Competition: ECL, Group H: Match 1.
Barcelona: Rivaldo, F. De Boer, Kluivert (2).
FC Barcelona: Dutruel; F. De Boer, Abelardo, Cocu (Petit), Sergi; Gerard, Dani (De La Pena), Overmars; Simao, Kluivert, Rivaldo (Alfonso). Unused Subs: Arnau, Reiziger, Santamaria, Fernando.
Referee: Markus Merk (
A depleted United team were thrown into the cauldron of the Nou Camp and no one was surprised when FC Barcelona
triumphed 4-0 as United fought to the death much to the anger of the top ‘Barca’ players who expected them to lie down meekly, rather
than tackle like tigers despite being totally outclassed and outplayed. Manager
O’Leary opted for a 4-4-2 formation with Danny Mills filling in at left back to
answer the threat of Portuguese speed merchant Simao,
while Ian Harte was pushed up into left midfield.
Lacking the services of internationals Harry Kewell,
David Batty, Jason Wilcox, Mark Viduka, Jonathan
Woodgate and Eirik Bakke,
United were always going to struggle against arguably the best team in
It was a breathtaking display of football played at a
swagger by a Spanish giant, which believed it would be crowned Champions of
Europe in that season, and they gave United a full appraisal of how tough it
was at the top.
As early as the second minute Rivaldo
required extensive treatment after crumbling under a challenge from Alan Smith
and no sooner had the Brazilian returned to the action than Olivier Dacourt sent him crashing. Marc Overmars
had Nigel Martyn at full stretched with a good effort
but when Simao’s corner came across Danny Mills
cleared the lines with a fine header. After seven minutes Philip Cocu shot well over before United’s
worst fears were realised in the tenth minute when Simao
picked out Rivaldo in the box and the reigning World
and European player of the year turned Michael Duberry
inside out before rifling a blistering left foot drive into the bottom corner.
On fifteen minutes
Gerard twisted and turned through three tackles before
unleashing a shot which Nigel Martyn was lucky to
keep out with his legs. Three minutes before the break Danny Mills was booked
after a lunging tackle on Simao, a sign of
There were two substitutions in the seventy-third minute as
Tony Hackworth made his
Lee Bowyer gets up for a high ball Olivier Dacourt battles with Rivaldo and Sergio.
Back Row: Michael Bridges, Michael Duberry, Robert Molenaar, Danny Milosevic, Nigel Martyn,
Paul Robinson, Jonathan Woodgate, Eirik Bakke, Mark Viduka, Matthew Jones.
Middle Row: Dave Hancock (Physio), Sean Hardy (Kit Manager),
Steve Sutton (Goalkeeping Coach), Gary Kelly, David Batty, Ian Harte, Danny Mills, Lee Bowyer,
Eddie Gray (Assistant Manager), Roy Aitken (Coach).
Front Row: Alan Smith, Darren Huckerby, Harry Kewell, Peter Ridsdale (Chairman),
Lucas Radebe, David O’Leary (Manager), Jason Wilcox, Olivier Dacourt, Stephen McPhail.
Rivaldo, Frank De Boer and Patrick Kluivert (2)
scored the goals for
Ian Harte was in left midfield Alan Smith was booked Danny Mills was strong at left back Nigel Martyn made
Olivier Dacourt was heavy with Rivaldo Gary Kelly couldn’t cope Michael Bridges gave Ian Harte a chance Stephen McPhail came off
Michael Duberry out of Lucas Radebe was stretchered off Danny Hay and Tony Hackworth came on as substitutes
Richard Dutruel was
Gerard, Dani, Philip Cocu and Mark Overmar formed a strong midfield
The fast and elusive Simao, the strong Patrick Kluivert and the irrepressible Rivaldo formed a strike force that United found hard to cope with
Emmanuel Petit, Ivan de La Pena and Alonso were used as substitutes