19 March 2003
ROMA 1-1 AJAX
Ibrahimovic headed on a long ball out of defence to Van der Vaart, he lobbed the ball forward to Van der Meyde, he cut inside the box and hit a great shot into the top corner. Tommasi missed an immediate chance to equalise. An absolutely fabulous move brought Roma level. Cassano chipped a pass to Candela, Candela was surrounded by three Ajax players, he ran back before hitting a gorgeous pass to Cassano and he slotted into the corner. Aldair hit a shot against the crossbar. There was a late chance for Panucci but he headed wide.
Assists : Van der Vaart, Candela
VALENCIA 2-1 ARSENAL
Vicente deflected a Gilberto Silva header against the crossbar. Carew fired Valencia in front from an excellent Aimar pass. Henry equalised after a quick counter attack. Donkey Wiltord took the ball off Vicente in his own penalty and as he ran out wide stopped running allowing Vicente to regain possession, Vicente sent the ball into the box and Carew met it with an athletic diving header.
Assists : Aimar, Pires, Vicente
11 March 2003
AJAX 1-1 VALENCIA
Donkey Carew shot straight at Lobont when clean through on goal. Galasek gave away a penalty for a truly stupid foul on Rufete. Kily converted. Ibrahimovic blew a great chance late in the first half. Pasanen equalised with a header from Maxwell's cross. Lobont made a fantastic save from Baraja and Van der Vaart missed an open goal on a counter attack.
Assists : Rufete (won pen), Maxwell
ARSENAL 1-1 ROMA
A rarity for Arsenal, a headed goal from a corner. Keown got Totti sent off with a despicable piece of playacting, he fell clutching his nose after Totti caught him on the neck when challenging for a cross. Arsenal paid the price for their overindulgent, pretty football at the end of the first half. Emerson sent a long ball forward to Cassano, he raced away from the slow Arsenal defence, rounded Seaman, leaving the pathetic old 'keeper on his knees before arrogantly flicked the ball into the corner. Wiltord (x2), Pires and Henry should have put Arsenal out of sight and into the quarter-finals. Montella almost made the Gunners pay dearly but missed a sitter late on.
Assists : Van Bronckhorst (ck), Emerson
Roma are still alive though only just. Without Totti however it's hard to see how they will get the victory (by a two goal margin) they need to make the quarter-finals. Ajax only need a point. Arsenal are up shit creek without a paddle. They've been piss poor in the Champions League this season and I will be amazed if they don't bottle it in the Mestalla. A draw is good enough for Arsenal. Valencia must win to be sure of a place in the quarter-finals.
26 FEBRUARY 2003
VALENCIA 0-3 ROMA
Roma's talisman headed his team into the lead from a corner. Cassano started the move which gave Totti his second minutes later. He sprayed the ball out wide to Cafu, Cafu centred and Totti hit a superb first time shot into the top right corner of the net. Emerson started and finished a brilliant counter attack with a ball out wide to Cassano, Cassano passed infield to Emerson, Emerson stepped over the ball, Totti played him in and he rolled under Canizares. Cafu should have made it 0-4 from Totti's outrageous back heel. Cassano blew another opportunity by overindulging when through in on Canizares.
It's about time this utterly mediocre Valencia team got their reject arses handed to them in Europe.
Assists : Candela (ck), Cafu, Totti
This group is wide open. Ajax need to start showing some ambition if they are to progress from this group. Arsenal stink in Europe. Their one dimensional rapid passing game is easy to combat. Arsenal do not have the personnel to play direct when they need to. As for Roma anything is possible if Totti is fit.
18 FEBRUARY 2003
ARSENAL 1-1 AJAX
A perfect start for the Gunners. Vieira and Bergkamp combined to send Wiltord racing into acres of space down the right, he cut inside the box before shooting under Lobont. Galasek hit a long ball forward to De Jong which Cole really should have cut out though I expect he was waiting for the flag to be raised for offside, De Jong ran into the box and lobbed over Seaman (insert joke here). Gilberto and Pires were guilty of some bad misses. Bergkamp hit the outside of a post with a snapshot on the turn. Boukhari almost stole a point when he ran into a cross and the ball trickled wide of the post. Kanu wasted a chance late on.
Assist : Bergkamp
10 DECEMBER 2002
AJAX 2-1 ROMA
An almighty cock-up gave Ajax an early lead. De Jong tried his luck from outside the box with a nothing shot, a routine catch for well even someone like David Seamen but Antonioli dropped it, Ibrahimovic ran onto the ball, Antonioli froze, he really couldn't do anything else, and Ibrahimovic slotted into the corner. Ibrahimovic then set-up substitute Litmanen for a killer second with a pass that took out three players, Litmanen gently curled the ball beyond Antonioli. Panucci hit a long ball into the box and Batistuta punished Stekelenburg for his abysmal positioning.
Capello has destroyed Roma. He will leave the team in the same sorry state he left Milan in the mid 90s. The heart of the team are either or close to or the wrong side of 30 - Antonioli (33), Cafu (32), Candela (29), Panucci (29), Batistuta (33). The defence is a terrible state, Samuel can no longer bail out his vastly inferior team-mates. There is no depth and no creativity aside from Totti. Sensini would need to spend somewhere in the region of £30 million at least to rebuild this team. Sensini hasn't got the money and Capello hasn't got the know how.
Assists : Ibrahimovic, Panucci
27 NOVEMBER 2002
ROMA 1-3 ARSENAL
A long goal kick started the attack which gave Roma the lead. Cassano played a one-two with Totti, made Campbell look lethargic with a quick turn then shot in off the post. Donkey King Panucci gift wrapped the equaliser to Henry with a lame attempt at clearing Gilberto's through pass. Roma kept looking for penalties. First Totti then Cassano followed by Guigou in the second half. Cassano was in fact fouled by Campbell but made such a meal of the challenge that the ref wasn't interested. Cygan made a stunning goal-line clearance from Totti. Henry pounced on another monumental cock-up by Panucci to restore Arsenal's lead. The finish was excellent, left foot straight through Antonioli's legs. He completed his hat-trick with a blistering free kick.
Assists : Totti, Gilberto, Wiltord (won fk)
VALENCIA 1-1 AJAX
A clever back heel from Angulo left Carew unmarked inches in front of an open goal yet he somehow managed to shoot over the bar. Litmanen wasted a great chance to give Ajax a shock lead then it was all Valencia. Angulo headed wide and Mista was twice denied certain goals by the phenomenal Didulica as was Baraja from a free kick. Chivu almost lost his rib cage in a collision with the post when heading out Carew's cross after Didulica had once again thwarted a Valencia attack. Ibrahimovic played a one-two with Van der Vaart and rounded Canizares as the Valencia defence appealed for offside before tapping into an empty net. into injury time Valencia hit a long ball into the Ajax box, Chivu failed to clear and Angulo took a pass from Dos Santos before finally beating Didulica.
Assists : Van der Vaart, Dos Santos