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Dogged Brøndby edged out

Published: Wednesday 3 March 2004, 22.28CET
FC Barcelona 2-1 Brøndby IF (agg: 3-1) A controlled first-half display is enough for Barcelona.

Match statistics

BarcelonaBrøndby

Goals scored2
 
1
Attempts on target2
 
1
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards0
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 3 March 2004, 22.28CET

Dogged Brøndby edged out

FC Barcelona 2-1 Brøndby IF (agg: 3-1) A controlled first-half display is enough for Barcelona.

FC Barcelona turned in an impressive first-half display to put this UEFA Cup third-round tie beyond a stubborn Brøndby IF, coached by former Camp Nou favourite Michael Laudrup. Luis García and Phillip Cocu added goals to the 1-0 lead established by Ronaldinho in the first leg, before Per Nielsen scored a late consolation for the visitors.

Tactical game
Home coach Frank Rijkaard's scouts had warned him to expect a cautious game plan from the Danish team. Indeed, Laudrup's warning before the match that to "come and attack Barcelona would be suicidal" must have sealed Rijkaard's tactical thinking.

Congested midfield
Therefore, despite a heavily congested midfield which was clogged up by Laudrup's 4-5-1 formation, which switched to 4-3-2-1 on the rare occasions when Brøndby ventured forward, players like Xavi Hernández, Cocu and Thiago Motta moved the ball swiftly and with assurance around the centre of the park, constantly probing for gaps.

Zaza saves
Indeed, Motta caused the first flutter of interest with a tackle to rob Martin Retov in midfield and it took a fine penalty-box tackle from Brøndby captain Per Nielsen to prevent Javier Saviola scoring. From the corner Oleguer got the first header on target but Karim Zaza, star of the first leg, saved comfortably.

Quick feet
The breakthrough, after much prompting from the home midfield, came in the 31st minute. Xavi, whose form has been majestic since the January arrival of Edgar Davids, ineligible for the UEFA Cup, started things with terrific quick feet. After an interchange between him and Motta, Saviola was left to prod the ball between Nielsen and Asbjoern Sennels for Luis García to sweep into the penalty box and drive past Zaza.

Puyol to the rescue
That should have been game over, but instead the visitors responded impressively. Right-back Sennels went clear on goal and looked set to score until Carles Puyol's remarkable tackle saved the situation.

Simple second
Zaza had to save twice more from Luis García before half-time but ended up picking the ball from the net anyway when Cocu had the simple task of heading in Giovanni van Bronckhorst's 43rd-minute corner.

Late consolation
With the job done, Rijkaard did not waste time in introducing Andrés Iniesta in place of the Brazilian Ronaldinho, who left to a standing ovation. In the closing stages, Brøndby gave their travelling fans something to cheer when, from a corner, Nielsen scored with a firm header.

Slight disappointment
However, Laudrup felt it could have been more. "Over the two matches, I am happy," he said. "But I was disappointed tonight. Barça gave us space which we did not take advantage of."

'Not our best'
Rijkaard admitted: "This was not our best match, but it takes two to tango. Brøndby came and imposed their own game. We could take no risks, so it became a bit stale."

Last updated: 04/03/04 11.54CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2003/matches/round=1720/match=73824/postmatch/report/index.html#dogged+brøndby+edged

Lineups

barcelona

Barcelona

brøndby

Brøndby

25
Víctor ValdésVíctor Valdés (GK)
1
ZazaKarim Zaza (GK)
2
ReizigerMichael Reiziger
3
WeighorstMorten Weighorst
Substitution53
5
PuyolCarles Puyol
4
NielsenPer Nielsen (C)
Goal84
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
5
JohansenDan Anton Johansen
7
SaviolaJavier Saviola
6
JakobssonAndreas Jakobsson
8
CocuPhillip Cocu (C)
Goal43
Substitution63
7
KahlenbergThomas Kahlenberg
Substitution70
10
RonaldinhoRonaldinho
Substitution55
9
RetovMartin Retov
12
Van BronckhorstGiovanni van Bronckhorst
10
JonsonMattias Jonson
Yellow Card40
22
Luis GarcíaLuis García
Goal31
Substitution73
12
KamperJonas Kamper
23
Thiago MottaThiago Motta
18
SkarbaliusAurelius Skarbalius
Substitution53
32
OleguerOleguer
25
SennelsAsbjørn Sennels

Substitutes

1
Rüştü ReçberRüştü Reçber (GK)
2
OlesenAllan Olesen
11
OvermarsMarc Overmars
Substitution63
8
DaugaardKim Daugaard
Substitution53
18
GabriGabri
Substitution73
19
JohansenKarsten Johansen
Substitution53
20
QuaresmaRicardo Quaresma
21
ZimlingNiki Zimling
24
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
Substitution55
31
AbsalonsenJohan Absalonsen
26
RosRamón Ros
35
LorentzenKasper Lorentzen
Substitution70
27
Óscar LópezÓscar López
16
AnkergreenCasper Ankergreen (GK)

Coach

Frank Rijkaard (NED) Michael Laudrup (DEN)

Referee

Massimo Busacca (SUI)

Assistant referees

Matthias Arnet (SUI), Martin Iseli (SUI)

Fourth official

René Rogalla (SUI)

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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