Sunday, May 15, 2011

15 May 2002 - Bayer Gets Another Real Headache

On 15 May 2002, Real Madrid won their record ninth European Cup/Champions League trophy, beating Bayer Leverkusen in the Final.

The Final--Bayer's first and Real Madrid's twelfth--was a rematch of the two team's quarterfinal meeting in 1998, which the Spaniards won 1-4 on aggregate en route to their seventh tournament title. Like that previous match, Real Madrid were heavily favored and took very little time to stake their claim to the trophy, going up in the 8th minute with a strike from their center forward, Raúl. Bayer did not lie down, however, and quickly responded with a 13th-minute header from Lúcio, their Brazilian center back.

Then, in the 45th minute, Madrid got a Brazilian edge of their own when Roberto Carlos surged forward from his left back position and sent a high arcing cross into the box. It dropped to Zinedine Zidane, who executed a stunning left-footed volley from the edge of the box. The ball rocketed over Bayer's keeper, putting Madrid up 1-2. It was the last goal of the match.

Neither team has returned to the Final since. Despite the loss, Bayer took some consolation by winning the Bundesliga that season.

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