21 March 2000


Toldo punched out Philippe's fiercely struck shot, Pierini made a hash of clearing the ball and Wiltord smashed in. Another defensive mistake, Firicano poorly ontrolled a pass which allowed Micoud to slip in Laslandes but Toldo saved and then made a spectacular diving save from a point blank Wiltord header. Rame was only tested once in the first half, saving brilliantly with his feet from Rui Costa.

Alicarte was sent off for man handling Batistuta in the box. Chiesa converted. Even down to 10 men Bordeaux still ploughed forward, Toldo once again rescuing his team with another tremendous save from Rouviere. Chiesa gave Batistuta a gift as Bordeaux waited in vain for the offside trap. Rui Costa punished awful defending by Pavon and Diabate to score the third. Zanotti pulled a goal back with a powerful strike inside the box following good work by Wiltord and Zanotti turned provider for Batlles to volley in the equaliser just before full time.

Toldo is a great 'keeper but has one of those tragic puberty moustaches.

Red Card : Alicarte 46 (Porto)
Attendance : 25,000

15 MARCH 2000


Rame made an excellent save from Gerrard. Feindouno wasted a present from a hospital pass, stupidly shooting straight at Canizares when the 'keeper had left a big gap on his left side. Djukic acrobatically volleyed in Ilie's corner although Rame should have saved. Juan Sanchez threw himself down in the box and got Saveljic sent off following minimal contact. Mendieta converted. Wiltord capitalised on some dire defending from a set piece to pull a goal back. Ilie brilliantly controlled a wild Angloma cross before playing in Gonzalez with a disguised pass, he blasted the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle, similar to the goal he scored against Bordeaux at the start of the campaign. Rame stupidly came off his line and missed the ball, fortunately for him Pavon cleared Angloma's shot. Angloma brilliantly flicked on a ball for Juan Sanchez and he beat Rame with ease.

Valencia only need a point from their last match to be sure of qualification.

Red Card : Saveljic 47 (Bordeaux)
Attendance : 27,000


Fiorentina opened up Man United with a great passing move which ended when Mijatovic released Rui Costa with a brilliant pass, he shot straight at Bosnich and slipped when attempted to put away the rebound. Giggs destroyed Repka on the left flank before crossing into the box, Toldo parried Cole's shot straight to Yorke but he also slipped at the crucial moment. A magnificent counter attacking move by the home side went un-rewarded when Rossitto made an awesome headed clearance with Beckham about to score. Cole flicked on a long punt upfield to Giggs, he sent Torricelli crashing onto his arse, turned Rossitto so many ways he must have given him motion sickness and his cross deflected off Adani to Keane but his shot was charged down. Berg weakly headed a long ball straight to Di Livio, he passed to Batistuta who turned inside Stam before unleashing a violent shot past Bosnich. With his back to goal and Repka breathing down his neck, Cole brilliantly killed a long Gary Neville pass before turning and firing inside the post. Toldo made a great save from Cole's chip. Berg headed a Beckham corner against the crossbar, Keane smashed the rebound in off the post.

Giggs picked up the ball on the half way line and left three players in his wake with a trademark slalom run but shot high, wide and handsome. Rossitto was sent off for a reckless foul on Yorke. Chiesa came on for Mijatovic and his first contribution was to take a dive in the box. Yorke headed in Giggs cross and Man United pretty much played out time.

Giggs was off the charts awesome. I have never, ever, eeeeever seen a player humiliate Torricelli like Giggs did tonight, tonight Torricelli was Giggs' bitch! Shame he still goes to pieces in front of goal. Ferguson has already hinted that he will make changes in Man United's final game away to Valencia which almost guarantee's Fiorentina are toast.

Red Card : Rossitto 62 (Fiorentina)
Attendance : 59,926

7 MARCH 2000


Ilie should have headed Valencia into the lead from a corner but made up for his miss with a neat turn and shot past Taglialatela. Canizares tipped over Torricelli's header, Mijatovic headed wide from the resulting corner.

Ilie gifted Lopez the ball right in front of goal but he froze and shot straight at Taglialatela. He smashed a shot off the underside of the crossbar from the right hand side and minutes later repeated the trick from the left hand side. Cois, unmarked in front of goal, headed down and over the bar from Rui Costa's cross. Lopez was once again denied this time by the feet of Taglialatela. Rui Costa scored with a superb free kick on a tight angle but the goal was disallowed as Batistuta ran offside even though he wasn't interfering in the play. Batistuta hit the outside of a post. Lopez went down in the box and Mendieta brilliantly converted for a long overdue second goal.

Attendance : 50,000


Battles took an accidental boot to the face from a team-mate Saveljic and emerged with the most horrific broken nose I have ever seen, far worse than anything I've witnessed in kickboxing or no holds barred fighting. Poor bastard. Pavon hit a timid shot from 20yds, Van der Gouw somehow managed to palm the ball into his own net. Beckham got Laslandes sent off with a total overreaction from a love tap to the foot. Minutes later Man United equalised following a slick passing move, Beckham with a beautiful through pass to Cole who turned it onto Sheringham who in turn spotted the run of Keane, Keane's initial shot was saved but he put away the rebound.

