Monday, December 26, 2011

European Cup 1960 1961 Hamburg Sv Barcelona FC

Semi Final,
Second Leg
26 April 191
Attendance: 71,000
Referee: Gérard Versyp 

As seemed to have happened on so many occasions in the short history of the European Cup, the two favourites within the last four were drawn against each other in the semi-finals as Hamburg now found themselves up against Barcelona – whose poor league form had seen their coach Brocic replaced by his assistant Enrique Orizaola - for a place in the final. This meant that either a team from Portugal or Austria would reach the final for the first time as Benfica and Rapid Vienna met in the other semi-final. It was Benfica who seemed to have sewn up their place in the final when they won the first leg in Lisbon by 3-0, and when they scored the opening goal just after the hour in the return match, the tie was as good as over. 

The most controversial moment, however, was still to come. Rapid had equalised soon after Benfica’s goal, but they still trailed 4-1 on aggregate when, with less than five minutes remaining, they were denied what they thought should have been a penalty. When the referee refused to award the spot kick, the Austrian players and spectators ran riot and forced the game to be abandoned. UEFA reacted by sentencing Rapid to a three year ban on European ties being played in their stadium and awarded the match to Benfica. Sadly, however, it was not to be the last time that the European Cup would be affected by hooliganism. In the other semi-final, the drama was confined to the football, but there was no shortage of it. Having managed to gain only a slender one goal advantage from the first leg, thanks to a goal from Evaristo, Barcelona looked to be heading for a surprise exit when goals from Wulf after 58 minutes and Seeler on 68 minutes gave Hamburg the lead overall in Germany. With the clock ticking down and Hamburg heading for the final, Barcelona were saved by a last minute goal from the head of Kocsis – who had been injured for the first leg - which earned them a replay in Brussels a week later. When the teams met again, another Evaristo goal, this time just before the interval, was enough to see the Spanish champions through to the final in Berne. Few people around Europe doubted that, having squeezed past the dangerous Germans of Hamburg, Barcelona would inherit Real Madrid’s title of champions of Europe. Not only had they knocked Real out of the competition – something that no other team had achieved in the first five years of the tournament – but they had a forward line that was comparable to that which had famously dominated the European Cup so far. Instead of Canario, Puskas, Gento, Di Stefano and Del Sol, Bacelona had the skill and dribbling ability of Kubala, the powerful heading and shooting of Kocsis, the speed and finishing of Evaristo, the creativity and imagination of Suarez and the pace and power of Czibor. Behind them was Ramallets, the captain and first choice Spanish goalkeeper for a decade. Now 37, he was close to retirement and saw the European Cup Final as the perfect way to crown his career. Kubala at 34 was also to retire after the game, while, due to Barcelona’s financial problems resulting from the building of their new stadium, Suarez was about to be sold to Internazionale to rejoin his old coach, Helenio Herrera. In addition, Barcelona also had some experience of playing in European finals. The success of the European Cup had now led to the introduction of the European Cup-Winners Cup and, before that, teams from the continents major cities had taken part in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup which Barcelona had won twice.

Here's another "special for members only"  for Christmas time  as a kind of reward for members. All you have to do is sign as a member that's it. It's totally private. A password will be send via Friendconnect. Registration is on right side of the blog, section members. 


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