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Ronaldinho steals the show

Published: Thursday 26 February 2004, 23.47CET
Brøndby IF 0-1 FC Barcelona Ronaldinho's sensational second-half goal hands Barça vital victory.

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Published: Thursday 26 February 2004, 23.47CET

Ronaldinho steals the show

Brøndby IF 0-1 FC Barcelona Ronaldinho's sensational second-half goal hands Barça vital victory.

FC Barcelona continued their recent fine form with a narrow victory in Denmark against Brøndby IF. The goal that secured the UEFA Cup third-round first leg win was sensational - Ronaldinho powering the ball in after his 64th-minute free-kick had come back off the crossbar.

Early pressure
The Spanish side, on the back of a fine recent run in the Primera División, started the game confidently, despite missing Patrick Kluivert and the cup-tied Edgar Davids, and could have taken the lead on several occasions. Dan Johansen nearly put through his own net when he sliced Michael Reiziger's cross wide, before Luis García saw a shot well-saved and Javier Saviola somehow managed to sky the rebound high over the crossbar.

Constant menace
Barcelona were not having it all their own way, with Jonas Kamper hitting a fine shot just over the bar for Brøndby, but Ronaldinho, who shot wide twice, was a constant menace, and Luis García was trying to cut in from the right at every opportunity.

Growing frustration
As the first half wore on, chances were limited to long-range efforts, with Kamper again firing over and Saviola sending a right-foot shot high into the stand behind Karim Zaza's goal. Just before the break Ronaldinho was booked - an indication of how frustrated the Brazilian was at being unable to break the deadlock.

Initiative taken
After a pensive opening to the second period Frank Rijkaard's team once more took the initiative, with Ronaldinho at the heart of everything. Twice he nearly sent Luis García clean through on goal before Brøndby hit back, Mattias Jonson sending a header wide.

Stunning strike
But Ronaldinho was soon to get reward for his industry, with a goal that would have graced any occasion. Having been tripped on the edge of the box he sent in a dipping free-kick that crashed off the underside of the bar, and when it came back out there the Brazilian was to control the ball and shoot past the helpless Zaza into the top corner. It was a moment of pure inspiration.

Forward charge
Brøndby were clearly stunned by the goal and Barça surged forward to try and add a second, Phillip Cocu flicking Reiziger's cross wide with the outside of his left boot. Ronaldinho nearly had the last word too, but he could only direct a shot into the side-netting after substitute Marc Overmars' neat pass.

'Simply fantastic'
"I'm very pleased with the performance," said Rijkaard. "We agreed at half-time we had to get the goal to make our possession count. Ronaldinho's goal was simply fantastic, but we have not qualified for the next round yet and will prepare properly for next week."

Visible difference
His opposite number, Brøndby coach Michael Laudrup, said: "We gave them an even game for an hour but after that you could see the difference in the way they treated the ball."

Last updated: 27/02/04 10.00CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2003/matches/round=1720/match=73823/postmatch/report/index.html#ronaldinho+steals+show

Lineups

brøndby

Brøndby

barcelona

Barcelona

1
ZazaKarim Zaza (GK)
25
Víctor ValdésVíctor Valdés (GK)
3
WeighorstMorten Weighorst
Substitution70
32
OleguerOleguer
25
SennelsAsbjørn Sennels
12
Van BronckhorstGiovanni van Bronckhorst
5
JohansenDan Anton Johansen
5
PuyolCarles Puyol
6
JakobssonAndreas Jakobsson
2
ReizigerMichael Reiziger
4
NielsenPer Nielsen
8
CocuPhillip Cocu
7
KahlenbergThomas Kahlenberg
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
10
JonsonMattias Jonson
Substitution77
10
RonaldinhoRonaldinho
Yellow Card38
Goal63
Substitution84
18
SkarbaliusAurelius Skarbalius
22
Luis GarcíaLuis García
Substitution68
12
KamperJonas Kamper
23
Thiago MottaThiago Motta
Substitution78
19
JohansenKarsten Johansen
7
SaviolaJavier Saviola

Substitutes

16
AnkergreenCasper Ankergreen (GK)
1
Rüştü ReçberRüştü Reçber (GK)
21
ZimlingNiki Zimling
Substitution70
11
OvermarsMarc Overmars
Substitution68
14
HansenThomas Hansen
27
Óscar LópezÓscar López
2
OlesenAllan Olesen
38
David GarcíaDavid García
38
AggerDaniel Agger
24
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
Substitution84
35
LorentzenKasper Lorentzen
18
GabriGabri
31
AbsalonsenJohan Absalonsen
Substitution77
14
GerardGerard
Substitution78
Yellow Card86

Coach

Michael Laudrup (DEN) Frank Rijkaard (NED)

Referee

Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Assistant referees

Roland Van Nylen (BEL), Dirk Vanhoutte (BEL)

Fourth official

Peter Vervecken (BEL)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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