With his back to goal Wiltord spun around, rolled back a pass, drew in Stam and Silvestre and accelerated forward but shot just wide, beautiful move deserving of a goal. Cole raced onto a great through pass from Butt but just as he was about to score Saveljic stole the ball off his feet with an outstanding sliding tackle. Micoud smashed a shot off the post. Van der Gouw launched the ball upfield, Solskjaer killed the ball with an unreal first touch, held off two defenders and shot under Rame.

Red Card : Laslandes 23 (Bordeaux)
Attendance : 28,000

1 MARCH 2000


Giggs gave United the lead with a clever flick from a Beckham cross and provided the cross for Sheringham to head in their second. Beckham went close with free kicks, one smashing off the crossbar and the other brilliantly saved by Rame. Cole wasted two un-missable chances. Wiltord shot wide with only Van der Gouw to beat. Awful, awful match.

Attendance : 59,786



Oscar and Mendieta forced Irwin into loosing possession, Mendieta flew down the wing, abused Gary Neville and whipped a cross into the box, Phil Neville's clearance bounced off Stam straight to Farinos, Van der Gouw blocked his initial shot and Stam took the sting off his follow-up. Man United's first real chance came from a cleverly worked free kick, Beckham chipped the ball into the box, Giggs headed wide to Irwin he sent a cross into the box, Cole's shot was blocked the ball broke to Solskjaer but his shot was easily saved. Beckham curled a free kick against the crossbar. Another Beckham free kick led to the opening goal, Carboni headed the ball out, Gary Neville sent the ball back in, Carboni headed out again to Keane who struck a beautiful half volley past Palop.

Man United punished another dodgy header by Carboni, Phil Neville released Beckham and his beautifully clipped cross was met first time by Solskjaer at the neat post. Gary Neville then took a leaf out of Carboni's book and headed a cross straight to Angloma but Van der Gouw made a great save to keep out the Frenchman's shot. Carboni almost made amends for his mistakes when he picked out Lopez with a deflected cross but he poked his shot over the bar. Palop made two fantastic saves to keep out Cole's diving header and his follow up. Scholes wasted a headed chance created by Cole. Claudio Lopez clipped the outside of the post from a free kick. Scholes met Beckham's beautifully flighted free kick with a fine header. Butt and Yorke came on for Scholes and Cole as Man United played out the remaining 20 minutes. Juan Sanchez should have grabbed a consolation goal but shot straight at Van der Gouw from Vlaovic's back heel.

Too easy for Man United. Valencia were missing 4 first teamers. Stam gave a performance bordering on arrogance, such was his dominance. Beckham was also superb.

Attendance : 54,606

23 NOVEMBER 1999


Scholes blazed wide from the edge of the box from Yorke's excellent cut back, almost identical to his shot against Scotland last week. Bosnich made a great save to deny Rui Costa, set-up by a typically dangerous Torricelli run. Keane, having just won a ball, then played in Batistuta with a treacherous hospital pass and he beat Bosnich with ease. Toldo dropped a Beckham free kick it bounced off two Fiorentina defenders and onto the crossbar.

Batistuta intercepted Berg's back pass, centered for Balbo, bang 2-0. Scholes missed a sitter after Giggs' cross caused chaos in the box. Batistuta was booked for a foul on Beckham and subsequently misses Fiorentina's next match away to Bordeaux. Beckham was booked for taking a free kick early. Rui Costa blasted over the bar from close range.

Attendance : 40,000


The first real chance fell late in the first half to Bordeaux, Wiltord ran down the wing and rudely cut inside Pellegrino before unleashing a shot which was brilliantly saved by Palop.

Valencia finally woke up in the second half. Farinos forcing Rame to save and Mendieta screwing a shot wide when put through by Lopez. Lopez inevitably had a hand in the opening goal, he absolutely shamed Diabate with an outrageous dummy and then passed to Farinos who blasted a shot into the top left corner of the net. Mendieta stole a ball in midfield passed to Lopez (obviously) and despite being centrally placed he ran wide and crossed to Ilie at the back post via a deflection and he made it 2-0. Ilie desperately needs to work on his goal celebration. Laslandes has had a haircut. Valencia capped off a fine 2nd half display with a fantastic move, Gerard intercepted a ball and took a return pass with a defender before passing to Mendieta who spraying the ball wide to Kily Gonzalez, he headed goalwards, turned Grenet inside out (twice) and took an outrageous return pass from Lopez before hammering the ball into the roof of the net, awesome, awesome, awesome goal. Forget about Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Shevchenko, Batistuta, etc, etc, Lopez is the best forward in the World. Who is better than Lopez? No one! (well maybe Jennifer Lopez!). Attendance : 25,000