No. 60 – The glory that is Rome
On the 15th February 2001, Liverpool produced a vintage performance at the Stadio Olympico, a ground which has twice seen them win the European Cup. Gerrard Houiller and his team faced a Roma side who were six points clear at the top of the Serie A table. It had been the first time Roma and Liverpool had met since the 1984 European Cup final, which Liverpool won on penalties.
Michael Owen was in superb form scoring a superb double to give the Reds a commanding first-leg advantage over Italian Champions Roma in the UEFA Cup fourth round. However, events outside the ground that night before the game cast a shadow across the whole night.
On the field, Liverpool produced a magnificent all round team performance, from the goalkeeper forward. Sander Westerveld gave the team confidence with his handling, the defence was extremely solid all night with Henchoz and Hyypia dominant and Dietmar Hamann gave the complete midfield performance, competing for every ball and passing brilliantly.
Michael Owen had returned the Liverpool starting eleven that night making his first start in eight games but Owen made the breakthrough just inside two minutes from the half time interval when he fired a perfectly placed shot beyond Roma’s keeper Antonioli.
Owen then doubled our advantage on 71 minutes heading in a Christain Ziege cross. Liverpool held on to take a 2-0 advantage back to Anfield a fortnight later where a 1-0 Liverpool defeat was enough to take them through to the UEFA Cup Quarter Final. Liverpools victory in Rome played a key role as Liverpool clinched a unique cup treble at the end of the 2000/01 season.
Roma’s Team: Antonioli, Rinaldi, Samuel, Mangone, Cafu, Emerson, Tommasi, Nakata, Montella, Delvecchio, Candela.
Liverpools Team: Westerveld, Babbel, Henchoz, Carragher, Ziege, Hyypia, Barmby, Hamann, McAllister, Fowler, Owen.