Barcelona 0 LIVERPOOL 0 - UEFA Cup Semi Final 1st Leg (Apr 5 2001) - 1st team 2000-2001 - The Liverpool Way Jump to content
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Barcelona 0 LIVERPOOL 0 - UEFA Cup Semi Final 1st Leg (Apr 5 2001)

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Barcelona 0 LIVERPOOL 0

Report by Chris Smith at Camp Nou



Scorer(s) –

Half Time - 0-0

Venue - Camp Nou, Barcelona

Date - Thur 5 April 2001

Star Man – Didi Hamann / Jamie Carragher











Well the gladiators entered the colliseum and.. Oi Stuart Hall, what have I told you about using my computer! Now Fuck off! On paper a solid draw against a World Class outfit, but our tentative approach to the game may cost us in the return leg at Anfield. Houllier has defended his negative tactics, when most of us thought the ageing and slow Barca defence was there for the taking. Houllier has also "promised" that our approach in a fortnights time will be much different.


This is all very well, but it kind of goes against GH's thinking for the other games in Europe this year. For every round to date, the away leg has been played first. The emphasis on Liverpool's play has been to score that elusive away goal and then consolidate at Anfield. This has gone to plan on most occasions (except Porto) and has led to a much easier ride when the Europeans come to Anfield.


This time we will have to do the opposite and it will be extremely interesting to see the first twenty minutes at L4. Will we consolidate early on and play like the away team, hitting on the break as we have done so effectively this season OR, will we go straight for their throats and commit players forward leaving space for the likes of Kluivert and Rivaldo. Either way it should be fun finding out.


As for this game, it was only the stupendous surroundings that stopped the lack of sleep getting to me. WOW. I said the same after the trip to Rome, but the Nou Camp really does put anything this country has to offer to shame in a big way. The deliberate conspiracy to split us up in to the 4 worst view's in the stadium (£60 my arse) did little to dampen our spirits but did reduce the noise we could make.


The Barca fans weren't great and only really had one song which was "Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap BARCA!" The noise they made to the song which led out the team was 'You'll never walk alone esque' on the goose-pimple-o-meter, but apart from that their support was nothing to write home about. You may have seen Dave's post on the forum this morning. It used a quote from Barca's website which went something like this.


"In the end, the Liverpool fans in the stadium, who'd been muted all through the game, celebrated a draw as a success for their team. It may have been a good result for them, but it was a disappointingly negative performance from a manager who had been suggesting 5-5 as a possible result!"


No wonder we were fucking muted if we were put in groups of about 500, I mentioned conspiracy theory earlier which may be a bit drastic, but I do think it was a deliberate ploy in order to stop us upstaging them in their 'famous' stadium and prevent us giving the team as much vocal support as possible. However we all did our best and the little competitions between our sets of supporters at the end were really enjoyable, I was sat by these two season ticket holders in the centenary and to their credit they sang their hearts out for the whole 90 minutes, I was doing my best, but the amount of Alcohol I had consumed and the fact that I had last risen from my pit at 9am on Wednesday morning had an effect. They even led a chorus of "Shitty Ground!".


In the grand scheme of things Houllier will probably be proved right in his decision set out his stall - Hell, he usually is. After all, this was the only the third time this season that Barca had been held and failed to score at Home. I still believe that we will have too much for them at Anfield and can you imagine the atmosphere for that game. If you thought last Saturday was good, then B.B.Baby you just 'aint seen N.N..Nothin' Yet!


Apart from their supreme movement of the ball, I was quite disappointed with what I saw in Rivaldo and Kluivert. They both seemed to be a little lightweight and wouldn't last five minutes in the Premiership. Kluivert has a bit of a reputation for sulking and I thought one good kick from Sami should shut him up, but that never happened and his intelligence caused us more than a few problems. But our defence were again awesome, marshalled well by Westerveld, who is finally dispelling his 'dodgy keeper' label and any doubts we had in his ability.


Stevie G had a relatively poor outing and for once the game seemed to pass him by a little. But there is no way I'm going to start criticising him. I'm kind of glad in a way, I kept expecting somebody to pull off his face to reveal him as a 'T2000' or Luke Skywalker's father or something like that. Thank god Steven Gerrard, is human!


Emile is really struggling for form at the moment, and again he put in a poor display. Playing on the left wing doesn't help him or his confidence, but his work rate has also suffered, since his loss of form. Heskey's head is down at the moment and one feel's he is having a bit of a pout about something, but with Litmanen's absence he needs to snap out of it fast and return to the player who was destroying everything in his path a couple of months back.


I said the same on Saturday, but I don't think Paddy was ready for the game tonight, he seemed to be like a dog chasing after a stick and never really got to grips with Guardiola. Guardiola himself was brilliant. I thought that his influence was vital if the ageing defenders behind him were not to be exposed. Berger and Danny really did struggle to combat him and Stevie never got far enough forward to.


Man of the match for us would be Hamann in my humble opinion. He did a similar job to Guardiola to help combat the likes of Cocu and the other big names, protecting the back four superbly. Didi really has had an excellent second half of the season and has responded really well to all of the criticism he received early on.


So now on to Wycombe on Sunday, a comfortable victory against the second division strugglers would round off an excellent week. I think we will be fine for the second leg, I have faith in the Frenchman and he has faith in us. I'm not going to do a Phil Easton and tell everybody to get behind the team, but our support will be vital if we all want to go to Germany in May.


TEAM: Sander Westerveld; Markus Babbel, Sami Hyypia, Stephane Henchoz, Jamie Carragher; Danny Murphy (Vladimir Smicer), Steven Gerrard, Patrik Berger (Gary McAllister), Dietmar Hamann, Emile Heskey; Michael Owen (Robbie Fowler):

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