10 April 2002


Fortune and Van Nistelrooy went close before Beckham left the field on a strecher after a horrendous two footed murder attempt by Duscher. Solskjaer came on in his place vollyed Man United into the lead from Veron's excellent whipped free kick. Blanc turned Romero's centre past his own 'keeper to give Depor an ill deserved equaliser.

Van Nistelrooy wasted two great chances before Solskjaer restored Man United's lead thanks largely to a terrible mistake by Molina and a terrific through pass from Veron. Bastard Duscher should have been sent off for going through the back of Giggs. Scaloni earned his second booking for protesting, probably for an off the ball incident as he left the pitch with tricking down his face. Veron completed a hat-trick of assists by finding on the right. He slalomed past two Depor players before blasting the ball into the bottom corner. Van Nistelrooy hit the woodword. Butt got bastard Duscher a second yellow with a dive. Now I'm not in favour of diving but if the ref isn't going to give a player a red for a criminal tackle then players should do whatever it takes to get cheating pieces of shit off the pitch. Man United took their foot of the gas and Djalminha scored a consolation goal with a deflected free kick.

Beckham has a broken foot and could miss the start of the World Cup. Depor are a ******* disgrace.

Man United win 5-2 on aggregate.

Assists : Veron (fk), Veron (x2)
Red Cards : Scaloni 60 (Deportivo), Duscher 75 (Deportivo)


Solari barged his way past Jeremies and Lizarazu on the edge of the box before sending the ball across the face of goal, Raul completely missed. Bobby Carlos gave Salihamidzic a bloody nose with a cynically placed elbow. Bayern blew two great chances late in the first half. Salihamidzic volleyed straight at Cesar following a defensive mix-up between Hierro and Roberto Carlos. Elber shot wide from six yards after a tremendous run by Kuffour and lay-off from Salihamidzic.

Helguera bundled in Roberto Carlos' cross at the far post to give Real the lead on away goals. Raul smashed his elbow in Linke's face as they challenged for a ball, Linke lay on the floor with the Bayern players understandably waiting for the ref's whistle but he didn't blow, Raul centred and Guti made it 2-0. Scolari got Salihamidzic sent off with a total over-reaction to a body check. Cesar made a superb save from Elber. Bayern didn't trouble Real with desperate long balls.

Stefano Braschi is as corrupt a referee as you will see in Europe. UEFA themselves are an utter disgrace. There was no mention whatsoever of either elbowing incident in their match reports.

Real Madrid win 3-2 on aggregate
Assist : Raul
Red Card : Salihamidzic 90 (Bayern Munich)

9 APRIL 2002


A glorious chance for Liverpool inside the first minute. Riise found Heskey with a cross field pass but a trademark Sunday league first touch took him wide and his shot was deflected wide for a corner. Ballack received the ball 25yds from goal, feigned to shoot, making Gerrard slide tackle fresh air then ripped a left foot shot into the top corner. Dudek possibly should have saved. Owen made the first of his shocking misses minutes later. Xavier equalised just before half time with a header from Murphy's corner.

Owen bottled two more one on ones with Butt, shooting against the post the first time and wide the second. Hamann was substituted on the hour mark and Liverpool's midfield fell apart. Ballack headed Leverkusen into the lead from Schneider's cross and Berbatov seemed to put them out of sight five minutes later. Ballack's miss-hit shot was rolled out wide to Neuville by Bradaric, Neuville hit a blistering first time shot at goal, Henchoz handled on the line but Berbatov stabbed home. Xavier was booked for going through Berbatov with a nasty sliding tackle and saved from earning a red by being substituted. Litmanen put Liverpool back in the tie with an excellent goal. Murphy passed to him out wide on the left of the box, he slalomed past three players before pacing the ball into the bottom corner. Lucio 'the stud' was lurking with intent in the box, Basturk played him in as Carragher appealed for offside and he lashed the ball under Dudek's legs. Neuville missed a sitter minutes later but it was academic.

