Thursday, September 30, 2004 

River Plate - Arsenal Sarandí (Copa Sudamericana Preview)

River Plate will try to reach the quarter-finals of the Copa Sudamericana tonight, against Arsenal Sarandí, that brings a one goal advantage from the first leg.

The argentian championship is a priority to Astrada, River's manager, so he will line-up a mixture of first team and back-up players. One of the changes is the inclusion of second goal-keeper, Germán Lux, in replace of Franco Costanzo.

In attack, El Jefe will give a rest to chilean striker, Marcelo Salas, that has played, last weekend, his first full 90 minutes, since his injury recovery. In midfield, it is not yet certain the inclusion in the starting eleven of youth player Jesus Mendez, to replace Javier Mascherano.

In regard to Arsenal Sarandí, the only change is the exclusion of Javier Mazzoni, due to injury. Germán Denis will team up with José Luís Calderón in the attack of Arsenal.

Probable line-ups

River Plate: Germán Lux; Tula, Celso Ayala, Fernando Crosa, Miranda; Patiño, Mascherano (Méndez), Gastón Fernández; Gallardo (Sambueza); Cuevas, Sand.

Arsenal: Limia; Darío Espínola, Carlos Ruiz, Casteglione, Núñez; Hirsig (Ormazábal), Esmerado, Patricio González, Rodolfo Quinteros; Denis, Calderón.


Copa Sudamericana Round-Up

Argentina Preliminary Group

16/09 San Lorenzo 1-0 Boca Juniors
29/09 Boca Juniors 2-1 San Lorenzo (4-1 in pen.)

07/09 Arsenal 2-1 River Plate
30/09 River Plate - Arsenal

Brasil Preliminary Group

10/10 Santos - São Paulo
20/10 São Paulo - Santos

10/10 Internacional - Cruzeiro
10/10 Cruzeiro - Internacional

Ecuador/Venezuela/Cienciano Preliminary Group

28/09 Liga Universitaria (ECU) 4-0 Cienciano (PER)
05/10 Cienciano (PER) - Liga Universitaria (ECU)

Chile/Bolivia Preliminary Group

28/09 Univ. Concepción (CHI) 0-0 Bolívar (BOL)
19/10 Bolívar (BOL) - Univ. Concepción (CHI)

Colombia/Peru Preliminary Group

30/09 Alianza Atlético (PER) - Júnior (COL)
19/10 Júnior (COL) - Alianza Atlético (PER)

Paraguay/Uruguay Preliminary Group

06/10 Peñarol (URU) - Cerr Porteño (PAR)
21/10 Cerro Porteño (PAR) - Peñarol (URU)


Boca Juniors - QF8
QF2 - QF7
QF3 - QF6
QF4 - QF5


Wolfsburg's walking wounded

The German international and Wolves goal-getter Thomas Brdaric, was unable to train on Tuesday. He is suffering from the flu. Because of the problem, Brdaric had to cancel the planned half time chat on TV during the Bundesyliga match between Hannover 96 and Armenia Bielefeld (0-1) which was played on Tuesday night (28.9.04).

Pablo Thiam was also absent from Tuesday’s training session. The influential player has a torn thigh muscle sustained in the dramatic 2-1 win over Kaiserslautern at the weekend. Andres D´Alessandro, who was taken off injured in the same match, was seen to be jogging around the training pitch again on Tuesday. On the good news side, both Thomas Rytter and Oscar Ahumada returned to first team training. Marian Hristov is only able to do some muscle building, after undergoing surgery to his knee.



Athletic - Trabzonspor (Uefa Cup Preview)

Athletic Bilbao start as favourites to qualify to the next round following a 3-2 defeat away to Trabzonspor in the first leg.

The Spanish side was able to score two late goals after being three goals behind with 20 minutes to go. These two goals place Atletic Bilbao on the driver's seat to qualify to the second round of the Uefa Cup but will need to watch out from the Turkish side who proved that they can be very dangerous when they attack.

On their part, Athletic Bilbao, to overcome Trabzonspor, will need a performance like the one they had last weekend against Real Madrid, in which they defeated their more famous opponents with a good 2-1 win.

Bilbao will have to do without Navarrese who is unavailable due to injury. Trabzonspor are expected to field the same eleven that defeated Athletic two weeks ago in Turkey.


Athletic Bilbao:Aranzubia; Iraola, Murillo, L.Prieto, Del Horno; Orbaiz, Gurpegui; Etxeberria, Yeste, Ezquerro, Urzaiz

Trabzonspor:Petkovic; Emrah Eren, D’Haene, Erdinç Yavuz, Celaleddin Koçak; Thijs, Hüseyin, Lee, Gökdeniz; Mehmet Yilmaz, Fatih Tekke



Defensor Sporting 2-1 Peñarol

Peñarol was unable to confirm the rise in team form, after qualifying in the Copa Sudamericana and achieving the first victory in the national tournament, and stumbled before a fantastic Defensor.Carlos Bueno, Peñarol star striker, performed to the best and the worst. After missing a penalty, in the 67th minute, he scored Peñarol's only goal, only to be sent-off in the dying minutes of the match.

