When Javier Clemente Espanyol defeated Milan Arrigo Sacchi

When Javier Clemente Espanyol defeated Milan Arrigo Sacchi
Sacchi's Milan was unable to beat Espanyol in that UEFA Cup tie (Photo: halloffameperico)

The season 1987-1988 It was historic for RCD Espanyol who was then heading Javier Clemente. At that time one of the best teams in Europe was brewing and, according to many experts, history: AC Milan by Arrigo Sacchi.

The previous season the parakeet set had a great season already with Clemente on the bench, finishing third behind only Real Madrid Y FC Barcelona (in that famous playoff season in the Spanish League what, Fortunately, it only lasted a year).

Espanyol de Clemente
Javier Clemente arrived at RCD Espanyol in the season 1986-1987 (Photo: Halloffameperico)


that season 1987-1988 had reached the AC Milan a coach who would make history at the helm of the rossonero team, Arrigo Sacchi. The Italian coach had excelled in the Parma and the newcomer Silvio Berlusconi did not hesitate to sign him to build a fearsome team with signings like Gullit Y Van Basten in addition to other players who would arrive soon after as Frank Rijkaard.

That Milan also had Tassoti, Maldini, Baressi o Ancelotti and would dominate Europe for years to come, but that season he ran into the great RCD Espanyol in the UEFA Cup. In fact, the Italian team already had difficulties to pass the first round against another Spanish team, the Real Sporting Gijon who managed to beat him in El Molinon but succumbed in San Siro.


The first leg match between parrots and red and black was held in Lecce because the stadium of the AC Milan had been closed by sanction. The game will always be remembered for the great defensive network it managed to create Javier Clemente that completely annulled the stars of Milan, especially Ruud Gullit who at the end of it stated that not even playing 10 matches would have been able to score a goal for the parakeets.

The Spanish defeat Milan
Chronicle of the first leg that ended with 0-2 for Espanyol (Sports world)

further, the Espanyol He was lethal to the counter and managed to score twice through the mediation of Zubillaga Y Pichi Alonso taking an income of 0-2 for the home match. In sarriá Milan was again unable to overcome the Blue and Whites' defensive system and the match ended with a draw to zero.

It was the first setback of what would be a team that would tire of accumulating successes from then on but that day was overcome and eliminated by the Spanish team that, Unfortunately, He did not manage to put the icing on his great participation in the tournament, falling in the final in the penalty shootout against Bayer Leverkusen.

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