Barça stalled as Madrid end Camp Nou hoodoo

Camp Nou, Barcelona – 23/04/2002 – Semi-finals
Barcelona
Barcelona
0 - 2
Real Madrid
  • Zidane 55
  • McManaman 90+2
Real Madrid
Edge of the seat

"The Spanish players were jumping around ... it was the first time we'd won there in a long time." Steve McManaman

2001/02

• Real Madrid CF registered 35 goals during the campaign, equalling their own record for the winners set in 1999/2000. The goals were divided between 14 players, with Raúl González contributing six.

• Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Bayer 04 Leverkusen overturned one-goal first-leg deficits to prevail in the quarter-finals, with Madrid and Leverkusen hitting their winners in the final six minutes.

• FC Bayern München equalled AFC Ajax's record of 19 UEFA Champions League games unbeaten before Real Madrid ended the holders' run – and defence – in the quarter-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabéu.

The Camp Nou was as intimidating a venue for visiting teams as ever at the turn of the millennium, but Real Madrid CF withstood a barrage of attacks in the semi-final first leg against FC Barcelona to secure a 2-0 win that left them within sight of the 2002 UEFA Champions League final.

This competition may have been Madrid's domain, but after two Liga titles in three years, Barcelona were slight favourites going into the tie. The Catalan giants had gone 19 years without a home defeat against their great rivals, but second-half goals from Zinédine Zidane and Steve McManaman were to bring that run to a dramatic conclusion.

Madrid were forced to toil for their rewards – can they have expected anything else? – as the hosts began with real intent. With Patrick Kluivert, Marc Overmars and Javier Saviola combining well, they fashioned chance after chance in a dominant first-half performance, coming closest to a breakthrough when Luis Enrique headed Fábio Rochemback's corner against the bar.

The onslaught looked set to continue after the restart as Overmars screwed a shot just wide, but the response from Madrid, shorn of the suspended Luís Figo, was devastating. 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.

Star players

  • Makelele

    A player who redefined the position of deep-lying defensive midfielder to such an extent that in England, where he played for Chelsea FC, it simply became 'the Makélélé role', the Kinshasa-born French international enjoyed success wherever he went. Capped 71 times, he won league titles in France, Spain and England and helped Real Madrid CF to 2001/02 UEFA Champions League success. He is now a coach.

  • Guti

    Tall, blond and instantly recognisable, Guti started out as a striker but it was as a left-footed playmaker that he made his name, counterbalancing a lack of mobility with a good footballing brain and an instinctive ability to deliver the killer pass. Aside from 16 months at Beşiktaş JK, the Spain international spent his entire career at Real Madrid CF, often as an impact substitute, contributing to five Liga successes and three victorious UEFA Champions Leagues campaigns.

  • Luis Enrique

    One of an elite group of players to represent both Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona, Luis Enrique was a diminutive, prolific midfielder who scored over 100 domestic goals, winning the Liga and the Copa del Rey with Madrid before securing both titles twice in an eight-year spell at Camp Nou. The Spain captain also lifted the 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with Barcelona and was capped 62 times before switching to coaching.

What happened next?

• Real Madrid CF beat Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2-1 in the final, Zinédine Zidane scoring a stunning winner in Glasgow after Raúl González's early opener was cancelled out.

• Madrid's Liga ambitions floundered, however; they collected just a point from their last three games and slipped to third, behind RC Deportivo La Coruña and champions Valencia CF.

• FC Barcelona were two points behind in fourth, an outcome which spelled the end of Carles Rexach's time at the helm; the following season, under Louis van Gaal, they ended up sixth.

• As it had two seasons earlier, Madrid's defence ended in the semi-finals, with a 4-3 aggregate defeat against Juventus. They have not advanced beyond that stage since.

• Vicente del Bosque, who surprisingly left Madrid after winning the 2002/03 Liga title, became the first coach to win the UEFA Champions League, EURO and FIFA World Cup.

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