Inter Milan had “some unbelievable talents” and we beat them
NOVEMBER 22, 2001.
Whether it was just the next chapter in Town’s great European nights or the first experience in challenging the great and good from the continent, the date will live long in the memory of the Super Blues.
It was a night when Ipswich defied the odds and overcame Zanetti, Seedorf and Co. in front of a packed Portman Road crowd sent into delirium by Alun Armstrong’s 81st-minute header.
And it all happened 10 years ago.
Skipper Matt Holland had achieved promotion at Wembley and shocked the Premier League before that night and then played – and scored – in a World Cup for the Republic of Ireland afterwards.
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But ask him to recall those famous 90 minutes, beating one of the best sides in Europe 1-0, and Holland remembers it as if it was yesterday.
He said: “As a player to play in Europe was fantastic, then obviously to draw Inter Milan was a huge attraction. If you are going to draw someone in the UEFA Cup, you want to test yourself against the best.
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“Some of the players they had in their squad – Christian Viera, Javier Zanetti, Ronaldo – they had some unbelievable talents.
“To play against them was great but then to beat them was just unbelievable and the atmosphere inside Portman Road was incredible special. We felt we had a chance going into the game, absolutely. You don’t go into any game thinking you can’t compete – if you do that you might as well not bother turning up. We felt we had a chance and as it turned out it was a famous night.”