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Red and white night in Europe

Published: Thursday 9 December 2004, 14.05CET
Liverpool FC and AS Monaco FC revived memories of former glories on a night savoured by the European press. features

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Published: Thursday 9 December 2004, 14.05CET

Red and white night in Europe

Liverpool FC and AS Monaco FC revived memories of former glories on a night savoured by the European press.
While AS Monaco FC, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF are fêted in print for qualifying, today's newspapers make grim reading for RC Deportivo La Coruña and AS Roma. rounds up the European media reaction to a concluding night of UEFA Champions League football.

Liverpool FC 3-1 Olympiacos CFP
Steven Gerrard proved conclusively last night that he is not looking for an easy route out of Anfield as he gave Liverpool one of their most dramatic European victories of all-time. This incredible comeback revived memories of that most famous Anfield night of all, against St Etienne in 1977, but this time the English club went one better as they found three second-half goals to take them through into the next round of the Champions League. (The Mirror, England)

Even the Greek word 'tragedy' cannot describe the cruel elimination of Olympiacos from the Champions League. In 45 minutes the Piraeus side managed to destroy everything that they had carefully being building since the beginning of the competition. In 45 minutes they conceded more goals than they had in the previous five matches. (Ethnos, Greece)

RC Deportivo La Coruña 0-5 AS Monaco FC
Deportivo exhaled their last breath in the Champions League, and they depart without having scored a single goal. The worst thing is that during an inconsequential game, the Blanquiazules recorded yet another damaging result. In a stadium chilled by a poor turn-out, the fans were forced to witness a shameful display which was also watched by half the world. (La Voz de Galicia, Spain)

Never again speak with La Coruña about AS Monaco; at least wait for a long time until the nightmare recedes. One year after the 8-3 at Louis II, Depor endured another terrible setback at the Riazor - humiliated by the Monégasques' discipline, application and commitment right until the end. (L'Equipe, France)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-0 FC Dynamo Kyiv
Christmas came early and Bayer 04 Leverkusen can celebrate being among the last 16 in the Champions League. The home side completed a strong showing by German clubs in the competition with a fine second-half display which saw them overcome Dynamo Kyiv. For the first time in seven years, three German teams have survived the group stage. (Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Germany)

Jozsef Szabo and his Dynamo players were talking beforehand about playing to win. It's one thing to talk, another to play. We've seen Dynamo playing to win this autumn and it wasn't the case in Leverkusen. Kyiv had their fate in their own hands and it was enough not to lose for them. That 'enough' finally told. Dynamo lost to Bayer in every element of the game. (, Ukraine)

AS Roma 0-3 Real Madrid CF
It was a very sad goodbye for Roma in an empty stadium and without trying even to save their pride. Without Totti, Cassano and Montella, Real Madrid had no problem winning and qualifying. This Roma side were fortunate to play behind closed doors because their fans would not have taken kindly to this performance (Corriere dello Sport, Italy)

Two miracles by Ronaldo and a superb Figo strike took Madrid through in a game that defined everything that the Champions League is not. Roma discredited their status as a club with lofty pretensions as they bowed out of the most prestigious competition in the world by fielding a team of substitutes. A hollow side in an empty stadium - a footballing cathedral converted into a depressing stage. Football is nothing without the presence of the fans. (El País, Spain)

Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC 1-1 Juventus FC
Maccabi Tel-Aviv battled valiantly with Juventus for a 1-1 draw last night but the result was not enough to keep their European season alive. The only consolation for Maccabi was that they became the first team in the group to score or take a point off Juve, who had won their opening five matches 1-0. (Haaretz, Israel)

Before the game, Capello said that Juventus wanted to help Buffon finish the group stage unbeaten. The Juventus coach went for the easy solution, fielding Antonio Chimenti in goal instead of the No1. The Bianconeri did not finish on maximum points and conceded their first goal in the competition, however they are still unbeaten in Europe and approach the 17 December draw full of confidence. (Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy)

AFC Ajax 2-2 FC Bayern München
Ajax's European adventure will continue although it will be in the UEFA Cup. Over six matches, Ajax have only marginally been better than Maccabi Tel-Aviv which says something about the strength of the national champions on the international stage. If they had shown some of last night's aggression in the away match in Tel-Aviv then third place would have been achieved far more comfortably. (De Volkskrant, Netherlands)

Defensively Bayern were OK; offensively there was almost nothing. They performed without inspiration and a lack of determination, although Bayern did take their chances. (Kicker, Deutschland)

Olympique Lyonnais 5-0 AC Sparta Praha
The 8 December is traditionally a night of celebration in Lyon. The city is aglow with millions of lights and locals stroll happily in the streets. Champions League duty may have seen Lyon's footballers miss the party, but they took part in their own festivities. Led by attacking trio Nilmar, Frau and Bergougnoux, Paul Le Guen's side lit a fire in Gerland's skies. (Le Parisien, France)

It was a gruelling way for Sparta to finish their Champions League campaign. Two goals were the result of fatal blunders and tears now remain rather than financial rewards. (Sport, Czech Republic)

Fenerbahçe SK 3-0 Manchester United FC
Manchester United paid a heavy price for underestimating Fenerbahçe by resting nine of their first-team players. Yesterday was the night of Tuncay - he put his mark on the game and cheered up millions of Fenerbahçe fans, while also helping intimidate arch-rivals Galatasaray SK ahead of Sunday's derby match. (Hürriyet)

Sir Alex Ferguson's shadow XI last night incorporated the peripheral, the peeved and, in the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, the perplexed. Unable to bridge the gap between the League Cup and Europe's premier club competition, they will qualify as runners-up in Group D and now face the likelihood of Italian opposition in the first knockout stage. (The Guardian, England)

Last updated: 09/12/04 16.02CET

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