Super Pippo rescues Juventus in eight-goal thriller

Hamburg Arena, Hamburg – 13/09/2000 – Group stage
Yeboah 17 Mahdavikia 65 Butt 72 (P) N.Kovač 82
4 - 4
  • Tudor 6
  • Inzaghi 36, 52, 88 (P)
End-to-end drama

"It was a tough penalty, the whole stadium was whistling, but you just need to take responsibility." Filippo Inzaghi


• With seven goals Raúl González became the first player to finish UEFA Champions League top scorer twice having shared the honour with Mário Jardel (FC Porto) and Rivaldo (FC Barcelona) in 1999/2000.

• There were 63 goals in 16 games on Matchday 1 – a record for a single matchday – and by the time FC Bayern München beat Valencia CF in the final there had been 449 goals at an average of 2.86 per game.

• RC Deportivo La Coruña's quarter-final hopes looked over as they trailed Paris Saint-Germain FC 3-0 55 minutes into their second group stage meeting, but Walter Pandiani's hat-trick helped them through.

This topsy-turvy encounter was not the best advert for defensive vigilance but it was a masterclass in the art of goal poaching. The lead role was claimed by Filippo Inzaghi, an occasional pantomime villain with a habit of turning swashbuckling hero on these European nights.

With the start of the Serie A season still over a fortnight away and Antonio Conte, Michele Paramatti and Paolo Montero suspended, this Group E opener looked there for the taking for Hamburger SV. Yet the hosts quickly fell behind when a corner was allowed to bounce deep inside the penalty area and Igor Tudor headed home.

The defending was not much better 11 minutes later when Tony Yeboah, all alone at the far post, headed in Rodolfo Esteban Cardoso's free-kick. This was, however, the undercard to Inzaghi's command performance.

Zinédine Zidane acted as compare with half-time approaching, introducing the main act with a through ball brilliant in its simplicity. Inzaghi was away, already celebrating before his dink over Hans-Jörg Butt had hit the net. The 27-year-old opened up a two-goal cushion soon after the interval, collecting a chip forward and rifling into the far corner.

Then came the backlash as Mehdi Mahdavikia took centre stage. The Iranian international made it 3-2 as he held off Gianluca Pessotto to scramble in Marcel Ketelaer's low cross and then earned a penalty when Ciro Ferrara brought him down. Goalkeeper Butt coolly fired home. Eight minutes from time the rousing comeback was complete as Niko Kovač diverted Mahdavikia's drilled cross inside the far post.

The Volkspark was in dreamland but Inzaghi, their nightmare, was lurking in the shadows. He appeared with full time in sight, stealing a metre on the defence and Sergej Barbarez reacted, tugging his shirt. The upended No9 stepped up to convert the spot kick himself.

Star players

  • Inzaghi

    For two decades the Italy striker, a classic goal poacher, was an unwelcome presence on the back of the last defender. He won the 1998 Scudetto before Juventus sold him to AC Milan and made his former employers pay as new club beat old in the 2003 UEFA Champions League final. Inzaghi always saved his best for the European stage, and scored twice in the showpiece against Liverpool FC four years later.

  • N.Kovač

    Born in Berlin, Kovač was a defensive midfielder able to combine tough tackling and passing finesse. He won the Bundesliga with FC Bayern München and the Austrian title with FC Salzburg, but it was at international level where Kovač was at his best. Playing alongside brother Robert he captained Croatia at three major final tournaments, even if his peerless performances at UEFA EURO 2008 went unrewarded.

  • Yeboah

    It is testament to Yeboah's impact that, ten years after retiring, he is still spoken of in reverential tones in Germany and England. The Ghanaian international enjoyed cult success: Eintracht Frankfurt fans formed the Zeugen Yeboahs (Yeboah's Witnesses) soon after his arrival in 1990. An all-round attacking threat, his stock in trade was the wonder goal, memorably for Leeds United AFC and Hamburger SV.

What happened next?

• Ten days later Hamburger SV conceded a last-minute goal as they were held to another 4-4 draw at VfL Wolfsburg. They finished 13th in the Bundesliga, with the sixth best attack and fourth worst defence.

• RC Deportivo La Coruña and Panathinaikos FC finished first and second in Group E, with Hamburg taking third and a UEFA Cup berth after beating Juventus 3-1 in Italy. They promptly lost to AS Roma.

• In the final, FC Bayern München held their nerve to beat Valencia CF 5-4 on penalties, Mauricio Pellegrino missing the decisive penalty after the sides had exchanged spot kicks during regulation time.

• Juventus had a record five players sent off in a frustrating campaign and domestic competition brought only light relief as Carlo Ancelotti's charges finished second, two points adrift of Roma.

• Under Marcello Lippi, Juve claimed the Scudetto the following season and then defended their crown in 2002/03, though success was overshadowed by UEFA Champions League final defeat against AC Milan.

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