13 MARCH 2001
MAN UNITED 3-0 STURM GRAZ
Sidorczuk made a phenomenal save from a Solskjaer's header and minutes later he was beaten by a superb 20yd strike by man of the match Butt. Butt also played a part in the second goal. He intercepted a loose ball, ran over Korsos and knocked the ball into Solskjaer who in turn cut the ball back for Sheringham to tap-in. Solskjaer wasted two great chances (he misses as many as he scores). Vastic stung Barthez's palms with a free kick. Man United wrapped up the points with a brilliant third. Chadwick carried the ball from the half way line, Solskjaer back heeled his cross and Keane shot first time by Sidorczuk.
Assists : Solskjaer (x2)
VALENCIA 2-1 PANATHINAIKOS
Panathinaikos were awarded a penalty following a suicidal challenge by Albelda on Nisiopoulos. Basinas sent Canizares the wrong way. Midget Sanchez equalised by heading in Zahovic's free kick (Aimar was rested and Mendieta suspended). Chalkias made a fantastic save to deny Sanchez brilliantly set-up by stunning run from Angloma! Canizares made a crucial save to keep out Liberopoulos. Baraja flashed a free kick wide of the post. Sanchez wasted a great cross. Chalkias made a mess of a tame Zahovic free kick and Angloma put away the rebound. Canizares made a good save from old man Warzycha late on.
Assists : Nisiopoulos, Zahovic
7 MARCH 2001
PANATHINAIKOS 1-1 MAN UNITED
Gary Neville made of his trademark hospital passes as Barthez came off his line to claim the ball fortunately for the away side Liberopoulos slipped at the crucial moment. Panathinaikos were awarded a free kick following a clumsy challenge on Seitaridis by donkey Silvestre. Yorke weakly headed out the free kick, Seitaridis brought the ball down and smashed it past Barthez, excellent strike.
Warzycha split the Man United defence with a brilliant disguised pass but Boateng couldn't find the finish to match. An increasingly desperate Man United started pumping balls into the box. Eventually it paid off. Boateng weakly cleared a corner and Chadwick (the ugliest footballer in the World) knocked the ball back into the box, it hit Scholes and he turned sharply to fire past Nikopolidis.
Man United are playing dreadful football at the moment, the match against Arsenal non-withstanding. Beckham is off form and without the team's other creative threat, Ryan Giggs, they struggle.
Assist : Chadwick
STURM GRAZ 0-5 VALENICA
Ayala beat Carew to Mendieta's corner and brilliantly directed a header past Sidorczuk. The next chance was typical of the flowing football Strum Graz have been playing in the Champions league this season. Schupp released Ibertsberger, he knocked a first time cross into the box, Hass volleyed, Canizares saved. Schupp hit another brilliant pass but to the wrong end, Carew raced onto the ball and bounced himself off last man Prilasnig. red card.
While the finish for Valencia's second goal was scrappy, it looked like a defender turned the ball past his own 'keeper, the build up was marvellous - rapid passing involving Mendieta, Aimar and Angloma. Kily Gonzalez made it 0-3 with a crisp early strike across goal. Alonso headed a fourth and completed the scoring from close range.
Assists : Mendieta (x2), Vicente
Red Card : Prilasnig 35 (Sturm Graz)
Valencia have qualified. Sturm Graz can still qualify if they beat Man United by more than a two goal margin.
20 FEBRUARY 2001
MAN UNITED 1-1 VALENCIA
Giggs and Cole combined brilliantly to put their team in the lead, Giggs played a one-two with Cole, ran into the box, centred and Cole met the ball first time with a beautiful cushioned volley. Giggs went off injured. Cole should have bagged his second. Sheringham's awesome pass took a deflection off Pellegrino leaving Cole with only the 'keeper to beat but he shot straight at Canizares. Aimar easily beat Man United's offside trap to Mendieta's through pass but dragged his shot wide.
Man United didn't trouble Valencia in the second half. Scholes cleared Baraja's header off the line. Brown turned Vicente's centre past his own 'keeper.
Both teams have flattered to deceive in this competition so far yet remain on course for the quarter-finals. They cannot afford to continually play such lacklustre football. In stark contrast to his domestic from Beckham has been awful.
