10 March 2004
ARSENAL 2-0 CELTA VIGO
As expected this turned out to be the most boring match of the night because the result was never in doubt. Henry was standing in an offside position and as Arsenal were passing he very slowly walked onside, Bergkamp fired a pass into him, he turned, Celta appealed for offside, smack, bottom corner, 1-0. GENIUS. Every forward should study how he reads the offisde trap, especially Inzaghi. Arsenal's second goal arrived suddenly from a goal kick. Lemon threw the ball at Pires, he sprayed wide to Ljunberg who in turn passed to Bergkamp, Bergkamp played it back, Ljungberg's first time cross took a deflection off Caceres and Henry chested the ball down and shot into the corner. Arsenal should have been 5-0 up by the time Contreras earned a second yellow for body checking Reyes.
Arsenal win 5-2 on aggregate.
Assist : Bergkamp
Red Card : Contreras 74 (Celta Vigo)
MILAN 4-1 SPARTA PRAGUE
After having an early goal dissalowed for offside (Shevchenko not Inzaghi) Milan were once agian frustrated by Sparta's tough tackling. Inzaghi gave the champions the lead in first half injury time with a phenomenal looping header from Cafu's cross.
Jun scored two minutes after coming on a substite, superbly volleying Michalik's cross past Dida. Milan reacted aggresisvly and were back in front minutes later. Inzaghi held up a ball then laid it off to Pancaro who hit a perfect cross to the back post and Shevchenko powefully headed into the net. Pergl failed to punish a mistake by Nesta, shooting wide with a clear sight of goal and Blazek made another excellent save to prevent an own goal. Having defended deep most of the match Sparta tried to play offside with disastorous results, Kaka's pass released Shevchenko and he raced away before confidently drilling the ball wide of Blazed. Johanan sliced Gattuso's speculative effort past his own 'keeper.
The scoreline is slightly harsh on Sparta. Shevchenko's goal deflated the Czech's and forced to attack they left themseleves open, Milan took full advantage.
Inzaghi looks to have made a very timely recovery from injury.
Milan win 4-1 on aggregate.
Assists : Cafu, Michalik, Pancaro, Kaka
MONACO 1-0 LOKOMOTIV
The Portuguese ref decided this match with an appaling display of officiating. First he awarded Monaco a penalty when Adebayor spectacularly threw himself down in the box. Pachinine and Loskov were booked for protesting. Prso took the penalty and struck the post. Morientes got Loskov sent off with a typically theatrical dive. Even more ironic was the fact that this complete bastard booked Prso for diving! Prso won it with a first time effort following good work by Rothen and Bernardi.
It was a really cheap win which is a shame as Monaco have played some great football this season. Lokomotiv paid the price for poor finishing in Moscow.
2-2 aggregate, Monaco win on away goals.
REAL MADRID 1-0 BAYERN MUNICH
While the Bayern defence were waiting for the ref to blow for a foul on Raul (from behind I might add) Salgado bravelly headed Beckham's defelcted cross to the back post and Zidane acrobatically volleyed past Kahn. Casillas made a brilliant save from Ze Roberto's sweetly struck volley and again came to Real's rescue with another fine save from Makaay as Bayern broke from defending a Real Madrid corner. From the resuling corner Salgado cleared Pizarro's goalbound shot off the line. Kahn actually made a good save, about 2.5 hours into the tie. In injury time Effenberg's younger brother, Schweinsteiger (same father, different mother) went close with a long ranger. Passenger Raul was released by Beckham and having brilliantly rode a tackle from the ginger ape (if he went down it would have been a pen) shot into the side netting. 'MEIN GOT!' screamed the German commentator as a fight broke out just before the final whistle. Ballack confronted Salgado over a tackle, Guti charged in and pushed Ballack away then that little prick Lizarazu threw an elbow at Guti, he'll be lucky to escape a ban from UEFA for that one. It wasn't a good day for Guti as seconds later Raul and Kuffour squared off, Kuffour pushed Raul and as his head rocked back he headbutted Guti straight in the face.
