22 March 2000


Gary Neville failed to cut out a long ball to Roberto Carlos and he sprinted clear before setting up Morientes who should have given Real the lead. Giggs done a number on Salgado and Campo but Yorke missed a header from his cross. Van der Gouw spared Gary Neville's blushes, brilliantly coming off his line to block Roberto Carlos after Neville played him in with a hospital pass. Keane gave Real Madrid the lead when he turned in Salgado's cross. Yorke wasted another header, this time Cole supplying the cross. Karanka made a great block as Yorke was set to pull the trigger from another superb cross, from Irwin. Casillas made the first of many excellent saves, from Beckham, brilliantly played in by a killer pass from Scholes and an identical chance fell to Keane minutes later from Cole's back heel but again Casillas saved. Man United should have been awarded a penalty, Karanka handled Cole's header on the line with Casillas stranded. Raul wasted a glorious opportunity to put Real 2-0 up just before half time, shooting high over the bar as Stam's attempted clearance landed at his feet.

Minutes into the second half Man United got caught on the counter attack, Salgado picking out McManaman with a powerful header, he released Raul on the right flank and he carried the ball 50yds before turning inside Silvestre and brilliantly curling a shot past Van der Gouw. Keane then continued his treachery, shooting over from six yards after a great one-two with Cole. Redondo charged down the left flank, destroyed Berg with an outrageous back heel which he then ran onto himself and pulled the ball back for Raul to tap-in. Awesome, awesome, awesome goal. Speaking of awesome goals, Beckham received a pass from Scholes, smocked Roberto Carlos with a great dummy, jinked past Karanka and blasted the ball into the roof of the net. Scholes flashed a shot wide of the post. Scholes converted a penalty for a 'foul' on Keane by McManaman but no 90th minute miracles for United this time as Yorke again wasted a header.

Giggs was off the charts awesome, equally as brilliant as the performances served up by Figo this season. Beckham seemed afraid to engage in a contest with Roberto Carlos, on the only occasion he actually went at Carlos he got past him and scored but Roberto Carlos was excellent defensively, believe it or not. Keane had an outstanding match - for Real Madrid, not only did he score an own goal but missed an absolute sitter at a crucial time in the game. It's hard to single out a single Real Madrid player for praise, they were all magnificent. Brilliant tactical display from Real Madrid, even more impressive than Barca's display against Chelsea.

Man United played some of the best football seen in this competition this season but couldn't find a way past Casillas and crucially forgot how to defend. What goes around comes around and this match was football's way of paying Man United back for last season's miraculous victory over Bayern Munich. Things always seem to even themselves out in this great sport.

Real Madrid win 3-2 on aggregate
Attendance : 59,178


Santa Cruz failed to make contact with Tarnat's brilliant cross but Paolo Sergio didn't, his half volley deflecting off Esquerdinha past Hilario. Slack marking allowed Jardel a chance from a free kick but Kahn made a fantastic save. Santa Cruz latched onto a fantastic ball from Elber, burst through the Porto defence and stayed on his feet despite a blatant foul in the box but Hilario threw out his right boot to save.

Capucho's miss hit cross came back off Khan's crossbar. Elber blazed inches wide when released by Santa Cruz's header. Jardel predictably headed in the equaliser from an outstanding cross by Esquerdinha. Linke won it deep into injury time with a fabulous diving header from Scholl's free kick.

Bayern Munich win 3-2 on aggregate
Attendance : 47,000

18 APRIL 2000


Rivaldo lifted the boredom when his free kick took a wicked deflection off Babayaro leaving De Goey wrong footed. Flo wasted a header when left unmarked from a corner. Kluivert blasted a shot against he post following a destructive run by Figo, Figo coolly curled in the rebound.

Hesp gifted Chelsea a goal, kicking a back pass straight to Flo and he steadied himself before picking his spot. Barca immediately went on the offensive, De Goey struggled to deal with two teasing crosses before Kluivert blasted a header against the crossbar. Di Matteo blew a '100% chance' when slipped in by Morris inside the box, he bottled it and took two touches allowing Gabri, who did a lot of donkey work, to clear. Dani then made an unbelievable miss, somehow heading wide from Figo's perfectly flighted free kick. They combined again minutes later but this time Dani was denied by a fabulous save from De Goey. Dani finally got it right, heading in another laser precision free kick, this time from Gaurdiola. Chelsea hit back immediately, Hesp forced to scramble away two crosses. Another Figo cross and another 'goal' Kluivert was flattened in the box by Lebouef but to his credit didn't even think of appealing for a penalty and while still on his arse he somehow squeezed the ball between Desailly and Babayaro but the ref blew for a penalty, why didn't he send off Lebouef? Rivaldo stepped up and incredibly shot wide, probably giving a few people hearts attacks in the process.