As good a match as you're likely to see this or any other season. Vitor Manuel is the best referee in Europe. Not especially because of this match but for his consistency. I've noticed him several times but never remember his name. are going to give their semi-final opponents nightmares.

Leverkusen win 4:3 on aggregate

Assists : Basturk, Murphy (corner), Schneider, Murphy, Basturk


A superb opening goal. Bassinas picked out Konstantinou with a long pass, he held off De Boer before blasting a low shot inside Bonano's post. Brilliant shot. Pana were stood in a line around their penalty area with Saviola in possession, Luis Enrique raised a hand and gave him a shout, Saviola stuck the ball over the top, Luis Enrique controlled it on his chest and volleyed past Nikopolidis.

Luis Enrique gave Barca a killer early second half goal from Rivaldo's free kick and the Panathinaikos defence stood admiring Xavi's slow but accurate pass as Saviola jogged into the box and fired past Nikopolidis. Bonano took out Olisadebe when going for a cross, it should have been a penalty. As they lay on the floor, Vlaovic centred the ball to Konstantinou but his volley was brilliantly cleared off the line by Puyol, who had his hands behind his back to avoid any chance of handball. Smart lad. Saviola chipped the ball against the post. Olisadebe missed an open goal after substitute goalkeeper Reina made a complete mess of a cross. Both teams wasted chances in injury time. Rivaldo shot straight at Nikopolidis after making space for himself with a clever dummy and in the sixth minute of injury time Karagounis sent a half volley inches wide of the post.

Barcelona win 3-2 on aggregate

Assists : Bassinas, Saviola, Rivaldo (free kick), Xavi

3 APRIL 2002


Kluivert took a pass from Overmars and took out a defender by jinking left then hit a shot which curled wide of the post. Rochemback brilliantly evaded a challenge on the edge of the box and hit a rising shot with just sailed wide, he really should have scored. Konstantinou wasted Pana's best chance, heading wide Basinas' cross. Abelardo headed wide from a corner. Abelardo made a brilliant tackle on Kolkka in the box so the ref awarded a penalty. Basinas sent the ball to Bonano's left, he dived right.

Panathinaikos were dreadful. The bad news is that Barca have learned how to defend. I say it's bad because there is no longer any comedy value in the team. Actually speaking of comedy the music Panathinaikos play at the end of their matches is hilarious!

Assist : Kolkka (pen)

2 APRIL 2002


Man United started well but took the lead totally out of the blue with an outstanding 35yd strike from Beckham, from wide on the right he sent the ball dipping and curling into the top corner. Van Nistelrooy finished off an excellent passing move between Scholes, Giggs, Johnsen and Silvestre with a deft half volley. Keane was stretchered off just before half time with a hamstring injury after a clumsy challenge by Sergio.

Giggs blew two gilt edged chances within a minute mid-way through the second half and Van Nistelrooy stupidly went to ground in the box when in an excellent scoring position. Solskjaer hit a post. Tristan should have been sent off for a heinous foul on Beckham late in the second half but escaped with a yellow. The England captain followed Ireland captain Roy Keane out on a stretcher.

Man United should have won by three to four goals. Deportivo were pathetic and their frustration boiled over with two shameful challenges on Keane and Beckham respectively. Man United will be without Scholes, Beckham and Keane for the return leg.

Assists : Keane, Silvestre


Geremi tried his luck from the edge of the box and even though Kahn had the angle covered he misjudged the flight of the ball and it bounced into the net. Terrible mistake by Kahn. Elber headed against the crossbar. Pavon stuck out a leg in the box, Salihamidzic made sure he ran into it, penalty. Cesar made a comfortable save from Effenberg's poor spot kick. Effenberg made up for his earlier mistake with a close range strike following good work by Elber. Cesar made a fantastic one handed save from another Elber header. Pizarro headed on a Salihamidzic long ball, Elber headed it back and Pizzaro shot into the ground and the ball bounced over a helpless Cesar.

Assists : Makelele, Elber (x2)