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On This Day In 2002: Zidane Scores Vs Barcelona In The Champions League Semi-finals

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On April 23rd 2002, Real Madrid came away with a huge 0 – 2 away win in the Camp Nou against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals en route to lifting their ninth Champions League trophy.

Goals from Zinedine Zidane and Steve McManaman ensured the victory — one that was uncomfortable, but had important performances from Raul, Santiago Solari, Claude Makelele, and Guti (as well as the goal-scorers). Zidane was masterful that game, and his goal to open the scoring in the second half is immortalized:

From UEFA.com:

Raúl González carved the home defence wide open and Zidane raced clear, shaking off the attentions of Philip Cocu for the first time; as goalkeeper Roberto Bonano advanced the midfielder chipped into the gaping net.

It was a lesson in taking your chances further emphasised when Luis Enrique headed over moments later. Guti was just as culpable at the other end but his replacement, McManaman, ensured the miss did not prove costly, holding his nerve after good approach play by Raúl and Flavio Conceição. It left cavalier Barcelona with a mountain to climb in the second leg; even with Rivaldo back from injury it would prove insurmountable.

“The Spanish players were jumping around … it was the first time we’d won there in a long time.” – Steve McManaman


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