In a moment of mindless stupidity, King of the Donkey's Lambourde, who makes Costacurta look like Thuram, ran with the ball across his own goal predictably Dani stole it and smashed a shot at goal but De Goey saved and Lebouef cleared. Babayaro was sent off for bringing down Figo in the box, he didn't actually make contact but the intent was definitely there. This time Rivaldo converted, bravely going for the same corner. Kluivert put the nail in the coffin with a header from Dani's cross just before the end of the first period of extra time. Even though Barca stepped off the gas in the second period the impressive Gabri could have added another two goals.

Chelsea invited pressure in the first half but Barca really didn't play well despite taking a two goal lead. The second half was a different matter. Chelsea started brightly but after taking the lead they were under siege. To be fair it would have been a travesty if Chelsea won this match, such was the dominance of Barca, they could have won by seven or eight goals. Babayaro and Lambourde were absolutely awful, as was Chelsea's defending from set pieces. Figo is the best player in Europe right now but a yellow card means he misses the first leg against Valencia.

Barcelona win 6-4 on aggregate
Red Card : Babayaro 98
Attendance : 85,000

5 APRIL 2000


De Goey punched out Rivaldo's free kick, Chelsea failed to clear the ball and Rivaldo whipped in a cross, Kluivert make his usual pathetic attempt to head the ball but missed, Gabri turned and fired at goal but De Goey saved. Chelsea broke from the resulting corner, Zola played in Morris but he panicked and shot into the ground when unmarked outside the box. Thome made a fantastic sliding tackle to prevent Kluivert from giving Barca the lead. Hesp made an incredible save as Desailly powerfully met Zola's cross. Figo was booked for deliberate handball on the edge of the box and Barca were further punished when Zola brilliantly dropped the free kick into the bottom left corner of the net. Ferrer beat Figo to a slack pass from Mulder I mean Petrescu and played in Zola with a great pass, Zola centred and Flo swept the ball first time past Hesp. Excellent goal. Deschamps caught the abysmal Barca defence cold with a long ball over the top, Flo ran between two defenders and with Hesp poorly positioned lifted the ball into the net.

Figo pulled a goal back for Barca following a sweet move, he passed to Cocu who sprayed wide to Rivaldo with a beautiful reserve pass and his first time cross was met by Figo. De Goey spilled a tame drive by Rivaldo but Thome came to the rescue. In a rare second half Chelsea attack Zola flicked on a header(!), Flo smoked Abelardo but his shot went closer to the corner flag than the goal. Figo should have pulled another goal back for Barca late on but shot way over the bar following a great counter attack.

Needless to say a fantastic performance by Chelsea. Barca couldn't cope with the pressing but Chelsea couldn't keep up the workrate in the second half. Desailly and Thome were outstanding, Thome is possibly a better defender than Lebouef. Figo was simply brilliant, as he has been throughout this competition. A monumental second 2nd leg in prospect.

Attendance : 33,662


Angulo found Lopez with a fabulous 50yd slide rule pass, Lopez sent Mihajlovic crashing onto his arse before smashing a shot at Ballotta who made a great save but was helpless as Angulo arrived to put in the rebound. Gerard ran onto Juan Sanchez's awesome back heel, sold Negro with a brilliant dummy and shot past Ballotta. Another wonderful move should have resulted in a goal but Kily shot wide after tearing through the Lazio defence. Inzaghi scored a carbon copy of his goal against Chelsea, sliding in to meet Nedved's cross. Gerard headed in his second from Lopez's free kick.

Ballotta gave Gerard his hat-trick, punching Kily's cross straight to his feet. Salas miss controlled a great cross by Boksic but just about managed to beat Angloma to the ball and put it past Canizares as he lost his balance. Salas should have been booked for diving when in a good position despite the fact that Djukic didn't even touch him, dirty bastard. Lazio got what they deserved when Mihajlovic failed to cut out an easy through ball which allowed Lopez to run through and place the ball into the corner.

Lazio are f****** without Nesta. It's hard to see them overturning a three goal deficit in the 2nd leg especially given how great Valencia are on the counter attack.

Attendance : 50,000

4 APRIL 2000


Jardel flicked on Hilaro's goal kick to Capucho, he held off Lizarazu and Andersson but chipped the ball wide as Kahn flew off his line. Having wasted a great cross by Drulovic in the first half Jardel made no mistake in the second, punishing slack marking by Kuffour to head past Kahn. The same players combined for the next chance, once again Jardel found himself unmarked in the box but Kahn came to the rescue. Effenburg caught the Porto defence cold with a brilliant 50yd pass to Paulo Sergio who half volleyed past Hilario.

Attendance : 30,000