Sunday, May 1, 2011

1 May 2002 - The Clasico Is Not Always A Classic

On 1 May 2002, Real Madrid and Barcelona met in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal match-up. The game ended as a 1-1 draw, which was enough to see Madrid through to claim their ninth European Cup/Champions League trophy.

The fierce rivals had faced off twice before in the competition, with Madrid winning both legs of their semifinal meeting in the spring of 1960 and going on to win the Final. The next fall, it was Barcelona who advanced, winning 4-3 on aggregate in the first round en route to the Final, which they lost to Benfica.

By May of 2002, they had already played each other three times. Madrid won twice, including a 2-0 victory in the semifinal's first leg (the other match was a 1-1 draw in the league). Playing before a crowd of 75,000 at the Bernabéu, Barcelona pressed for the needed goals, but it was Madrid who took the lead with a left-footed shot from Raúl in the 43rd minute.

Barça were finally rewarded in the 48th minute when Madrid defender Iván Helguera deflected a cross into his own net. The visitors continued to press for chances, but wasted them as shots from Javier Saviola, Patrick Kluivert, Luis Enrique, and Geovanni all shot wide.

The match ended 1-1 and Madrid went on to the Final in Glasgow where they beat Bayer Leverkusen, 1-2.

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