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Roma 0 Liverpool 2 - UEFA Cup (Feb 15 2001)

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Roma 0 LIVERPOOL 2

Report by Chris Smith in Rome

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Scorer(s) – Michael Owen (2)

Half Time - 0-0

Venue - Olympic Stadium, Rome

Date - Thur 15 Feb 2001

Star Man – Didi Hamann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yaaaaaawwwwwn! It's now 3pm on Friday and I've had about two hours kip in the last 40. But hey ho! It was all worth it wasn't it! The Mighty Reds produced their finest display yet under Gerard to all but ensure qualification for the quarter finals of the UEFA cup. It's times like this that you're thankful that you chose to follow the boys in Red.

 

The game itself was like a dream, at least from the moment we went in front. In the first half we were second best to a confident looking Roma outfit, who used the space well and spread the play with the greatest of ease. Brazilian Cafu proved to be the main threat in the first period, with Carra unusually for him being a little undisciplined with his positioning and drifting inside allowing the brilliant wing back too much dangerous space and time.

 

Nakata was nippy to say the least and Roma looked strong and comfortable at the back. But without ever creating a serious threat to the solid Westerveld's goal, we went in quite comfortably at 0 - 0. Half time provided some more festivities, which I will not go in to at the moment, but rest assured my opinions on those evil bastards will be heard in the next issue of the fanzine.

 

Up until this point the Roma fans had been quite threatening towards us - cut-throat gestures and all - but as soon as the boy Owen took his brilliant opening goal them shut up and we never saw so much as an over exuberant hand gesture or a flick of their greasy locks from that point on. Michael's 46th minute strike sent the already unbelievably loud Liverpool contingent into absolute madness and scenes the like of which I have never seen before. I'm so pleased for Michael, he's taken such an unjustified battering in recent weeks for no good reason and I think his post match interview summed it up.

 

He usually frequents the cliché of "silencing a few critics" but this time it was "shut a few people up" and fair play to him. He takes so much shit from so many people in this country and for what reason? He didn't ask to be turned in to English football's saviour! He didn't ask for all this attention! And It's about time he spoke his mind a little and in turn perhaps get a little more praise from us who have come to take him for granted somewhat.

 

Anyway I'm getting side-tracked again here. After we scored Roma exerted a lot more pressure and for a ten minute spell we just couldn't seem to break out. It was at this point the Romans decided to get behind their team and I finally realized where I was, In the Olympic Stadium in Rome against perhaps Europe's top team at the moment. When they decided to make the effort, these boys were LOUD and I mean spine tinglingly loud. However our second strike cut out their voice boxes and had them streaming for the exits accompanied by a chorus of "Arrive diarchy" (or however the hell you spell it - excuse my ignorance people!)

 

The final whistle was a wonderful sound and as the players came to applaud us, I felt immensely proud as I wiped a tear away from my cheek.

 

It's tough to single anyone out, as everybody gave 100% and did us all proud, but I'm going to continue my Hamann turnaround by saying that he was MOTM, once again in the big game atmosphere he has proved his worth. But I couldn't end without mentioning Sami, who was as impregnable as ever and Robbie and Michael who worked tirelessly for the cause and maybe hit back at us when we said their partnership couldn't work.

 

Allez les Rouges.

 

I could write forever about the game and the day, but your probably getting bored with reading this report now, so I'll save all the juicy bits for the fanzine! But let me just say (puke bags at the ready), that this was probably the best day of my life and I was so proud to be there and wouldn't swap those memories for the world.

 

 

TEAM: Sander Westerveld; Markus Babbel, Sami Hyypia, Stephane Henchoz, Jamie Carragher; Nick Barmby, Gary McAllister, Dietmar Hamann, Christian Ziege (Vladimir Smicer); Michael Owen (Jari Litmanen), Robbie Fowler:

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