I don't think either side is particulalry impressive. Bayern are crap and lucky to get this far. Loud mouthed, past it, ginger aped twat Kahn's blunder ultimately cost them a place in the quarter-finals. I was looking forward to a potential meeting with Bayern because I felt they were the weakest side left in the competition and because they've made a fortune from Champions League revenue over the years (more than any other club in fact) and that really annoys me.
Real Madrid win 2-1 on aggregate.
Assist : Salgado
9 March 2004
JUVENTUS 0-1 DEPORTIVO
Juve went into the match on the back of an injury crisis and promptly lost Del Piero to a calf injury after just 8 minutes then lost a goal to the type of second rate defending that has become the teams achilles heel this season. Molina launched a goalkick downfield, Montero should have cleared but Pandiani got between him and Ferrara and flicked the ball over Ferrara's head before volleying past Buffon. The World's ugliest man, Camoranesi, missed a great chance to equalise, volleying wide after Di Vaio fired a teasing cross to the back post. Pandiani went close with an overhead kick. Miccoli handled the ball before firing into Molina's ribs, somehow the linesman missed it. Miccoli forced Molina into making a Hollywood save and Appiah's spectacular 35 yard volley left the crossbar trembling. He went close with another long range effort and in injury time Juve were caught on the break but Naybet's shot came back off the post.
Andrade was excellent for Depor. The result is harsh on Juve, they deserved a draw but after conceding a goal so early scoring the three they needed was never likely.
Deportivo win 2-0 on aggregate
MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 PORTO
O'Shea played a one-two with Giggs and turned a defender before sending a peach of a cross to the back post for Ginger twat Scholes to head in. Djemba Djemba sliced a cross straight to Carlos Alberto, Howard made a reaction save and Maniche blazed the rebound over the bar. Ginger twat Scholes had a goal harshly ruled out for offside late in the first half.
Ronaldo came on for Fletcher then left on a stretcher less then 10 minutes later after being tripped by Pedro Emanuel. The ref dreamed up a free kick for an apparent foul on Jankauskas. Howard tried to catch McCarthy's thunderous free kick but dropped the ball and Costinha volleyed Porto into the quarter-finals. Mourinho left the field with a double fingered salute to the Old Trafford faithful. He's going to get fined, I don't think he cares.
A lot will be made of Scholes disallowed goal but Man United were lucky to get out of Portugal with only a one goal deficit.
Porto win 3-2 on aggregate
Assist : O'Shea
LYON 1-0 REAL SOCIEDAD
Lyon lost Coupet to injury after the 'keeper injured his hand when colliding with Gabilondo. Govou and Luyindula wasted several chances. Xabi Alonso's shot was cleared off the line by Deflandre. Juninho burst down the left wing and passed to Luyindula, he pulled the ball and the Brazilian shot first time in off the post.
Lyon win 2-0 on aggregate
Assist : Luyindula
CHELSEA 0-0 STUTTGART
This game was SO dull. Having brilliantly pulled down a long ball and danced through the Chelsea defence Lahm shot wide of the post. Mutu blew two late chances. I felt like blowing my brains out.
Chelsea are the most boring side in Europe. Milan may not score many goals but at least they actually create chances, Chelsea do neither.
Chelsea win 1-0 on aggregate.
25 February 2004
DEPORTIVO 1-0 JUVENTUS
Scaloni stole the ball off Appiah and whipped a cross towards the back post, Thuram was presumably tried to head out but he must have forgot his contacts lenses or something because the ball came off the top of his head and bounced wide to Luque who lashed a volley into the corner.
Tacchinardi was robbed of possession in midfield and rapid passing tore Juve apart but Victor shot wide. Miccoli, on as a sub for the injured Trezeguet, should have at least tested Molina when clean through but blazed way, way over the bar. Buffon kept Juve in the tie with a spectacular reaction save from a Victor shot which took a huge deflection off Legrottaglie. At the other end there was an unbelievably bad miss by Del Piero after a poor clearance gave him a free shot.
Despite Depor's poor away form Juve better hope Nedved, who has hit a slump in recent weeks, turns it on in the return.
