Real Madrid 2 - Bayer Leverkusen 1
César (Casillas 66'); Michel Salgado, Hierro, Iván Helguera,
Roberto Carlos; Figo (McManaman 60'), Makelele (Flavio Conceiçao 73'),
Zidane, Solari; Raúl, Morientes. 4-4-2.
Real Madrid won their ninth European cup with a more difficult than expected victory over Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow's Hampden Park stadium. The Spanish side were touted as strong favourites against the Germans, who were playing their first final and who had never won the German league in all their history. They had however had a good season, finishing runners up in the league and the cup, and they wanted to win this trophy to at least have something to show for their efforts. The same though was the case for Del Bosque's side, who had also reached this stage of what is their centenary season with only the Spanish super cup in their trophy cupboard, and with a place in next year's Champions League already assured, they turned up hungry for victory. Del Bosque had been debating all week who to line up in the striker position, and he finally opted for Morientes instead of Guti. Otherwise it was as expected, with the on-form Solari keeping his place in midfield.
Real Madrid had the advantage of playing in their third final in five years, and they settled down quicker than their opponents. Within nine minutes they took the lead, Raúl quick as lightening to run on to a Roberto Carlos throw in and steer the ball wide of Butt into the bottom corner of the net with the defence still half asleep. Bayer didn't take long in reacting though, and six minutes later Schneider swung in a free kick from the left and the excellent Lucio got above the defence to glance a header past César. The contest was back on, and Toppmoller's side took control, with César saving well from Brdaric and Zivkovic. Shortly before the break Berbatov came on for the limping Brdaric, but with the game going the German's way, Madrid broke clear on the counter attack. Iván Helguera juggled the ball on the left and flicked the ball towards Roberto Carlos down the left wing. He did likewise and sent a looping speculative cross high into the box, and there was Zidane to volley the dropping ball into the top corner of Butt's net. It was a stroke of genius, and enough to win him his first ever European cup.
The game was not over though, and after a Scottish streaker had his brief moment of fame the second half commenced. Del Bosque replaced a disappointing Figo with McManaman on the hour mark, and a few minutes later had to replace keeper César who had been limping after a clash with Lucio, Casillas taking his place. Kirsten came on for Bayer to make his last appearance for the club as Toppmoller added to his attack, but Madrid went close when Morientes shot just wide. Bayer were desperate though, and in the last few minutes they threw everything forward, up to and including keeper Butt who almost scored when he got his head to a corner. But now it was the turn of Casillas to show what he was made of, and the young keeper showed why Camacho still has faith in him with a series of vital saves, stopping one effort from Basturk and blocking Berbatov's shot with his legs as Swiss referee Urs Meier added on seven agonising minutes of stoppage time. Finally though they were there, and the relieved Madrid players embraced, their centenary year saved by the last game of the season. The tired players now go on to the World Cup, but at least in the knowledge that they did not let their club down. Bayer Leverkusen can be proud that they did their best, but this was not their night. The trophy was on its way to Spain.