Date: Thursday, 22nd November 2001.

Venue: Hardturm Stadium, Zurich, Switzerland.

Competition: UEFA Cup Third Round First Leg.

Score: Grasshopper Club Zurich 1 Leeds United 2

Scorers: Grasshopper Club Zurich: Chapuisat. Leeds United: Harte, Smith.

Attendance: 15,000.


Grasshopper Club Zurich: Jehle; Smilijanic, Castillo, Hodel, Schwegler; Tararache (Petric), Cabanas (Baturina), Bouba Diop; Nunez, Chapuisat, Mwaruwari. Unused Subs: Spycher, Morales, Jaggy, Huber

Leeds United: Martyn; Mills, Ferdinand, Matteo, Harte; Batty, Bakke, Dacourt, Wilcox; Smith, Keane. Unused Subs: Kelly, McPhail, Duberry, Robinson.

Referee: Lucilio Cardoso Cortez Batista (Portugal).


England’s No.1 Nigel Martyn produced an heroic display in rain-lashed Zurich to pull United out of the mire. Trailling 1-0 Leeds were kept in the game early in the second-half by the thirty-five-year-old goalkeeper, who showed the watching Sven-Goran Eriksson just why he deserved to be given a run in the National team. Nigel Martyn may have been at fault for Sunderland’s first goal, but he was the hero of the 2-1 away win over Grasshoppers of Zurich in the next round of the UEFA Cup. On an atrocious night, with driving icy rain and freezing wind, he may have been helpless to stop Grasshoppers taking an early lead but reeled off at least a dozen quality saves including saving a penalty and the follow up shot. It was Ian Harte who scored the equaliser with a typical curling free-kick after seventy-fifth minutes and Alan Smith, who had revelled in the waterlogged conditions, got the winner soon afterwards.  A good win against the odds particularly as United were still without Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell, Lee Bowyer and Seth Johnson.


From the land of cuckoo clocks and chocolates it was the European battlers from Leeds United who provided the moment of sweet bliss just in the nick of time. Alan Smith’s eightieth minute winner capped what was a truly spirited display from David O’Leary’s side and ended a run of five consecutive away defeats on the Continent. The twenty-one-year-old from Rothwell pounced to stroke home only his second goal of the season to cap a rousing finale to a game played out in the most atrocious conditions.

Driving, icy rain coupled with a freezing wind made life difficult for players and fans alike. However, the two teams put up with the puddles on the pitch and the chill in the air to play out an entertaining encounter. It was certainly a night for heroes and there were a fair few among the Leeds side to pick from. While young Smithy may have notched the winner and Ian Harte did curl in a beauty to cancel out Stephane Chapuisat’s opener, the real star of the show was standing between the sticks.


Nigel Martyn, England’s number one, was quite outstanding as he pulled off save after save to keep the boys from West Yorkshire in the tie. There can be no doubt that the nation’s coach Sven Goran Eriksson, watching from the stands, left the Hardturm Stadium with nothing but good thoughts about the big stopper. In a twenty-five minute period immediately after the break he was called upon to make no less than eight quality saves as Zurich surged forward in search of a second goal.

He had earlier been helpless to prevent Swiss international Stephane Chapuisat from opening the scoring after eighteen minutes. The veteran Swiss striker turned David Batty before firing a low strike just inside the post and beyond Nigel Martyn’s right hand. But there was a determination in Nigel Martyn’s eyes which made it quite clear that he was not going to let anything else get past him. And it was his brilliance which inspired the United fight-back. With sixty-nine minutes on the clock referee Batista awarded the home side a dubious penalty after Richard Nunez went down in the box under pressure from Rio Ferdinand.

Richard Nunez himself stepped up to take the kick, but his weak shot was beaten away by Nigel Martyn, who then got up to block the first rebound from Ricardo Cabanas and then the second from Benjani Mwaruwari. It was a fantastic triple save and served as something of a wake-up call to his fellow players.

