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It’s the anniversary of Titus Bramble marking Alessandro Del Piero out of a game

Fifteen years ago Titus Bramble and Aaron Hughes marked Alessandro Del Piero and Pavel Nedved out of a game

It should have been lambs to the slaughter.

Aaron Hughes, Andy Griffin, Andy O’Brien and Titus Bramble against Alessandro Del Piero, Pavel Nedved and Mauro Camoranesi.

What followed was a masterclass from the underdogs.

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Last one to touch Titus loses

Reuters
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Last one to touch Titus loses

Why were Del Piero and Bramble on the same pitch?

A very valid question.

Newcastle’s fourth place finish the previous season, powered by 23 Alan Shearer goals, meant Sir Bobby Robson’s side qualified for the Champions League.

Juventus had survived the loss of Zinedine Zidane to win Serie A in 2002.

The world record transfer fee received for Zizou had been put to good use with Gianluigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram, Pavel Nedved and Marcelo Salas all moving to Turin.

Flair barnet from Pavel

EPA
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Flair barnet from Pavel

Can you tell us about Juve’s spine of steel?

With pleasure.

Juventus’s spine was pure international class.

Buffon-Thuram-Davids-Del Piero.

Nedved and Camoranesi were providing the bullets from out wide, while Antonio Conte and Gianluca Zambrotta were on the bench ready to provide support late on.

Yeah, not a bad side that

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Yeah, not a bad side that

So how did the game pan out?

As you can imagine, a raucous St James’ Park roared on Newcastle’s every move.

Del Piero, who 22 days earlier had scored twice to give Juventus a 2-0 win against Newcastle, didn’t have a sniff.

Then, in the 62nd minute, it happened.

Laurent Robert stood over the ball with his precocious left foot. But rather than put the ball into the packed box he pulled it back to Andy Griffin.


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Griffin, presumably suffering from a massive nose bleed from being so high up the pitch, dropped his shoulder and burst into the Juve box.

His cross inadvertently turned into a shot, baffling Buffon who turned into Mr Biscuit Wrists.

It was clearly an own goal, but who are we to take the goal off Griffin, who only scored eight times throughout his entire career.

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Did Newcastle go on to win the Champions League?

No, Juventus got all the way to the final, where they were beaten by AC Milan on penalties.

But Newcastle did progress to the next round of group games, where Sir Bobby’s side were drawn with Inter Milan and Barcelona.

Newcastle won home and away against Bayer Leverkusen but could only take one point from four games against Inter and Barca.

Hey ho, it was fun while it lasted lads.