaving Reina helpless in the Barca goal. Montella took out Christanval with quick turn and whipped the ball inside Reina's post. Panucci punted an 80yd free kick to Montella, he sprayed the ball wide right to Candela who in turn pulled the ball back and from the edge of the box and Tommasi hit a first time shot into the corner. Great goal.
Assists : Candela, Totti, Cafu
20 FEBRUARY 2002
BARCELONA 1-1 ROMA
A marvellous goal by Panucci! With his back to goal he took the pace off Candelas free kick, turned and shot past Bonano. A rare mistake by Candela lead to the equaliser. As he tried to shepard a ball out of play Puyol stole the ball off his feet and pulled it back for Kluivert who hit an awesome volley high into the net. Brilliant finish.
Assists : Candela, Puyol
5 DECEMBER 2001
BARCELONA 2-2 GALATASARAY
Ergun clipped a beautiful ball into the box with the outside of his foot and Umit volleyed into an empty net as Andersson and Bonano got in each others way. Mondragon made the first of many spectacular saves from Rivaldo's free kick. Umit met Unsal's sent evil cross with a spectacular diving header, Bonano saved but Fleurquin put away the rebound.
Rivaldo appeared to help on Overamrs' cross with his hand and as the Gala defenders stood appealing Saviola volleyed past Mondragon. Mondragon made a fantastic save from Cocu and from the resulting corner Overmars wasted a great chance. Overmars knocked on Gerard's cross and Saviola scored from close range and got Emre sent off with a cheating scumbag roll. Hermaphrodite Merk sent off Unsal for what can only loosely be described as an elbow. Merk was abysmal.
Assists : Ergun, Rivaldo, Overmars
20 NOVEMBER 2001
GALATASARAY 1-1 ROMA
Not surprisingly this match was plagued with fouls. Probably close to 40. Hakan Unsal did a Candela in the box, cutting the ball back from the touchline for Perez to tap home while 8 Roma players stood watching. Shocking defending. Antonioli flew out of the box to clear Sas' through pass, missed the ball but fortunately Umit was slow to react and Tommasi cleared.
Cassano started the second half in place of Tommasi and created a glorious chance for Cafu with a superb run down the left but Cafu shot wide. Cassano and Aldair blew decent chances as Roma pressed for an equaliser. Mondragon, who looked shaky all night then pissed the three points away. He rushed off line to punch out a Totti free kick which a team-mate had already cleared, Assuncao volleyed the ball into the ground, it bounced up into the air and Emerson sent an overhead kick into an empty net.
Assists : Akman, Assuncao
LIVERPOOL 1-3 BARCELONA
Owen gave Liverpool the lead with a typically cool finish, lifting Smicer's through pass over Bonano. Cocu cleared Heskey's shot off the line and of nowhere Barca equalised. Rivaldo miss controlled Overmars pass, the ball ballooned up into the air and Kluivert smashed a right foot volley past Dudek. Great finish.
On the hour mark Owen missed a glorious chance to put Liverpool back in the lead. Bonano dropped Smicer's cross and Owen, despite standing inches from goal, somehow managed to poke the ball wide. Minutes later 'the Brazilian Gerrard' Rochemback scored an outstanding goal following a 14 pass move started by Barca in their own box. The final two touches were from man of the match Kluivert and Rivaldo, Rochemback hit a sensational first time shot into the top corner. Overmars scored a well deserved third for the visitors when he latched onto Xavi's through ball, rounded Dudek and tapped into an empty net.
Probably the best performance by Barcelona in Europe that I have ever seen. Andersson and Christanval defended brilliantly, totally nullifying Liverpool's naive tactics (hit the ball up to Heskey) and in Bonano they have a very solid keeper thought liability Frank De Boer still plays in defence. Liverpool were chasing shadows for long periods of the game. Kluivert was once again outstanding, totally outshining Rivaldo. Marvellous performance.
Assists : Smicer, Rivaldo (x2), Xavi