Venue: Abe Lenstra Stadion, Heerenveen,
Competition: UEFA Cup, First Round, First Leg.
Referee: Herbert Fandel (
almost two weeks to confirm a venue for United's UEFA
Cup opener against Partizan Belgrade. The European
Union had severed all sporting links with war-torn
The excruciating tension going into the game, which had been jinxed since the pairing was made, soon evaporated as Gary Kelly shook the Partizan crossbar as early as the seventh minute after Michael Bridges had worked the opening and it was apparent that the Serbian defence was not impregnable. Lee Bowyer was unlucky to be flagged offside as a David Batty through ball had put him in the clear. Gary Kelly and Michael Bridges were both only slightly off target with glancing headers and it came as a total surprise when against the run of play Partizan took the lead.
twenty minutes, Dorde Tomic
found danger man Mateja Kezman,
whose shot could only be parried by Nigel Martyn and Tomic put away the rebound. This set off the Red Flares by
The missed penalty made the Yugoslavian heads droop and United were soon in total command and in the thirty-ninth minute there was a rare goal from Lucas Radebe, only his second in five years with the club, and it came in unusual and special circumstances. Up in support of the attack, Radebe found himself on his back in the area as Ian Harte’s free-kick was flicked on by Jonathan Woodgate and, as it fell, Radebe produced an overhead kick to send the ball into the net.
Bridges had a bizarre five minutes before the break. He injured his head as he
turned the ball just wide from an Ian Harte corner.
He received treatment and then got booked for returning to the action
uninvited, as he came back sporting a massive head bandage. Parizan
rallied somewhat in the second half and went close when Lucas Radebe headed a shot from Tomic
off the line, while a Vladimir Ivic snapshot was
easily gathered by Nigel Martyn, Jonathan Woodgate tidied up when Ivic
threatened and a dipping shot from Goran Trobok was just over. The game was sealed in the
eighty-second minute when the irrepressible Lee Bowyer took Nikola
Damjanac by surprise with a shot that was more out of
hope than anything else but the keeper only made a token effort and it nestled
in the back of the net. There was no way back for Partizan
and their team failed to live up to their reputation as one of the better teams
Lee Bowyer is mobbed after getting the equalizer
A head bandaged Michael Bridges holds odd Goran Trobock
Substitute Alan Smith can’t beat the Nikola Damjanac in the Partizan goal Goalscorers Lucas Radebe and Lee Bowyer celebrate victory
BackRow: Krstjic, Svetlicic, Ivic, Vukovic, Pazin, Bjekovic, Obradovic, Calija, Gerasimovski.
Middle Row: Radovic (Assistant Manager), Brankovic (Physio), Radakovic (Coach), Sabo,
Ljubanovic, Tesovic, Damjanac, Savic, Radisa Ilic, Stojanovski, Belojevic (Goalkeeper Coach),
Paunovic (Coach), Vucicevic (Economist).
Front Row: Marinkovic, Trobok, Iliev, Jeremic, Kezman, Tumbakovic (Manager), Sasa Ilic,
Duljaj, Rankovic, Rasovic, Stojisavljevic.
Back Row: Robert Molenaar, Michael Bridges, Jonathan Woodgate, Nigel Martyn,
Michael Duberry, Paul Robinson, Eirik Bakke, Alf-Inge Haaland, David Hopkin.
Middle Row: Sean Hardy (Kit Manager), Bruno Ribeiro, Ian Harte, David Batty, Gary Kelly,
Danny Mills, Darren Huckerby, Eddie Gray (Assistant Manager), David Swift (Physio).
Front Row: Stephen McPhail, Alan Smith, Harry Kewell, Peter Ridsdale (Director), Lucas Radebe,
David O’Leary (Manager), Lee Bowyer, Matthew Jones, Martin Hiden.
Lee Bowyer (2) and Lucas Radebe scored the United goals Gary Kelly and Michael Bridges were only slightly off target
with glancing headers
David Batty put Bowyer through Ian Harte and Jonathan Woodgate were involved in the lead up to the scond goal.
Nigel Martyn saved a penalty. Nikola Damjanac was in goal. Branko Savic and Mladen Krstajic were at full-back Vuk Rasovic and Jovo Stanojevic were in central defence Ivica Iliev and Meteja Kezman were the strikers Goran Trobok, Vladimir Ivic,
Sasa Ilic and Dorde Tomic were in midfield Nenad Stojakovic, Marjan Gerasimovski and Milorad Pekovic came on as
Nigel Martyn saved a penalty. Nikola Damjanac was in goal. Branko Savic and Mladen Krstajic were at full-back
Vuk Rasovic and Jovo Stanojevic were in central defence Ivica Iliev and Meteja Kezman were the strikers
Goran Trobok, Vladimir Ivic, Sasa Ilic and Dorde Tomic were in midfield
Nenad Stojakovic, Marjan Gerasimovski and Milorad Pekovic came on as substitutes