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EURO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINALS, 2nd Leg

REAL MADRID EP39 (1) 1         PARMA EP3            (2) 2   [Agg: 2-3]

Congratulations to Parma of EP3, who have sensationally beaten the mighty Real Madrid team from EP39 on their own turf. Madrid elected to go for the jugular with an attacking formation, but were caught out by Parma's counter-attacking style with five men across the back. It was the away team who went into an early two goal lead, but a minute before half-time, Madrid struck through Zanetti to cut the deficit. Unfortunately, the Argentinian was then sent off immediately after the break after a late tackle on Zola resulted in an unsavoury brawl. Parma held on comfortably against ten men and pulled off an historic win. Our congratulations go to both teams for reaching the inaugural Euro Champions League Final and well done to Parma for becoming the first ever winners of the competition.

EURO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL, 1st Leg

PARMA EP3             (1) 1        REAL MADRID EP39 (1) 1
4-2-4 B5                              5-2-3 A3

Mission accomplished for Madrid - they avoided defeat, and scored what could be a crucial away goal against the favourites for the Champions League. It's still hard to pick a winner here though, Parma did have quite a few chances - especially late in the game when Madrid's defence began to tire and the Spaniards aren't likely to play defensively in front of their own fans in the return leg. Parma are capable of sneaking one or two goals in the Bernabeu and there are still plenty of goals left in this tie!
The two goals that were scored came in a rather dreary first half. Yugoslav striker Pedraj Mijatovic headed the visitors in front on 14 minutes, Parma replied two minutes before the break through Antonio Benarrivo, his shot finding the corner of the net.   

EURO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, Semi-Finalsl 2nd Legs

PARMA EP33  0-1  PARMA EP3   [Agg: 1 - 4]
EP33's Parma had no choice but to go for it - but it was the Champions League favourites who chalked up the win and are comfortably through to the Final. It may have been a different story had Marco Simone's effort on 27 minutes been allowed to stand for EP33, but a single goal by Andy Muller for the visitors just before the break was enough to kill off the tie. Parma EP33 have done remarkably well to get this far - for EP3's Parma it was expected!

BARCELONA EP20  1-0  REAL MADRID EP39   [Agg: 1 - 3]
The kind of result which makes you wonder how tight this tie COULD HAVE been had the 1st leg not been so one-sided. Barcelona ripped into their Spanish rivals through-out the game, but Madrid's five-men defence were sturdy enough to see them through. Brazilian Roberto Carlos scored the only goal, a miss-hit shot on 64 minutes, but you can never tell with him can you?

EURO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, Semi-Final 1st Legs

PARMA EP3  3-1  PARMA EP33
Again P3's Parma produced the goods without much fuss - although an away goal from Dino Baggio has given EP33's version a glimmer of hope for the 2nd leg. In truth, the favourites were rarely troubled, goals from Cannavaro, Ronaldo and Bestschastnich were few of many chances created by the home side.

REAL MADRID EP39  3-0  BARCELONA EP20
"
What goes around comes around" in football - Barca were helped into the Semi after Bologna were reduced to 10 men in the last round and they were already 1-0 down when Luis Enrique was dismissed on 16 minutes - you got the feeling it wasn't going to be Barcelona's day. Real are quite capable of tearing apart any side, and two goals in four minutes in the 2nd half sent sorry Barca crashing. It could have been a different story had the Catalans kept 11 men on the pitch - but then Bologna could have said that in the Quarters.

EURO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, Quarter-Finals 2nd Legs

AC MILAN EP40  (0) 0   PARMA EP3  (0) 1   [Agg: 1-4]
So the pre-tournament favourites go marching on to the last four, thanks to a single goal by Gianfranco Zola. Although controversy surrounds the 1st leg win (Milan didn't submit their tactics and duely lost the game, thanks to us), Parma looked the stronger team over the two games and deservedly won.

AC MILAN EP16  (0) 0   PARMA EP33  (0) 1   [Agg: 0-2]
EP33's version of Parma completed a double win over EP16's Milan with a strike from Marco Simone to set up a symmetrical looking Semi. Milan manager Richard French will now have to concentrate his Champions League ambitions with Byron Park.

