2004 UEFA Cup Final
Match programme cover
|Event||2003–04 UEFA Cup|
|Date||19 May 2004|
|Man of the Match||Roberto Ayala (Valencia)|
|Referee||Pierluigi Collina (Italy)|
10 °C (50 °F)
The 2004 UEFA Cup Final was a football match that took place on 19 May 2004 at Ullevi in Gothenburg, Sweden, between Valencia of Spain and Marseille of France. Valencia won the match 2–0 with goals from Vicente and Mista. The game was to be the last in which Rafael Benítez was in charge of Valencia before he took over at Liverpool in England.
Valencia had been on a 14-match unbeaten run previous to this match, which had only ended the previous week to Villarreal, the side they beat in the semi-final to reach the final, due to a weakened lineup after securing the La Liga title. Marseille had lost four of their last five matches in Ligue 1.
The start of the match was conservative due to the wind. Didier Drogba threatened early on, and was sent tumbling by a robust challenge from Roberto Ayala, which led to a free kick, in which the resulting shot was cleared off the line by Carlos Marchena. This sparked Valencia into life and David Albelda produced a save from Fabien Barthez after pouncing on Mista's rebounded shot.
Valencia dominated possession, which led to frustration, and Steve Marlet getting booked in the tenth minute. Marseille's first meaningful attempt at goal came in the 16th minute when Steve Marlet headed over from Camel Meriem's cross. Minutes later, Meriem himself had a chance to give Marseille the lead, but he shot wide from the edge of the area. Marseille had another chance when Habib Beye got on the end of Drogba's free kick, but he headed wide. The definitive moment in the match came on the stroke of half time, when Barthez brought down Mista in the area after a cross by Curro Torres. Barthez was sent off and Valencia were awarded a penalty. Jérémy Gavanon replaced Barthez with Camel Meriem making way for him. Vicente dispatched the penalty to give Valencia a 1–0 lead going into half time.
The second half started off with Valencia in total ascendancy, and after 13 minutes of near-total possession, Valencia doubled their lead. Vicente had cut the ball in from the left for Mista, who finished the chance with ease to record his fifth goal of the competition. Marseille's heads inevitably dropped. They came forward in flourishes in the last remnants of the game, however, when Drogba's free kick was stopped by Santiago Cañizares. Drogba also nearly played in Steve Marlet with a through-ball, but it was intercepted at the last second. Marseille almost found a way back into the Valencia goal area in the 80th minute, but Sylvain N'Diaye's shot was saved by Cañizares.
After this, the match descended into a stoic affair and Valencia ran out winners to win their first major European trophy in 24 years, and victory after two successive UEFA Champions League final defeats, in 2000 and 2001. The victory also meant that Amedeo Carboni became the oldest player to win a European final at 39 years and 43 days old.
19 May 2004
| Vicente 45+3' (pen.)
Man of the Match:
- "Half Time Report" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). 19 May 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Full Time Report" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). 19 May 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- 2003–04 season at UEFA.com