BANTAMS EURO DREAMS FALL APART

****(My match reports from our Premiership days – 2000-2001)_ ##### – Match 06 – InterToto Cup Semi Final Second Leg – August 2nd 2000

– Bradford City 0

– Zenit St. Petersburg 3 (Ugarov 68, Gorovoy 75, Tarassov 85)

– (Agg 0-4)

Bradford’s debut European run came to an end as they were well beaten by talented Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg.

Three second half goals for the away side was enough to secure a comfortable four-goal aggregate lead and a place in the InterToto Cup final. Having spent the away leg vainly chasing the ball, Bradford had far more possession this week, but rarely breached the tough Russian defence.

Robbie Blake, relishing his role as a winger, looked the most likely of Chris Hutchings’ men to create something special. Twice he picked out Lee Mills unmarked with pinpoint crosses, yet the striker failed to hit the target on either occasion.

Zenit could have sealed the tie at the end of the first period, but goalkeeper Matt Clarke came to the Bantams rescue. Gennadiy Popovich nipped past Gunnar Halle, but saw his powerful left-footed drive well saved. Sergei Ossipov went one better, beating the ’keeper, but saw his volley rise agonisingly over the crossbar.

Mills finally got a header on target early in the second half, powerfully directing Peter Atherton’s cross towards the top corner. However, goalkeeper Viacheslav Malafeev, who kept City out with two marvelous late saves in the first leg, was equal to it and tipped the ball around the post.

Then, against the run of play, Zenit scored the opener and Bradford gave up. Ugarov simply had to tap the ball into an empty net after goalkeeper Matt Clarke could only parry Aleksandre Spivak’s ferocious shot into his path.

Stuart McCall then gifted the Russians another after a mix-up in the defence. The assistant boss slipped over inside the six-yard box, gifting the ball to Boris Gorovoy for a simple second.

With the Bantams pushing forward, Zenit took advantage of the gaps in the defence and Tarasov, scorer in the first leg, linked well with Ugarov, flicking the ball over Clarke to round off the rout in style.

  • Bradford City: Clarke, Halle, Atherton, O’Brien, Nolan, Hopkin, McCall, Whalley (Lawrence 83), Blake (Beagrie 73), Windass, Mills
  • Subs Not Used: Sharpe, Walsh, Westwood, Rankin, Grant
  • Booked: Windass

  • St. Petersburg: Malafeev, Lepekhin (Vernidub 86), Zvetkov, Gorovoy, Katulsky, Osipov, Ugarov, Kobelev (Archavin 28), Nedorezov, Spivak, Popovich (Tarassov 45)
  • Subs Not Used: Berezovsky, Borodine, Igonin, Gorchkov

  • Booked: Archavin, Nedorezov

  • Referee: Miroslav Radoman (Yugoslavia)

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