So after Liverpool’s exit from the Champions League, it was left to Manchester United to fly the flag for England in Europe.
Leading 2-0 from the first leg, United were odds-on favourites to overcome Deportivo La Coruna and set up a semi-final against Liverpool’s conquerors, Bayer Leverkusen.
Nicky Butt recovered from his migraine to bolster United’s midfield, which had been robbed of the injured Roy Keane and the suspended Paul Scholes.
Butt’s availability allowed Sir Alex Ferguson to field his 4-4-1-1 formation at Old Trafford, with Quinton Fortune making a rare European start on the left and Ryan Giggs tucked just in behind lone striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Ferguson felt this was the best way to protect United, who had never lost a home game in Europe by more than one goal, against the expected onslaught from Depor, who won here 3-2 in October.
Champions League team news
Man Utd v D Coruna
Man Utd: Barthez, Gary Neville, Blanc, Johnsen, Silvestre, Beckham, Butt, Veron, Fortune, Giggs, van Nistelrooy.
Subs: Carroll, Irwin, Phil Neville, Solskjaer, Forlan, Brown, Stewart.
D Coruna: Molina, Scaloni, Naybet, Hector, Romero, Victor, Duscher, Djalminha, Fran, Valeron, Tristan.
Subs: Nuno, Makaay, Amavisca, Emerson, Capdevila, Pandiani, Jose Manuel.
Referee: Markus Merk (Kaiserslautern)
Real Madrid v Bayern Munich
Real Madrid: Cesar, Salgado, Carlos, Hierro, Helguera, Zidane, Figo, Solari, Makelele, Raul, Morientes.
Subs: Casillas, McManaman, Savio, Flavio, Munitis, Guti, Geremi.
Bayern Munich: Kahn, Lizarazu, Kuffour, Linke, Robert Kovac, Salihamidzic, Jeremies, Effenberg, Hargreaves, Elber, Santa Cruz.
Subs: Wessels, Sagnol, Thiam, Tarnat, Pizarro, Sergio, Fink.
Referee: Stefano Braschi (Prato)