Ian Harte was the first to strike, curling a typical effort over the wall in the seventy-third minute and then six minutes later Robbie Keane’s miss-kick in the penalty box foxed the defence into allowing Alan Smith the time to pick his spot and give the visiting army of fans the victory they were so desperate for. They had seen their team start in dynamic form with Alan Smith firing one over the bar on four minutes and Olivier Dacourt shooting wide in the seventh.

But it was the home side who struck first through a touch of magic from the veteran Stephane Chapuisat. The game swung dramatically in the home side’s favour as the weather worsened and the Zurich players started to believe in themselves. Stephane Chapuisat again caused danger when he turned Ian Harte on the edge of the box and curled a decent effort just too high, then Benjani Mwaruwari saw a strike fly wide of the target.


United’s best chance came from a Zurich error as a wildly sliced clearance from Pascal Castillo spun toward the goal but keeper Peter Jehle did well to dive across and palm the ball away. Zurich, however, kept up the pressure at the other end of the field – and kept Nigel Martyn busy too. Impressive midfielder Papa Bouba Diop saw one shot fly high and wide before he tried again minutes later only to see Nigel Martyn dive across to his left to keep the ball out. Ricardo Cabanas then tested the United goalie as he broke through the defence and then Nigel Martyn made two crucial saves from seperate free-kicks from Richard Nunez.

It was the Uruguayan’s penalty miss in the sixty-ninth minute which finally called a halt to their battering and gave Leeds the jolt they required. Manager David O’Leary admitted that his side had been poor in the second half but felt that his team, missing the likes of Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka, Seth Johnson and Lee Bowyer, had deserved the victory. “We started very well in the game and I thought Zurich scored against the run of play,” he said. “In the second half I thought we were poor, we did not get started and they were the better side. I have to admit that I didn’t think it was a penalty, but we’ve got out of jail there because Nigel made a wonderful save. We could have gone 2-0 down, but we didn’t and we took advantage of it by going on to win. When you get free-kicks around the box then Ian Harte is liable to do that, put the ball away, and I was also delighted to see young Alan Smith score for us because he worked very hard for the team. The goal was just rewards for Alan. It was well done on his part. The ball fell to him kindly and it was a great finish.” A relieved O’Leary went on,” We could have been badly punished, but we weren’t. The penalty incident then woke us up a little bit. I don’t think it was a penalty and Rio could not believe the decision was given, but we got out of jail with a good save by Nigel.”




Match Action:



Nigel Martyn saves the penalty from Richard Nunez




Alan Smith fires home the winner


Robbie Keane joins Alan Smith and Olivier Dacourt in celebrating the winner




Robbie Keane bursts through the Grasshopper’s defence                                                     



Alan Smith gets to grips with Roland Schwegler


Papa Bouba Diop brings down Alan Smith



David Batty keeps an eye on Ricardo Cabanas                                                                   Danny Mills beats Pascal Castillo    



                                                                                                                                              Alan Smith salutes          Nigel Martyn was the United hero

                                                                                                                                               the fans  after the game







Ian Harte and Alan Smith scored for Leeds with Stephane Chapuisat getting the Grasshopper’s goal



Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell, Lee Bowyer and Seth Johnson were all missing from the United team



Nigel Martyn was the            David Batty was turned by                   Rio Ferdinand conceded the penalty                Robbie Keane’s miss-kick led

 United hero                            Stephane Chapuisat                                                                                                          to the winner



Olivier Dacourt shot wide early                       Mate Baturina, Andreas Gerber and Mladen Petrik were used as the Grasshopper substitutes 



Peter Jehle was in goal for Zurich                                    Boris Smiljanic and Pascal Castillo were the full-backs



Marc Hodel and Roland Schwegler were in central defence                                                       Stefan Huber was the unused substitute goalkeeper




                            The three man midfield was Mihai Tararache, Ricardo Cabanas and Papa Bouba Diop



                 The three man strike force was Richard Nunez, Stephane Chapuisat and Benjani Mwaruwari



Christoph Spycher, Gerardo Morales and Kim Jaggy were all unused substitutes