Author Topic: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.  (Read 8206 times)

Offline Hinesy

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RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« on: December 8, 2013, 03:04:48 PM »
A massive thanks to Alan for this.
Apologies for the late arrival but Timbo stepped in at the last minute.
Enjoy day 8!


GOIN’ BACK...TO ITALY

LIVERPOOL 2 – ROMA 0
20th March 2002

The night's emotion glowed in the young lad's eyes. A mirror of the joy within his soul. Sanctifying grace from above could not have elicited more out of that soul than what he had just witnessed taking place on the Anfield pitch before him. He was just fourteen, proud and thrilled beyond his strongest yearnings to have been a party to it.

As were we all.

A few hours earlier, we had snaked our way towards our Mecca. Thirsting red hordes. Hopeful, yet not too expectant. Optimistic but alert nonetheless to the possibility of such optimism being dashed against the impermeable rocks of the superb Roma side we were about to confront. As we turned past the reassuring red-bricked façade of the old Anfield Road School, its bulbous bell tower appeared to pulse to the rhythm of the throngs passing it on the street below. Perhaps, with its unparalleled experience of these occasions the throbbing structure knew something we didn’t. Then again, perhaps it was simply too much Greene King IPA playing tricks again.

A minute or so later and our tributary of hopefuls met with its sister stream, flowing uphill on Arkles Lane. The confluence saw us transformed into a river of burgeoning aspiration. Redmen from all points of the compass supplementing the predominant Scouse variety. Our collective heart set on reaching the ocean where dreams are spawned.

As we neared our destination, optimism multiplied in synch with our numbers. Snatched chants and songs punctuated the background hum under the Anfield Road stand. Shouts for spares unveiled the enormity of the event in waiting. As our stride became a shuffle in the enveloping crowd we watched as the burgers and hot-dogs were somehow consumed and rendezvous’s consummated. As the buzz and desperation to partake intensified, touts in dark corners rubbed their hands. Clearly it was not simply the old school tower that had known something special was afoot.

For this was Anfield, after all. A mere football ground to some. A shrine to others. Consecrated ground. Tonight was the last chance saloon for Liverpool’s Euro seekers. From the milling scenes around the ground it was evident they would not be entering that saloon alone. A force would be with them.

We took our seats just as the Kop offered up its organized salute to Gerard Houllier. As our beloved anthem rang out from beneath the carpet of red and white mosaic cards cloaking the entire Kop, it reflected tangibly Anfield’s cavernous respect and stirred passions, taking them to a pitch of raw emotion from which they would not shift for hours to come.

But now the game could not begin soon enough. The crowd was ravenous for action. They would not be short-changed.

If Steven Gerrard is not already the finest footballer in the world, it is surely but a matter of time before he is crowned so. Imagine, if you will, a hybrid of Graeme Souness, Emlyn Hughes and a Centurian tank. Throw in a few extra inches height, a Scally demeanour rounded off with a coconut scalp and you have this mighty one-man armoury. Sublime skill and touch, unerring vision and awareness, leggy gallops and surges, a Lorimer cannon shot and tackles more ferocious than Souness. Yozzer and the tank combined. This boy. This man? Giant? Combine-harvester? - is simply irresistible. What's more, he is ours.

Purr, purr and purr again. Drool endlessly, in fact.

His bone shattering demolition of his Roma adversary with the game barely minutes under way set the tone for the entire night. To go under, over, sideways through your opponent all in a single clattering choreographed manoeuvre is probably defying the laws of physics. Such trivialities matter not one jot to this prodigy turned destroyer turned master craftsman. He did it, left his poor victim a grounded crumpled mess and was up and galloping away within seconds.

At that moment you sensed the game was up for poor Roma.

The next fifteen minutes did not betray Steven Gerrard's lead. Red shirts all but mesmerised their Latin adversaries. Spurred on by a rare, baying delirium of noise that demanded an urgency already present in abundance within the players, the ratchet was cranked up still further. The deal was simple. We sang and we roared and we yelled ourselves hoarse. Our heroes, meanwhile, simply swarmed the Roma box for all they were worth. It was some deal we were privy to.

