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banner Thursday, 6 December, 2001, 21:55 GMT
Vieri stuns Ipswich
Christian Vieri is denied by the combined efforts of Mark Venus and Titus Bramble
Venus and Bramble combine to deny Vieri
Inter Milan 4-1 Ipswich (Agg. 4-2)

Ipswich's Uefa Cup run came to a shuddering stop, halted by the class of Inter Milan and the predatory instincts of Christian Vieri.

Italian international Vieri showed why he has twice commanded the world record transfer fee for a striker with a high-class hat-trick to send Inter Milan through to the Uefa Cup fourth round.

Vieri also turned provider to set up Mohammed Kallon for the killer goal 35 seconds into the second-half which dashed any lingering Ipswich hopes.

Vieri was drafted into the Inter starting line-up to retrieve the 1-0 lead Ipswich held from the first-leg.

He took just 18 minutes to justify coach Hector Cuper's selection with a goal which proved a sharp lesson for Ipswich defender Titus Bramble.

Vieri is a world-class striker, that's why Inter paid 33m pounds for him
Ipswich manager George Burley

Bramble fouled Emre near the corner flag, and as the Turkish international whipped in an inviting free-kick, Bramble lost Vieri who got in front of him to glance in a near-post header.

Vieri showed his sharpness in the box to double Inter's lead on 34 minutes.

Vladislav Gresko's free-kick was blocked but Vieri reacted instantly to flip the ball up and volley it past Matteo Sereni.

The second-half was just 35 seconds old when Vieri showed he can also be a provider.

He rose to flick on a long ball and Kallon nipped behind Bramble to flip the ball over Sereni.

Vieri should have completed his hat-trick on 62 minutes when the Ipswich defence was again caught square by Kallon's ball over the top.

Richard Naylor (white shirt) and Inter's Javier Zanetti battle for possession

Vieri eased on to it but from 12 yards out telegraphed his shot to provide Sereni with the chance to save.

But he was in no mood to let Ipswich off the hook and on 70 minutes he latched on to another long ball and rounded Sereni.

Ipswich's defeat was as inevitable as it was comfortable for Serie A table-toppers Inter.

Inter were able to recall Vieri and use Ronaldo from the bench, in direct contrast to Ipswich, who were desperately short of striking options.

Richard Naylor, ploughed a lone first-half furrow up front, but without Marcus Stewart to hold the ball up, Ipswich's attacks carried no weight, and Inter were able to push forward at will.

This is the Vieri we all want to see. As a striker his finishing is top quality
Inter coach Hector Cuper

Ipswich started brightly enough and pushed forward confidently in the first 10 minutes, with Finidi George's shot charged down by Ivan Cordoba.

Cordoba presented Naylor with a golden opportunity on 30 minutes as the Ipswich striker fastened on to defender's under-hit back-pass.

But the Colombian sprinted back to retrieve his mistake and deny Naylor a clear shooting chance.

That missed opportunity came back to haunt Ipswich as they mounted a rousing finish.

First-leg goalscoring hero Alun Armstrong slotted home a penalty 12 minutes from time after Javier Zanetti was adjudged to have handled.

Ipswich were determined to make that more than a consolation goal.

And when Luigi Di Biagio handled a yard outside the penalty area it gave them a chance to provide the previously unruffled Inter with an uncomfortable last eight minutes.

But Mark Venus blasted his shot straight into the wall and although Ipswich finished on a high note, they also finished well beaten.

Inter Milan: Toldo, Javier Zanetti, Cordoba, Di Biagio, Gresko, Okan, Farinos, Emre, Guglielminpietro, Vieri, Kallon. Subs: Fontana, Ronaldo, Sergio Conceicao, Seedorf, Georgatos, Adriano, Ventola.

Ipswich: Sereni, Makin, Bramble, Venus, Hreidarsson, George, Holland, Magilton, Clapham, Naylor, Wright. Subs: Branagan, Tommy Miller, McGreal, Counago, Armstrong, Peralta, Gaardsoe.

Referee: A Sars (France)

BBC Sport's David Oates
"The Premiership's bottom side was ripped to shreds"
Ipswich boss George Burley
"On the night they were too good for us"
Ipswich's Alun Armstrong
"It was still a great experience"
See also:

06 Dec 01 |  Uefa Cup
Clockwatch: Uefa Cup
06 Dec 01 |  Uefa Cup
Leeds edge through
05 Dec 01 |  Uefa Cup
Spot-kick agony for Celtic
Links to more Uefa Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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