2004 UEFA Champions League Final
Match programme cover
|Event||2003–04 UEFA Champions League|
|Date||26 May 2004|
|Venue||Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen|
|Man of the Match||Deco (Porto)|
|Referee||Kim Milton Nielsen (Denmark)|
The 2004 UEFA Champions League Final was a football match played at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on 26 May 2004, to decide the winner of the 2003–04 UEFA Champions League. Monaco, a Monaco-based club representing the French Football Federation, faced Portugal's Porto, who won the match 3–0, with Carlos Alberto, man of the match Deco and Dmitri Alenichev scoring the goals.
Before 2004, Porto's last triumph in the competition had been in 1987 – although they had won the UEFA Cup the previous season – while Monaco were playing in their first ever Champions League final. Both teams started their UEFA Champions League campaigns in the group stage and defeated former European champions on their way to the final. Porto beat 1968 and 1999 winners Manchester United while Monaco defeated nine-time champions Real Madrid.
Both teams were considered underdogs in the competition before the final stages and were led by young managers: Monaco had former France national football team star Didier Deschamps and Porto were led by rising star José Mourinho, who left the team for Chelsea after the final.
Route to the final
Monaco finished second in the French Ligue 1 the previous season, meaning that they entered the Champions League at the group stage. They were placed in Group C, alongside Deportivo La Coruña, PSV Eindhoven and AEK Athens. After a 2–1 in their first win in the Netherlands and a 4–0 win at the Stade Louis II against AEK Athens, Monaco travelled to Spain, losing 1–0 by Deportivo. The Monegasque adventure really began after the return match against Deportivo, when Monaco won 8–3, which represented the highest number of goals in one match in the history of the new version of the UEFA Champions League; this record lasted until 22 November 2016, when Legia Warsaw lost 8–4 to Borussia Dortmund. Croatian striker Dado Pršo scored four times, while captain Ludovic Giuly (2), Jérôme Rothen, Jaroslav Plašil and Édouard Cissé pulverised the Spanish defensive line. After two more draws against PSV Eindhoven and AEK Athens, Monaco finished at the top of Group C.
The first knockout round saw Monaco winning against Lokomotiv Moscow after a 2–1 defeat in Russia and a win 1–0 at Stade Louis II. In the quarter-finals, Monaco played Real Madrid. After a 4–2 loss in Madrid (where Fernando Morientes scored, and was applauded by his former fans), Monaco created a sensation by defeating the Spanish 3–1 at home.
Monaco played against Chelsea in the semi-finals, and despite the exclusion of Akis Zikos, Monaco found enough strength to score twice and win the game 3–1. The last goal was scored by striker Shabani Nonda, who just returned from a seven-month injury. The second leg at Stamford Bridge saw Monaco resisting Chelsea's strikes, for a final score of 2–2 to reach the European Cup final for the first time in their history.
Porto, winners of the Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and UEFA Cup in 2002–03, were the only Portuguese team in the group stage, after the elimination of Benfica in the third qualifying round by Italian side Lazio. Porto was drawn in Group F, along with Real Madrid, Marseille and Partizan. Porto's first match was at Partizan Stadium in Belgrade. Costinha scored the opening goal on 22 minutes, but Andrija Delibašić scored the equaliser on 54 minutes. The next match, the first at the Estádio das Antas, was a 3–1 loss to Real Madrid. Costinha scored the opening goal again, on seven minutes. Iván Helguera equalised on 28 minutes; Santiago Solari on 37 minutes and Zinedine Zidane on 67 scored Real Madrid's winning goals. After only earning one point from the first two matches, Porto went on to secure their place in the first knockout round with three straight wins.
