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30.04.2008 12:32

Beaten for the fifth time in the semi finals

Manel Tomàs / Jordi Clos

Manchester United became the fourth team to knock FC Barcelona out of the European Cup after the Blaugrana have been beaten twice before by Real Madrid and once each by Leeds United and Valencia.

It was Barça's tenth semi final appearance in their history in the elite club competition and had the worst possible ending as a single goal from Paul Scholes was enough to separate the two teams.


The first time that Barcelona tasted defeat at the semi final stage came in 1959-60. Helenio Herrera was in charge of the Catalan team when they were drawn against a Real Madrid team containing Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas. After losing 3-1 in the first leg in the Bernabéu, Barcelona were then defeated by the same scoreline at Camp Nou and, despite winning the league, Herrera left the club. A year later Barça redeemed themselves by becoming the first team to beat Madrid in European competition.

Leeds spoil Sant Jordi

semis_copa_europa_leeds.JPGIn 1961, Barcelona reached the final by beating Hamburg, but they then had to wait another 14 years before reaching the last four of the competition. In 1975 Rinus Michels led the club to that stage only to beaten 2-1 by Leeds United at Elland Road before being held to a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou on Sant Jordi's Day. Manolo Clares equalised after Allan Clarke had scored for the English side but it was not enough.

Valencia ends the run

Success in the 1986 semi final against IFK Gothenburg was followed by progress from the pool in 1992 and then the win against Porto in 1994 saw the Blaugrana reach three finals out of three after making it to the last four. Then in 2000, Valencia broke that run when chalked up a 4-1 win in Mestalla to given the Blaugrana no chance of coming back. Soon after Josep Lluis Nuñez stepped down as president and Louis van Gaal ended his first stint as coach.

Madrid again

Camp_1.jpgTwo years later and Barça forged their way through yet again only to be paired with their traditional rivals Real Madrid. On April 23, they were beaten 2-0 in Camp Nou thanks to goals from Zinedine Zidane and Steve McManaman, despite Barça hitting the post twice. A draw in the Bernabéu meant that the Blaugrana were eliminated.
Beaten for the fifth time in the semi finals
Milan two years ago
Only two years ago Barcelona made it to the semi finals of the Champions League and Ludovic Giuly was the hero when he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at AC Milan. Barça held on for a goalless draw in the second leg and booked themselves a place in the final in Paris.

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