Within six minutes the Reds had prised out a one goal penalty lead from one of at least half a dozen incisive attacks. It seemed scant reward for such magnificence and as that initial onslaught abated slightly there were those around whose minds harboured misgivings at such a slender return. Yet, in truth, the significance of that opening siege was pivotal. The die had been cast by that remorseless red tide. The underlying trend of the game had been branded unmistakably onto that swarthy Roman psyche. The Italians fought back gamely. Admirably. Yet only one winner would emerge. And they would be dressed in Red.

So it came to pass. And move. The second half again saw prodigious effort by the men in Red. Would it be sufficient in itself, though? Probably so. We shall never be sure, of course, because of what happened next.

The unmistakable figure of Gerard Houllier paraded the touchline. A cameo of our beloved Houllier past. Slighter, of course, but the same Gallic Gerard, nonetheless. Fleeting glimpses had been there earlier in the game for those alert enough to catch them. This time, however, it was for real. This was sustained. This was pre-meditated psychology surely. This one prompted renewed buzz and urgings from the crowd. A Shanklyism perhaps? Probably so, yet it matters not. The volume was cranked up yet again. The players responded with yet further inspired play. Once again Roma could not cope with the surge. That rampant fusion of noise and opponents playing out of their skins once more proved too potent for the Romans. A free-kick was conceded. One of many. A Murphy floater to the far post and Emile Heskey soared and somehow hung like some huge prehistoric condor to score with a header as illustrious as any Tony Hateley ever powered into the Kop net.

I shared bear hugs with my fourteen year old godson for the umpteenth time, not to mention everyone else around us in that pulsating Main Stand. Friends and strangers alike bonded like scarcely before. As the hugging abated a mite, I looked into my godson's eyes. They were eyes now far away; viewing that enchanted ocean so few ever get to see. Amidst the mayhem, I had the presence to recall the time I had first seen that secret place myself.

Thirty seven years earlier on a fresh May night an unheralded Liverpool team had humbled the mighty world champions of Inter Milan amidst scenes and an atmosphere so enthralling, so beguiling it has become and will forever remain a cornerstone of the club’s very entity. That night a communion begun six years earlier with the arrival of Bill Shankly and formulated by Second and First Division Championships and our first FA Cup victory was finally consummated on the Anfield turf. All that followed in our glorious era of endless success was underpinned by the immensity of events that night. That night, both team and crowd, along with their unique manager, had gazed onto the ocean stretching out before them.

Tonight was young Mike's Inter Milan. Tonight was that good; that momentous in the history of this unique football club. It is a history being re-written as we look on in awe.

More to the point, of course, it was Mike's Roma. Even more to the point it was the Roma of Gerard Houllier. Along with his wonderful football team and all its rapturous supporters. All those lucky enough to be there; the ones that helped embroider our Anfield shrine till it was awash with unbroken red and white tinsel as far as the eye could see. And also those not so fortunate to be there in person. The disenfranchised. The exiled. The infirm. Or simply the otherwise committed. For they too - all of them - were there in spirit on this night of all nights. All lending their devotion to this football club of unparalleled emotion. Tonight, together as one, we all laid down a milestone. One that will reverberate through football.

In the final reckoning it is a night that should be remembered with the same reverence as that legendary night against Inter back in '65. Or that other wondrous night against Gerard Houllier's green shirted compatriots in '77. Needless to say, that old Anfield School bell tower has seen them all. It, more than anybody, knows a special occasion when it sees one. Next time I see it pulsating, I'll let you know.


Yep.

Offline Hinesy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #1 on: December 8, 2013, 03:12:57 PM »
Very few people write so emotionally, and with such spine tingling inspiration as Alan. RAWK is honoured to have him on board. Thanks mate, that was great.
Yep.

Offline Hinesy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #2 on: December 8, 2013, 08:52:25 PM »
I remember driving to the game from Scotland straight from work and arriving just as ynwa was booming out at Anfield as I ran up the road. You could feel the buzz from outside the ground a good distance away. And the shivers and whispers that ran around the Kop of the rumours of our manager's return spread like wildfire. Electric.
Yep.

Offline Tepid T₂O

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #3 on: December 8, 2013, 08:55:23 PM »
Was it DiTomasi with the big Afro?

Was the bees knees, but was totally overshadowed by gerrard.

Electric atmosphere!

Great series this advent calendar, cheers!
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Offline 007.lankyguy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #4 on: December 8, 2013, 08:58:34 PM »
Wow, that write up will not be bettered. Superb writing mate.
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Offline Hazell

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #5 on: December 8, 2013, 08:59:57 PM »
Brilliant that mate, really great writing.
We have to change from doubter to believer. Now.

