9 December 2003
BRUGGE 2-1 AJAX
Brugge attacked from the onset. Lange headed wide when unmarked in the box and Lobont produced a spectacularly athletic save from Simons' half volley. An extremely lucky bounce gave the Belgians a deserved lead. De Cock's hopeful long ball bounced off Lange's head past Lobont though his positioning has to be questioned. Sonck converted a penalty awarded for handball but Ajax fell victim to another fortuitous goal. Escude inadvertently helped Smolder's pass into the path of Saeternes and as he turned and shot the ball squired in off Lobont's hands.
Assist : De Cock
MILAN 1-2 CELTA VIGO
Two brilliant long range strikes sent the teams in level at half time. Ignacio scored the winner after initially miss-hitting a cross.
Assists : Redondo, G Lopez, Luccin
26 November 2003
AJAX 0-1 MILAN
A bad night for Inzaghi. He missed two early chances and was booked for protesting after Shevchenko had a goal harshly ruled out. Once Ibrahimovic went off in the 40th minute Ajax were even less of a threat.
A Milan counter attack started with Cafu knocking the ball into Inzaghi, he turned his marker before returning Cafu's pass, Cafu chipped the ball into the box, Shevchenko controlled it on his chest before shooting under Lobont. Seedorf headed over with the goal at his mercy and Obodai injured himself when he blocked a cross by Cafu. A fantastic piece of skill by Pirlo on the edge of his penalty area preceded an excellent long ball but, despite having a few yards on Heitinga, Inzaghi was forced wide and tackled by the defender. Clearly lacking fitness, Ancelotti substituted him 3 minutes later. Despite Rui Costa continually giving away possession after coming on for Kaka, the European Champions comfortably held on to secure a place in the knockout stages.
Assist : Cafu
CELTA VIGO 1-1 BRUGGE
Celta were finally rewarded for their dominance when Mostovoi finished off a nice passing move with a tap in at the back post. It started pissing down and Mostovoi went off with an injury. In injury time Lange leapt above the Celta defence to head in Roelandts cross.
Assists : Berizzo, Roelandts
Milan's #1 priority next month is the Intercontinental Cup so Ancelotti is bound to field a weakened side giving Celta a very good chance of claiming victory. Ajax need to avoid defeat against Brugge and match whatever result Celta manage.
4 November 2003
CELTA VIGO 3-2 AJAX
Luccin converted a penalty expertly won by big cheater Milosevic. Having scored the goal their play so richly deserved, Celta went 2-0 up before half time, Milosevic with a bullet header from Sylvinho's superb cross. Ajax got back into the match following brilliant play by Maxwell. He swapped passed on the edge of the box, Angel tried to chop him in half, he rode the tackle then floated the ball to the back post and Sonck headed home. Vagner pushed aside the challenge of Yakubu before screwing the ball under Lobont. Van der Vaart's fantastic late strike wasn't enough to deny Celta their first win in the competition.
Assists : Milosevic (won pen), Sylvinho, Maxwell, Jesuli, ?
Red Card : Grygera 89 (Ajax)
1 October 2003
AJAX 2-0 BRUGGE
A superb back heel by Ibrahimovic and expertly timed run by Sonck gave Ajax an early lead. Escude made a brilliant goal line clearance to deny Saeternes. Sonck looked miles offside when he ran onto Sneijder's through pass to score his second. Replay's showed he was just offside but his clever diagonal run fooled the linesman.
If you rearrange the letters in Brugge you get Bugger. It's worth thinking about.
Assists : Ibrahimovic, Sneijder
16 September 2003
MILAN 1-0 AJAX
The European Champions opened their defence with a hard fought victory over classic rivals Ajax. A slick passing move ended when Trabelsi made an excellent block on an Inzaghi volley. Milan should have been awarded a penalty when Pasanen blatantly kicked Inzaghi after he had turned the defender in the box. He got his reward in the second half. With his back to goal he took Cafu's pass and turned Maxwell before picking out Shevchenko, Lobont parried his shot and Inzaghi was on hand to tap-in. Kaka, who if you hadn't figure out by know is first choice playmaker ahead of the SHIT Rui Costa and Rivaldo, should have added a second but having held off Pasanen, who is brilliant, shot against the post. Gattuso was sent off for throwing an elbow into Ibrahimovic's face. Milan almost came unstuck right at the death. The normally impeccable Maldini threw himself at Van der Vaart and missed the ball. Ajax broke down the right through Trabelsi, he turned the Milan defence inside out before sending a low pass toward Ibrahimovic, his shot bounced off Cafu and fell to Van der Vaart who hit a thundering shot measured at 100kmph low towards the bottom corner but Dida made the BEST SAVE OF ALL TIME EVER to seal victory.
It really was the best save of all time.
BRUGGE 1-1 CELTA VIGO
Mendoza got himself a really stupid red card - for throwing the ball at Ignacio. Ignacio fell on the floor clutching his arm, the big freaking puss. Replays showed Ignacio actually kicked Mendoza after the ref had blew for a foul in favour of Mendoza. Van Basten was in the stands, scouting for Ajax. Juanfran scored with a brilliant solo effort before turning Saeternes centre into his own net. Martens was sent off for diving in the box.
Red Cards : Mendoza 45 (Brugge), Martens 91 (Brugge)