PORTO 2-1 MANCHESTER UNITED
Sloppy handling by Baia, like that's something new, cost Porto the opening goal. Giggs laid off a free kick to ginger twat Scholes, he smashed the ball at Baia, instead of parrying wide he pushed the ball straight back and Fortune gobbled up the rebound. Porto created half a dozen chances over the next 15 minutes and finally their pressure paid off. A superb passing move ended with Alenichev swapping passes with Carlos Alberto before firing a cross on the turn which McCarthy brilliantly volleyed past Howard. Now either the Italian directors are biased or Man United didn't have a single noteworthy chance for the rest of the match because Porto were all over them like a cheap suit. McCarthy's spectacular header gave the UEFA Cup champions a deserved lead. Keane was sent off for stamping on Baia as he smothered a through pass.
I'm not sure how Porto will approach the return leg but given the way Man United have been defending they have an excellent chance of scoring a crucial away goal, if they are ambitious enough.
Assists : Alenitchev, Maniche
Red Card : Keane 87 (Man United)
REAL SOCIEDAD 0-1 LYON
Schurrer turned Malouda's centre past his own 'keeper Westerveld. Sociedad briefly rallied through one season wonder Nihat but Coupet was equal to his excellent shot. Luyindula wasted two further chances. Both teams went close with second half free kicks. Westerveld denied Juninho with a spectacular, back breaking save and Karpin's free kick slammed off the underside of the crossbar. In injury time Malouda's shot came back off the inside of a post.
Lyon should have no problems finishing off Sociedad in the return leg.
STUTTGART 0-1 CHELSEA
Johnson received a pass from Gallas, played a one-two with Geremi before galloping forward, he fired a cross into the box and Meira volleyed into his own net. Cudicini brilliantly saved Kuranyi's goal bound header. Gudjohnsen should have made the second leg a formality but sliced over from 6 yards out following good work by Geremi and Crespo. Jimmy would have scored, he should always start.
24 February 2004
LOKOMOTIV 2-1 MONACO
The least glamorous tie produced the best football from home team Lokomotiv. Khokhlov dummied Loskov's crossfield pass, Izmailov nutmegged not one but two Monaco defenders before lashing the ball into the net. Monaco paid the price for failing to clear a corner. The ball eventually fell to Gurenko, his shot cannoned off Evseev and Maminov fired into the corner. Monaco scored with a rare attack. Rothen's free kick was flicked on by Zikos and Morientes headed past Ovchinnikov. Rothen almost caught out Ovchinnikov with another free kick and in stoppage time substitute Obiorah went clean through following a failed offside trap and having brilliantly controlled Loskov's long ball, he shot well wide.
Assists : Loskov, Evseev, Zikos
BAYERN MUNICH 1-1 REAL MADRID
Based on the fabulous atmosphere generated by the Munich faithful you could be forgiven for thinking this was an excellent match. It was rubbish. Beckham made himself look busy without doing anything - other than crossing poorly all night and the other galacticos were even more invisible. I had to check UEFA's site to see if Raul actually played and the same could be said for Bayern's star player, Ballack. Shortly after missing the best chance of the match Makaay broke the deadlock with a powerful header. Cheating little **** Roberto Carlos should have been sent off for striking Demichelis in the face after both players slammed into each other when challenging for a ball. Kahn pissed away the points when he did an Ian Walker and let a surprisingly weak Roberto Carlos free kick slip from his grasp.
Assists : Pizarro, Ronaldo (won fk)
CELTA VIGO 2-3 ARSENAL
Edu headed Pires' free kick against Velasco's arse then threw himself at the rebound, unfortunately for Cavallero he missed the ball but caught Edu's knees in his face, busting him wide open. The other Edu levelled less then 10 minutes later, he managed to leap above Vieira to head in former Arsenal player Sylvinho's free kick. Arsenal survived a strong fight back from Celta to go in level at half time. Edu picked up a loose ball, dribbled past two defenders, switched the ball to his right foot before whipping a shot inside the top corner. Fantastic goal. Arsenal once again conceded from a set piece. Fernandez headed against team-mate Ignacio and he stabbed over the line. Pires scored a brilliant winner ten minutes from time. With his back to goal he returned Henry's pass with an exquisite flick, Henry played the ball back to him, he took one touch to control, one to shoot, 2-3.