Offline Tepid T₂O

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #6 on: December 8, 2013, 09:01:52 PM »
I'm going to write one for the first 4-3 against Newcastle .....(if there is one?!)

I'll stick it after the op..... It won't be as good, but it's the best game I've ever been to in person.... Vivid memories:)
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Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #7 on: December 8, 2013, 10:16:48 PM »
Just been past the bell tower. It's throbbing again.

Roll on Spurs next Sundee.

 ;D


Offline Hellrazor

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #8 on: December 9, 2013, 11:23:13 AM »
good stuff

was incredible to see houllier back that night
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Offline BIG DICK NICK

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #9 on: December 9, 2013, 11:39:46 AM »
That was great. That's the best European game I've ever been to (never went to any in the Rafa era). A proper hugging strangers sort of night. :D

Allez, Allez, Gerard Houllier! His presence on the touchline definitely played a major part that night I think. It galvanised players and crows a like. Roma were a shit hot team back then, coached by Capello with the likes of Totti, Batistuta, Emerson, Tomassi, Samuel but they were swept aside.

Offline Ycuzz

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #10 on: December 9, 2013, 01:07:13 PM »
Goodness me.

Not quite sure what words to use - that will justify that text. See Hinesy's post further up too. Very, very well done.

If that doesn't move your Red heart - you are, as they say in the show, dead inside.

Thank you.
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Offline d.revie

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #11 on: December 9, 2013, 01:44:43 PM »
Nice to read back on a game that gets overlooked in my eyes as one of the great European nights at anfield. Was in Annie road for this game and i'm sure ive said on here before it was the first time i witnessed the power of the kop as they should of had a nailed on pen till the ref bottled it after pressure from the crowd. Thanks for the great read.

Offline Hellrazor

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #12 on: December 9, 2013, 02:19:12 PM »
Nice to read back on a game that gets overlooked in my eyes as one of the great European nights at anfield. Was in Annie road for this game and i'm sure ive said on here before it was the first time i witnessed the power of the kop as they should of had a nailed on pen till the ref bottled it after pressure from the crowd. Thanks for the great read.
I have a feeling that was the previous season.

the ref seemed to give a penalty then suddenly pointed for a corner. Roma went bananas.
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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #13 on: December 9, 2013, 03:21:41 PM »
Excellent emotive writing. I love these.

A moment that sticks out for me was when a Roma player and for the life of me I cant remember who attempted to waste time by lying motionless in front of the Kop for a few minutes, it was absolutely farcical. Its lodged in the back of mind my mind and for a few years Iv been trying to find out who it was or clarify did it even happen!

Here is the Roma side that lined out that night. Fairly formidable, worth noting as well this side missed out on back to back Scudetto's in 2002 by 1 point. Which would have been an incredible achievement for a Club like Roma who had only been champions three times previous. The following season Capello fell out with Totti and the rot set in, arguably Roma's greatest side would be no more.

Antonioli
Aldair
Christian Panucci
Walter Samuel
Candela
Assuncao
Francisco Lima
Emerson
Damiano Tommasi
Francesco Totti
Gabriel Batistuta

Offline Hellrazor

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #14 on: December 9, 2013, 03:35:15 PM »
that sounds like a porto player. Carlos Secretario if im not mistaken

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-31035/UEFA-Cup-Homegrown-Reds-shine-Houllier.html
« Last Edit: December 9, 2013, 03:38:07 PM by Xmas Shopping at the Shell Garage. Razor Gift Set for Granny »
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Offline KERRYKOP

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #15 on: December 9, 2013, 03:37:43 PM »
that sounds like a porto player. Carlos Secretario if im not mistaken
Interesting. Iv always been open to the idea Iv had a few games/incidents muddled up under the section in my brain titled "Nasty Cheating Foreigners" :)

Offline Hellrazor

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #16 on: December 9, 2013, 03:39:04 PM »
Interesting. Iv always been open to the idea Iv had a few games/incidents muddled up other the section in my brain titled "Nasty Cheating Foreigners" :)
was the ref standing over him waiting for him to get up fo about 5 minutes? ive linked something above. if its the same thing i recall then yeah it was farcical
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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #17 on: December 9, 2013, 03:39:26 PM »
Excellent emotive writing. I love these.

