Season 2002-03


The 2002/03 season began with former European Cup winners Feyenoord, Internazionale, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, AC Milan and Barcelona all making it through qualifying. Unfortunately, Celtic were not so successful. They beat FC Basel 3-1 at home but a 2-0 defeat in Switzerland saw them knocked out.

FC Basel v Celtic

FC Basel continued to impress in the group stage, beginning their campaign with a 2-0 home win over Spartak Moscow and a 1-1 draw away to Liverpool. They were thumped 6-2 by runaway group winners Valencia, but a 2-0 win in Moscow meant that they only needed a draw at home to Liverpool in their last game to qualify. In a remarkable game Basel were three goals up within half an hour, but Liverpool mounted a second half comeback which saw them draw level with five minutes still to play, but the Swiss side held on to progress to the next stage.

Spartak Moscow v Valencia/FC Basel v Liverpool

Holders Real Madrid began with a 3-0 win away to Roma and a 6-0 thrashing of Genk, but they did not win another match in their group. They still managed to top the group, however, with Roma in second place ahead of AEK Athens who drew all six of their games.

Real Madrid v Genk/Real Madrid v Roma

Arsenal started Group A by beating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 and then won their next two games to take control of the group. When Dortmund beat Arsenal in the return match it ensured that they also qualified ahead of PSV Eindhoven and Auxerre.

PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal/Borussia Dortmund v Auxerre

Group D was a very topsy turvy affair. Ajax beat Lyon twice, but failed to win either game against Rosenborg. Internazionale took only one point off Lyon but beat Ajax and Rosenborg at home. In the end, Inter only qualified thanks to a last day win away to Ajax. This meant that Lyon would have qualified with a win in Rosenborg, but they could only draw 1-1 so Ajax claimed second place.

Ajax v Internazionale/Rosenborg v Lyon

Milan and Deportivo La Coruna were always in control of Group G and they qualified ahead of Lens and a Bayern Munich side which surprisingly only managed to win two points.

Bayern Munich v Milan/Bayern Munich v Deportivo La Coruna

Barcelona won every game in their group. The second place position came down to a last day clash between Lokomotiv Moscow and Bruges with the Russians winning 2-0 to progress to the next round.

Galatasaray v Barcelona/Lokomotiv Moscow v Club Brugge

Bayer Leverkusen had a wretched start to their campaign. In their opening match they were thumped 6-2 by Olympiakos and then followed that with defeat at home to Manchester United who went on to win the group with five wins out of six. But two wins over Maccabi Haifa and a 2-0 victory in the return against Olympiakos were enough to see the Germans through in second place.

Bayer Leverkusen v Manchester United/Bayer Leverkusen v Olympiakos

But the most incredible comeback of the group stage came courtesy of Newcastle United who lost all of their first three games yet still qualified. Wins over Juventus and Dynamo Kiev at home gave the English side some hope, and a dramatic 3-2 win away to Feyenoord thanks to an injury time winner saw them remarkably make it through to the next phase along with Juventus.

Juventus v Newcastle/Feyenoord v Newcastle

Newcastle almost pulled off a similar miracle in the second round. After losing 4-1 at home to Internazionale and 3-1 in Barcelona, they then won home and away against Leverkusen and drew 2-2 in Milan. Unfortunately for them , Newcastle's last game was against Barcelona who had won four and drawn one of their first five games and the Spaniards duly ran out 2-0 winners to cement their position at the top of the group with Inter in second place.

Newcastle v Barcelona/Internazionale v Bayer Leverkusen

Another English side to exit at the second round stage was Arsenal, despite an impressive opening 3-1 win away to Roma. They then went on to draw their next four games before the final matchday which saw all four teams in Group B in with a chance of progressing. Valencia's 2-1 win over Arsenal was enough for them to win the group and a draw in Rome was sufficient for Ajax to claim second place.

Valencia v Arsenal/Roma v Ajax

Holders Real Madrid did not start their second round group well, losing in Milan and drawing at home to Lokomotiv Moscow. But a last gasp equaliser in Dortmund kept their hopes alive and wins in the reverse games against Milan and Lokomotiv were just enough to see them through behind the Italians who had won their first four games to dominate the group.

Milan v Real Madrid/Real Madrid v Milan

Manchester United qualified for the last eight in impressive style winning their first four games including a 3-0 win away to Juventus. Juventus, Deportivo and Basel all finished level on seven points but it was the Italians who claimed the runners-up spot thanks mainly to taking four points off Deportivo.

Juventus v Manchester United/Juventus v Deportivo

The most anticipated quarter-final tie was between Real Madrid and Manchester United. Real took control with a 3-1 win in the Bernabeu but United hit back in a thrilling second leg with a 4-3 victory, but it was the Spaniards who went through 6-5 on aggregate.

Manchester United v Real Madrid

The tie between Ajax and Milan went right down to the wire. After a goalless draw in Amsterdam, Ajax were on the verge of going through with the scores tied at 2-2 as the second leg drew to a close. But an injury time winner from Tomasson broke Ajax hearts and put Milan into the semi-finals.

Milan v Ajax

Italian domination of the competition was ensured by two other teams from Serie A reaching the semi-finals. Internazionale knocked out Valencia by winning on away goals after a 1-0 victory at home and a 2-1 defeat away. Meanwhile Juventus got the better of Barcelona. The first leg in Italy finished 1-1 and after 90 minutes in the Nou Camp the second leg was tied with the same score, but a winning goal from Zalayeta for Juventus six minutes from the end of extra time made it three out of four Italian sides in the semi-finals.

Barcelona v Juventus

The semi-final draw pitted the two Milan teams against each other. Both games were played in the San Siro with AC Milan's 'home' game ending 0-0. In the second leg Shevchenko gave Milan a first half lead which they held until five minutes from time when Martins scored for Inter, but there were no further goals and Milan went through, rather bizarrely, on away goals. Juventus ensured an all Italian final with an incredible game against Real Madrid. After Real had won the first leg 2-1, Juve hit back with a fantastic performance in Turin as they put three goals past the Spaniards with only a last minute Zidane goal in reply.

Juventus v Real Madrid

The two Italian sides travelled to Manchester for the Final. The game itself was fairly uneventful and finished 0-0. The penalty shootout was dominated by the two goalkeepers, Dida of Milan and Buffon of Juventus, who saved a total of five penalties, but in the end the Cup was won when Shevchenko scored for Milan who became European champions for the sixth time.

2003 European Cup Final (Manchester)
Milan 0 Juventus 0 (3-2 penalties)
Dida, Maldini, Kaladze, Shevchenko, Gattuso, Inzaghi, Rui Costa (Ambrosini), Nesta, Costacurta (Roque Junior), Seedorf, Pirlo (Serginho)
Penalty Scorers: Serginho, Nesta, Shevchenko
Juventus: Buffon, Ferrara, Tacchinardi, Montero, Tudor (Birindelli), Del Piero, Camoranesi (Conte), Trezeguet, Zambrotta, Thuram, Davids (Zalayeta)
Penalty Scorers: Birindelli, Del Piero

You can find details of all the results, dates and scorers on the RSSSF website here.

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