Three straight wins, two against Marseille and one against Partizan, secured Porto's place in the first knockout round before the last match of the group stage, a draw in Madrid. In the first knockout round, Porto met Manchester United. The Portuguese won 2–1 at home and managed to qualify in the final minutes of the second leg, when Costinha scored an equaliser in injury time in a 1–1 draw at Old Trafford. In the quarter-finals, Porto met a French team for the second time in the tournament: a 2–0 win at home and a 2–2 draw in France eliminated Lyon from the competition. In the semi-finals, Porto played Deportivo La Coruña, eliminating them 1–0 on aggregate.
|PSV Eindhoven||2–1 (A)||Matchday 1||Partizan||1–1 (A)|
|AEK Athens||4–0 (H)||Matchday 2||Real Madrid||1–3 (H)|
|Deportivo La Coruña||0–1 (A)||Matchday 3||Marseille||3–2 (A)|
|Deportivo La Coruña||8–3 (H)||Matchday 4||Marseille||1–0 (H)|
|PSV Eindhoven||1–1 (H)||Matchday 5||Partizan||2–1 (H)|
|AEK Athens||0–0 (A)||Matchday 6||Real Madrid||1–1 (A)|
|Group C winner
|Final standings||Group F runners-up
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg||Knockout stage||Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Lokomotiv Moscow||2–2 (a)||1–2 (A)||1–0 (H)||First knockout round||Manchester United||3–2||2–1 (H)||1–1 (A)|
|Real Madrid||5–5 (a)||2–4 (A)||3–1 (H)||Quarter-finals||Lyon||4–2||2–0 (H)||2–2 (A)|
|Chelsea||5–3||3–1 (H)||2–2 (A)||Semi-finals||Deportivo La Coruña||1–0||0–0 (H)||1–0 (A)|
Monaco, in their first European final, were up against Porto, the UEFA Cup winners from the previous season, who were appearing in the European Cup final for a second time (after 1987). Porto were the favourites after eliminating Manchester United in the second round of the competition, while Monaco had eliminated Real Madrid and Chelsea.
Following much pre-match speculation, Monaco captain Ludovic Giuly took up a central attacking position from the start, and four times in the opening three minutes his pace nearly caught Porto cold. On three occasions, the experience of his opposite number Jorge Costa was just enough to keep him at bay as he darted through, but once, from Lucas Bernardi's searching pass, Vítor Baía had to race from his goalline to effect a risky last-ditch tackle. Giuly was now coming into his own with some deft touches on the edge of the Porto area, setting up Édouard Cissé, whose cross was tantalisingly out of reach of Bernardi's outstretched leg, then providing Jérôme Rothen with a chance to cross from the other flank, but this time Fernando Morientes was just out of range.
Sadly for Monaco, it was to be nothing more than a cameo from their captain as, after just 22 minutes, he limped out of the match clutching his midriff, handing the armband to Julien Rodriguez and being replaced by Dado Pršo. Undeterred, Monaco kept their momentum and Nuno Valente became the first player to be booked after a clumsy foul on Cissé. Morientes was then adjudged offside from another astute pass from Bernardi.
The pendulum swung Porto's way when Rothen lost possession to Paulo Ferreira, who ran up the right flank and crossed to the near post where Rodriguez just beat Deco to the ball. Five minutes later, Porto took the lead from the same source. This time, Paulo Ferreira's centre was a lofted one and it found Carlos Alberto. Unselfishly, he tried to lay the ball off to Derlei, but the ball bounced back to the teenager off the hapless Akis Zikos and this time it was despatched with aplomb past Flavio Roma's left hand. Up to that point, five minutes from the interval, Monaco had been the better side, but in the opening period of the second half, Monaco looked shell-shocked, a goal down and without the inspirational Giuly. However, they gradually crept back into contention as Porto failed to capitalise and only another marginal offside verdict denied Morientes an equaliser.
On the hour, Porto withdrew Carlos Alberto in favour of Russian midfield player Dmitri Alenichev and four minutes later, Monaco brought on Shabani Nonda in place of Cissé as Monaco threw caution to the wind. But as their forays began to founder on the edge of the Porto area, the chance of a decisive counterattack grew more likely. In the 71st minute, Deco broke clear and found Alenichev on the left. The Russian put the ball straight back into the playmaker's path and Deco stroked home Porto's second. Four minutes later, Porto put the match out of reach with a third goal. This time, it was Derlei who broke free, and he found Alenichev courtesy of a cross that deflected off Sébastien Squillaci, by now on for Gaël Givet. Alenichev needed no second invitation as he drove the third nail in Monaco's coffin. Two days later, manager José Mourinho left Porto to take over as Chelsea boss.
|Report||Carlos Alberto 39'
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