Assist : Giggs
PANATHINAIKOS 1-2 STURM GRAZ
Schopp opened the scoring with a brilliantly struck volley from Minavand's left wing cross. Mahlic picked out Schopp with a huge pass but Haas weakly headed his cross at Nikopolidis. Haas made amends with what proved to be the winning goal, he ran onto Kocijan's pass, rounded Nikopolidis and tapped into an empty net. Sidorczuk kept out Boateng's strike with a phenomenal, groin breaking, left foot save. One of THE saves of the season. Goumas gave Panathinaikos hope with a headed goal from Saric's cross but Sturm held on.
It's nice to watch the less glamorous teams, they play far better football than some of the bigger clubs. Sturm have an awesome home record which makes their next tie, at home to Valencia, very interesting indeed.
Assists : Minavand, Kocijan, Saric
14 FEBRUARY 2001
STURM GRAZ 2-0 PANATHINAIKOS
Liberopoulos went close for the visitors twice in the opening minutes. He forced Sidorczuk into a good stop after dribbling past two players and then hit the side netting when the 'keeper dropped a cross. Having scored a hat-trick at the weekend, Tristan missed an absolute sitter when Popescu failed to clear a cross.
Sturm Graz woke up in the second half. Schopp wasted a great chance. Warzycha had a goal harshly disallowed for offside. Prilasnig threaded the ball through a packed defence and while the Panathinaikos defence waited for the linesman's flag, Haas rounded the 'keeper and tapped into an empty net. Criminal defending gave Warzycha a chance to score an immediate equaliser but he shot agonisingly wide. Flerquin and Haas brilliantly worked an opening for Kocijan and he slammed a low shot inside the post. Haas blazed over from six yards minutes before the end.
Assists : Prilasnig, Haas
6 DECEMBER 2000
STURM GRAZ 0-2 MAN UNITED
A wonderful opening goal for the reds. Yorke hit a disguised pass into Sheringham who in turn found Scholes with a delicious back heel and the ginger midget finished superbly, one of the goals of the season. Sheringham and Scholes went close to adding to the lead.
Sturm were much improved in the second half. Kojican cracked a shot against the crossbar. Keane almost turned Vastic's cross into his own net but Barthez made a brilliant reaction save. As Sturm Graz were looking dangerous Man United killed them off on the break, Keane passing to Beckham who hit one of his special 40yd delivery's straight to Yorke, Giggs ran in on the blindside and lashed the ball home.
Assists : Sheringham, Yorke
21 NOVEMBER 2000
MAN UNITED 3-1 PANATHINAIKOS
Liberopoulos wasted a great chance to give his team an early lead, played in by Sypniewski's outrageous back heel he slammed the ball straight at Barthez. Another missed opportunity for the Greeks, Warzycha was put clean through by Liberopoulos' defence splitting pass but finished weakly. Man United's first real chance fell to Sheringham from Beckham's cross but he headed over. Barthez again came to the rescue, brilliantly saving with his feet from the awesome Liberopoulos.
Barthez launched a goal kick into space, Yorke flicked it on and Sheringham OUTPACED Henriksen before drilling a low shot past Nikopolidis. Karagounis equalised with a stunning free kick which sailed over the wall before dipping wickedly into the bottom of the net. A fantastic, Ronaldoesque run by Donkey King Silvestre got Man United back in front, his shot was parried but Scholes turned in the rebound. Man United strung together 15 passes (ITV counted 32/33 but since when do you keep counting if the opposition touch the ball?) the final one a back heel by Sheringham to Scholes who superbly chip the ball over the 'keeper.
The scoreline flattered the home team. Man United's defence was beyond awful. Liberopoulos continues to impress, with all due respect to Panathinaikos I would love to see him in a top team.
Assists : Yorke, Henriksen, Sheringham
VALENCIA 2-0 STURM GRAZ
Two goals either side of half time saw off Sturm Graz. Carew met Mendieta's corner with a powerful header, Sidorczuk punched the ball against the post and it rebounded into the net. Another Mendieta corner and another header, this time from Sanchez.
Assists : Mendieta (x2)