since 1878

Torpedo Moscow (0) 1 - 2 (0) Ipswich Town

UEFA Cup 1st Round, 2nd Leg 2001-02

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Referee: Unknown

Manager: Unknown

Luzhniki Stadium

Attendance: 10,000

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2910


 Vyasmikin (65)
 Finidi George (46)
 Marcus Stewart (54)


SadjaiaGashkin (56)
IolovichLakic (81)
KormiltsevSemshov (41)

























Match Report

Memorable victory in Moscow

Ipswich managed to overcome the odds and Torpedo's tactics, as they beat the Russians in their own back yard. A 2-1 victory on the night gives Town an aggregate 3-2 victory...

We've done it! Thank God for that. Town fans were celebrating into the night as George Burley's team pulled of a memorable victory in Moscow. It wasn't the most convincing of performances, but the main thing is the result, and there is no doubt this is another very creditable European scalp for the Tractor Boys. The European tour takes another leap forward as Town enter the hat for the second round of the Uefa Cup. Burley made a few changes for the game, Clapham came into the left of midfield, and Venus came in at left back. Reuser and Jermaine were both left on the bench. Ipswich took the game to the Russians in the first half, but it looked for so long like we were in for another frustrating night. Despite dominating possession, Town were unable to break the impressive Torpedo defence as they set out their stall to defend from the word go. Chances were few and far between, and apart from a couple of attempted Marcus Stewart and Herman Hreidarsson headers, you had to wonder where the goals would come from. Torpedo approached the game where they had left off at Portman Road, defending rather than attacking. Their negative tactics became obvious early on; they were happy to defend their away goal, and hold out for a nil-nil draw. We only needed a goal to bring the tie to life, but it seemed unlikely to happen. And as it turned out, Torpedo's defend and break tactics nearly paid off, as they missed two gilt-edged chances which could have killed the tie. The first was came when Torpedo countered and broke the Ipswich defence, although it did look terribly offside. But the flag stayed down, and Sereni found himself up against two Russian forwards. To everyone's delight, Viasmikin smacked the ball against the bar when it looked easier to score. This has got to be a contender to appear on Question of Sport's ‘What happens next?' The danger wasn't over, as moments later, the Russian hotshot nearly made amends for his miss with some neat work that earned himself another shooting opportunity. This time his shot ended up in the side netting. There was little other goalmouth action to speak of in the first 45 minutes, as Town struggled to overcome Torpedo's tactics. But after only a few minutes into the second half, the tie was turned completely on its head. Burley made a discreet switch at the start of the second half, by putting Finidi George up front. Not that Burley would have predicted the speed of impact the change made, as after only a few minutes, the Nigerian fired home from close range. A Venus corner wasn't cleared and fell nicely for George in the six-yard box. He banged it home to send the travelling Ipswich fans delirious. With an away goal, Town were now in the driving seat for the first time, and it felt great. We would now see what the Russians were made of. Or so we thought. As it turned out, we were soon in Euro wonderland, when we were awarded a 53rd minute penalty. A defender held the dangerous Finidi, and even before an oncoming cross was released, the ref had spotted it and instantly pointed to the spot. Stewart made no hesitation as shrugged off last week's miss to put the Blues into a commanding 2-0 lead. At 2-0, Torpedo had to score three to win, and it looked beyond them. But it did mean they were finally prepared to come forward, and they pulled one back in the 65th minute. Again it looked offside, but Viasnikin this time made no mistake to give the Russians some hope. Matteo Sereni became the Town hero when he pulled off two great saves in the final twenty minutes. The Italian keeper really earned his corn, and kept Town in a commanding position when the players had their backs to the wall. He looked worth every penny of his £5 million price. It's just a pity he didn't get the clean sheet he deserved so much. Surely that will come soon. The final ten minutes were played out without too much alarm, and the full time whistle was greeted with great cheer and celebration from the away fans, who had made so much noise all night. It was a proud night for the travelling army, who can now look forward to at least one more foreign trip. This is a tremendous victory for the Blues, and for the first time this season we finally took the chances that came our way. It wasn't actually our best performance of the season, but that hardly matters. Torpedo again looked so well organised, and were never going to be easy to break down. Over the two legs, Town have been by far the better and more adventurous team, and there is no question we deserved to win. Hopefully now this win can now kick start our season, although the players will have little rest before the hard task of taking on league leaders Leeds United on Sunday.

From The Terrace

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