: Champions League: Barcelona at A.C. Milan
WOW! What an incredible game. The UEFA Champions League is my favorite (only the top couple of teams in each country compete) and this game shows why. Barcelona lost their last two UCL games (they won their first) to put them at the bottom of their group, and so they really needed a big game. The game started off with a great free kick goal from last year’s world Player of the Year Rivaldo kicking the ball under the wall as they leaped up. Minutes later, while Barca was in confusion after Cocu and Petite clashed heads and were carted off, leaving the team playing with just nine men, Milan’s Albertini scored from a half mile away (at least it seemed like it). Unbelievably, Albertini scored a second — only his sixth goal in league and international play — on a free kick. Just minutes later, Rivaldo was brought down at Milan’s end of the field to give Barca a free kick at almost the exact spot where Rivaldo scored his first goal. This time the wall didn’t jump and Rivaldo put the ball high, just curling it under the crossbar and in! If that wasn’t enough for one half, Milan busted back with a shot from Bierhoff that was blocked by Milan’s keeper, only to the see rebound blasted in by a charging Jose Maria (three goals for Spain in the Sydney Olympics). Like I said, wow. Five goals in one half. Could the second be any better? Of course not. Both teams slowed down in the second half, with Milan defending their lead. Finally Rivaldo broke through with a terrific diving header to complete his hat trick and tie the score, and that’s how the game finished, 3-all.