REAL MADRID EP39  (1) 1   SAMPDORIA EP1  (0) 0   [Agg: 1-1]
Real Madrid win on penalty kicks.
Very tight game and in the end, VERY lucky Madrid. No one likes to see teams beaten on penalties, especially at such a crucial stage of a big tournament. A single goal from Pedraj Mijatovic took the game into spot-kicks, Real coming through 5-4. 

BOLOGNA EP19  (0) 0   BARCELONA EP20  (0) 2   [Agg: 1-4]
Any slim chance Bologna had of reaching the last four disappeared after just one minute as Kolyvanov saw red. Barcelona said "thanks very much" and dismissed their minnow opponents with two second half goals from Stanic and Leonardo.

EURO CHAMPS LEAGUE, Quarter-Finals 1st Legs

PARMA EP3 (1) 3 A.C MILAN EP40 (0) 1
G Zola 35             G Weah 46
D Suker 60
Denilson 76

PARMA EP33 (1) 1 A.C MILAN EP16 (0) 0
A Melli 10

SAMPDORIA EP1 (1) 1 REAL MADRID EP39 (0) 0
F Maniero 40 (pen)

BARCELONA EP20 (1) 2 BOLOGNA EP19 (0) 1
Ronaldo 7                      T A Flo 66
H Stoichkov 58

EURO CHAMPS LEAGUE, 3rd Round 2nd Legs

Parma EP3  2-1  Coventry City EP4  (Agg: 4-2)
AC Milan EP40  2-0  Juventus EP29  (Agg: 6-0)
Barcelona EP17  1-1  Parma EP33  (Agg: 2-3)
AC Milan EP16  2-1  Deportivo La Coruna EP27 (Agg: 4-3)

Real Madrid EP11  1-1  Sampdoria EP1  (Agg: 1-2)
Inter Milan EP39  1-1  Real Madrid EP39  (Agg: 1-4)
Barcelona EP20  3-2  VfB Stuttgart EP25  (Agg: 5-3)
Bologna EP19  1-1  Napoli EP4  (Agg: 2-1)
 

So, we're now down to the last EIGHT in the Euro Champions League! The draw for the Q.Finals is as follows......

PARMA EP3  vs  AC MILAN EP40
PARMA EP33 vs  AC MILAN EP16

SAMPDORIA EP1  vs  REAL MADRID EP39
BARCELONA EP20  vs  BOLOGNA EP19

These ties will be played on THURSDAY 16th November 2000

We've managed to tear GM Aaron away from his work this week to ask him a few questions on the inaugural Euro Champions League. So come on then Aaron, who's gonna win it?

Aaron: "Oooh toughie! You can't look far past the big three I suppose - Parma, Barcelona and Real Madrid have shown no signs of letting up!"

Ed: Are you pleased with the interest the Champions League has generated?
Aaron: "Unlike it's sister tournament, it was never feasible to get 156 teams to contest the Euro Champions League. I think 72 is a nice round number and yes, I'm pleased with that."

Ed: Jolly good. So another one lined-up for next year then?
Aaron: "Don't see no reason why not!"

Ed: Ok, so let's talk footy! Any surprises for you so far in this seasons' tournament?
Aaron: "Well, the interesting thing about the Euro Champions League is that you're never quite sure what you're up against. The likes of Wolves reaching a latter stage of any European competition in real life is almost laughable. But here, EP33's Wolves they reached Round 2 - that surprised plenty of people, but not me."

Ed: So it's not just the giants of European football that are ones to watch then?
Aaron: "Absolutely not! You've only got to look at the likes of EP4 where Coventry and Napoli are dominating the scene - Barca, AC Milan, Man Utd are nowhere in that particular league. No team, no matter how big or small should be underestimated - that's when mistakes happen!"

Ed: Good point. But surely a "big team" will come through in the end?
Aaron: "Well the favourites are big teams that's true, but you've still got the likes of Coventry, Bologna and VfB Stuttgart battling away." 

Ed: It's anybodies then! Any darkhorses to look out for?
Aaron: "Bologna EP19 are on top form at the moment and have a great manager at the helm. I haven't mentioned either AC Milan teams yet - both have great chances of winning it."

Ed: It would be a bit strange if the two Milan's, the two Parma's, two Barcelona's or the two Madrid's faced each other wouldn't it?
Aaron: "Yeah, I guess so - we've already had a couple of games like that. It makes reading the match report a nightmare, but it's all good fun."

Ed: Cheers Aaron! 
Aaron:  "No worries!"

 

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