A moment that sticks out for me was when a Roma player and for the life of me I cant remember who attempted to waste time by lying motionless in front of the Kop for a few minutes, it was absolutely farcical. Its lodged in the back of mind my mind and for a few years Iv been trying to find out who it was or clarify did it even happen!

Here is the Roma side that lined out that night. Fairly formidable, worth noting as well this side missed out on back to back Scudetto's in 2002 by 1 point. Which would have been an incredible achievement for a Club like Roma who had only been champions three times previous. The following season Capello fell out with Totti and the rot set in, arguably Roma's greatest side would be no more.

Antonioli
Aldair
Christian Panucci
Walter Samuel
Candela
Assuncao
Francisco Lima
Emerson
Damiano Tommasi
Francesco Totti
Gabriel Batistuta

What a side that was. It was actually a much stronger line up than the season before when they did win at Anfield (obviously we still went through). I think that year they had a full focus on Serie A and rotated quite a bit for Europe. Their line up for the 00/01 game against us was:

Antonioli
Samuel
Zago
Rinaldi
Zebina
Candela
Nakata
Tomassi
Assuncao
Montella
Delvecchio



As another aside I was lucky enough to be at both Roma games and remember being really impressed by Candela. He was quality and unlucky that he had the mighty Lizarazu ahead of him for France.

Offline KERRYKOP

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Offline BIG DICK NICK

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #19 on: December 9, 2013, 03:57:54 PM »
Is that Montella giving Thuram a sneaky punch?

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #20 on: December 9, 2013, 04:02:04 PM »
Is that Montella giving Thuram a sneaky punch?
Tis indeed, Thuram was also joined in defense that day by Cannavaro and Buffon, they're good apparently.

Offline Hellrazor

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #21 on: December 9, 2013, 04:24:56 PM »
was a big fan of roma back in the day

Antonio Cassano was in that squad too, most expensive teenager in the world at the time i think
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Offline Hazell

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #22 on: December 9, 2013, 04:25:54 PM »
Tis indeed, Thuram was also joined in defense that day by Cannavaro and Buffon, they're good apparently.

No Nesta?
We have to change from doubter to believer. Now.

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #23 on: December 9, 2013, 04:27:56 PM »
Antonio Cassano was in that squad too, most expensive teenager in the world at the time i think
Worth every penny


« Last Edit: December 9, 2013, 04:33:25 PM by KEGGYNOG »

Offline KERRYKOP

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #24 on: December 9, 2013, 04:34:59 PM »
No Nesta?
Didnt play for Parma, I had it in my head he did as well actually. Thought he came through their youth system.

Offline Hazell

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #25 on: December 9, 2013, 04:38:41 PM »
Didnt play for Parma, I had it in my head he did as well actually. Thought he came through their youth system.

I know, I don't know why I had it in my head when I read your post that he did.
We have to change from doubter to believer. Now.

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2013, 02:44:39 PM »
Im sure that was my lads first taste of Anfield, he walked up the steps half way up the Kop from inside and his face as he looked out onto the floodlit stadium will for ever be in my head, priceless, im sure also that the end of the warm up Batistuta walked over the halfway line down towards the Kop and just stood there looking at us , a warm response of " who the fucking hell are you " greeted his stare, great night
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Offline Hellrazor

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2013, 03:03:33 PM »
Worth every penny

he is fuckin bonkers
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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2013, 12:56:58 AM »
Amazing atmosphere that night.

I was crammed into that crap corner of the Annie road where you face the wrong way with my mate BIG Les. I remember looking over at the kop around the final whistle to see a red flare burning away in its midst.

Proper spine tingling stuff!

Loving these threads. Hats off!
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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2013, 01:28:52 AM »
he is fuckin bonkers
He's still got it though, skip to 0:45

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/pmBP_SRlSBA#t=45" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/pmBP_SRlSBA#t=45</a>

Offline Hellrazor

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2013, 10:52:56 AM »
He's still got it though, skip to 0:45

great player alright, just mental

seems typical of italian strikers
yer ma should have called you Paolo Zico Gerry Socrates HELLRAZOR

Offline Hinesy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #8. Alan Edge's LFC 2 v Roma 0 2002.
« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2013, 12:02:15 AM »
Bump for Christmas
Yep.