3 November 1999
GALATASARAY 3-2 MILAN
Weah volleyed Milan in the lead from Shevchenko's cross. Capone punished a rare mistake by Abbiati. Abbiati made a fantastic one handed save to keep out Popescu. Shevchenko flicked on Abbiati's goal kick, Giunti ran onto the ball and calmly beat the 'keeper. Milan sat back and were duly punished. Abbiati made a phenomenal save to keep out Umit's free kick but his defence left him cruelly exposed as Suker headed in Ergun's cross and minutes later it was all over, N'Gotty pulled down Sukur, Umit converted the penalty, Milan, the Champions of Italy, are out of Europe.
Attendance : 20,000
26 OCTOBER 1999
MILAN 1-1 CHELSEA
It only took Chelsea 2 minutes to get past the Milan defence, Flo turning Maldini and Ayala but hitting a shot straight at Abbiati and minutes later it was Petrescu's turn to shoot at the 'keeper. Shevchenko went close for Milan with a free kick. Chelsea strung together a brilliant 10 pass move ending with Flo blazing over the bar from Wise's centre. Shevchenko headed against the post from Serginho's free kick. Abbiati made a fantastic save to deny Ferrer from long range, Leonardo flashed a half volley inches wide. Bierhoff wasted a great chance when Lebouef slipped when miss judging a bouncing ball. De Goey made a great save to keep out a drive from Ambrosini. Bierhoff headed over a miss-hit Guly shot from close range. Abbiati made a miraculous save to keep from Poyet's point blank header, Milan then charged downfield and Bierhoff headed in Serginho's cross, the only ball Desailly missed all match. Wise ran onto a great through pass by Di Matteo, got between 3 defenders and steered the ball under Abbiati's legs.
Lebouef and Desailly were absolutely World Class. Abbiati typically kept Milan in the match with some great saves. Milan only came to life in the second half, thanks largely to Serginho who was the only creative threat in stark contrast to Chelsea who had no shortage of ideas.
Attendance : 74,855
HERTHA 1-4 GALATASARAY
By Tim Leidecker
Hertha only needed 1 point to qualify but ran out of steam as Galatasaray put on a Gala show in Turkeys biggest town after Istanbul (even though it wasn't as blatant as in the Euro 2000 qualifyer between Germany and Turkey there should have been around 20,000 - 25,000 Turks in the stadium). Even though they didn't play well at all Hertha led after the first half through a Rekdal penalty after Darius Wosz was fouled in the box.
But in the 2nd half it was all Gala: Hakan Sükür, who had a very good game and even received the best grade from Germanys sports magazine kicker, first headed in Emres cross 3 minutes into the 2nd half and then even turned around the game when he converted a Suat corner after the ball coolly spun through the area. Berlin of course threw everything into attack and had to swallow another two goals on the counterattack by Toogay...erm...Tugay and Okan.
First time I'm not in the stadium for a Champions League home game and they lose. But there was another reason: Even though coach Jürgen Röber played almost the identical 11 who swept Milan off the pitch a week ago there was one crucial change: Defensive midfielder Pal Dardai was missing and with him an awesome workrate and the link between defense and attack. Hertha now has to return from London with at least a draw to ensure qualification.
Attendance : 71,520
20 OCTOBER 1999
GALATASARAY 0-5 CHELSEA
Flo ran onto Zola's pass, made himself space in the box and squeezed a shot into the corner. Suker headed against the crossbar. Zola and Poyet combined for Flo's second, Flo beautifully taking the ball on his chest and sweeping a shot past Mehmet. Zola added a third, Flo was walking back as the Galatasaray defence stood appealing for offside, Zola burst through, turned Mehmet inside out before tapping into an empty net. Another hugely fortunate offside decision gifted Chelsea a fourth, Wise finishing Flo's centre. Ambrosetti complete the rout. Attendance : 30,000 HERTHA 1-0 MILAN By Tim Leidecker Milan fielded their championship team from last season with the exception of Serginho for Ziege and Shevchenko for Weah but were hopelessly outplayed, outbattled and outsmarted in front of 75,000 at the Olympiastadion. I had just taken my seat when Wosz who probably played his best match in the blue & white shirt stripped Costacurta off the ball, passed in front of the goal and after a scramble involving Preetz and Sala Abbiati deflected the ball onto the post. And Milans n°26 was again the unlucky fellow when he tried to play the ball to Costacurta with his head but Wosz splashed in between, raced towards the Milan goal and fired the ball past Abbiati.
Great goal but also a grave mistake but noone can really blame Sala, he just came back from injury and clearly lacked practise. And it also was Luigi who had Milans best "chance" in the dying seconds when a clearance landed in front of his feet inside the area but Kiraly had 0 problems in saving his weak shot.
Disappointing performance by Milan, even after the 1-0 they kept on playing like it was still 0-0, no fire, no heart. Hertha continue their impressive streak at home, I don't know where this will end if they keep on playing like that?!
Attendance : 75,000
28 SEPTEMBER 1999
MILAN 1-1 HERTHA
By Tim Leidecker
Hertha stun the world as they take away a point from Milan at the San Siro, a feat last achieved by a German team in 1955 (after that came 8 straight defeats). The biggest chance for the red & black in the first half came when Leonardo curled a great free kick into the top left corner but Kiraly was there to punch it out with a spectacular save! Herthas Deisler was able to contain both Serginho and Maldini on the right side alone and Gattuso VS. Dardai was a hell of a combat in midfield. Costacurta and Helveg were total failures for Milan.
After 25 minutes into the 2nd half Irans Ali Daei recieved a long punt by Deisler, held off Guly in the area and beat Abbiati at the near post. What a shock for the Rossoneri as Hertha scored on their first chance! 5 minutes later Shevchenko was able to get rid of his marker Schmidt for the only time in the game, pentrated into the area and his deflected cross was met by Bierhoff who had no problem scoring. Leo then had a regular goal disallowed in the very last minute for offside by the awful French referee Veissiere.
Why does Milan keep themselves an "air-monster" when they're not going to feed it?
Attendance : 40,944
21 SEPTEMBER 1999
MILAN 2-1 GALATASARAY
Leonardo controlled a Bierhoff cross on his chest and drilled a half volley past Taffarel and set up Shevchenko to put Milan 2-0 in front. Umit turned in a cross at the start of the second half.
Attendance : 45,000