PEÑAROL: Federico Elduayen; Luiz Nunes, Joe Bizera, Cristian González; Carlos Diogo, Daniel Pereira (Martín García, 56'), Nicolás Rotundo, Cristian Rodríguez, Gabriel Cedrés (Martín Rodríguez, 73'), Carlos Bueno, Jorge Serna (Sergio Leal, 73').

DEFENSOR SPORTING: Juan Castillo; Nelson Semperena, Diego Jaume, William Martínez; Carlos Díaz, Maximiliano Pereira, Fernando Fadeuille, Víctor Martínez (Alvaro González, 62'), Diego De Souza (Andrés Aparicio, 71'), Gonzalo Vargas, Sebastián Taborda (Ignacio Ithurralde, 87').

GOALS: 0-1, Maximiliano Pereira (11'); 0-2, Diego de Souza (43'); 1-2, Carlos Bueno (84')


Ponte Preta 1-1 Botafogo

Playing with ten men for one hour, Botafogo secured one point, in the visit to the 6th placed.

PONTE PRETA: Lauro; André Cunha, Luís Carlos, Rafael Santos, Bill; Ângelo (Luciano Baiano), Romeu, Danilo (Macedo), Lindomar; Roger, Barata (Alecsandro).

BOTAFOGO: Jefferson; Ruy, Scheidt, João Carlos (Gustavo), Renatinho; Fernando, Túlio, Valdo, Caio (Almir); Ricardinho (Fábio Reis), Schwenck.

GOALS: 0-1, Caio (21'); 1-1, Ruy (49', og)


AC Milan 3-1 Celtic (CL)

Late goals from Filippo Inzaghi and Andrea Pirlo gave AC Milan a 3-1 victory and maximum points at the San Siro in their Group F tie with Celtic FC, who have yet to win a point away from home in the UEFA Champions League.

Milan press
The Glasgow club, who had lost all six of their previous away games in the competition, faced an uphill battle from the opening whistle as Carlo Ancelotti's Milan looked to secure victory before their eagerly anticipated match with FC Barcelona on Matchday 3.

Shevchenko birthday
Milan did not have to wait long to celebrate as Andriy Shevchenko, who was celebrating his 28th birthday, received the perfect gift in the form of a smart pass from the galloping Kaká that he converted with a left-footed shot to give the home side the lead on eight minutes.

Agathe back
With Celtic strikers John Hartson and Henri Camara struggling to make an impact through the centre, Celtic manager Martin O'Neill looked to use the speed of wingers Alan Thompson and Didier Agathe down the flanks to expose the Milan defence. His tactics almost bore fruit when Alessandro Nesta failed to clear Agathe's cross, but there was no one on hand to convert.

Kaká skill
Celtic's best chance of the half fell to Stanislav Varga on 24 minutes, the defender finding space in the Milan area only to send his header wide. Milan responded immediately, Kaká breaking past his marker down the left before crossing to Jon Dahl Tomasson, but Marshall tipped the ball away.

Balde clears
Milan did not let up and Tomasson's quick thinking nearly led to a second goal. The Danish forward headed Pirlo's long pass into the path of Shevchenko who latched on to the ball but saw his shot cleared by Celtic defender Dianbobo Balde's spectacular bicycle-kick.

Marshall saves
Milan were in control and should have extended their advantage on 44 minutes when Shevchenko and Kaká combined again to split the Celtic defence. The Ukrainian took the ball off Balde on the right side of the area and teed up his team-mate, but the Brazilian fired almost directly at Marshall who blocked again with his hands.

Huge support
Celtic, spurred on by an estimated 7,000 travelling fans, opened the second half with more confidence, Henri Camara charging past Nesta before unleashing a shot that Dida did well to block. An injury to midfield player Alan Thompson forced O'Neill into making a change, but the introduction of Brazilian playmaker Juninho Paulista only added to Celtic's forward momentum.

Varga scores
On 64 minutes, Hartson's cross was misjudged by Dida, but Cafu came to his rescue as Celtic stepped up their pressure. Camara seized upon on a rare Paolo Maldini error but he was unable to get past Dida. Persistence finally paid ten minutes later when Varga beat his marker and sent a fine header past Dida.

Double substitution
Ancelotti wasted no time in making a double substitution after the equaliser with Inzaghi coming on for Tomasson and the ineffective Seedorf making way for Massimo Ambrosini. The change reinvigorated Milan, who reclaimed the lead in the 89th minute when Inzaghi touched Shevchenko's pass beyond Marshall.

Pirlo free-kick
A minute later, Pirlo's free-kick was deflected off the Celtic wall, leaving Marshall helpless as the ball rolled into the net for Milan's third. The victory takes Milan level at the top of the group with Barcelona, who they meet on Matchday 3. Celtic take on FC Shakhtar Donetsk with both sides still looking for their first point.

MARCATORI: all'8' pt Shevchenko (M), al 29' st Varga (C), al 44' st Inzaghi (M), al 46' st Pirlo) (M)

MILAN: Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Maldini, Pancaro; Gattuso (Rui Costa, 87'), Pirlo, Seedorf (Ambrosini, 77'); Kakà; Shevchenko, Tomasson (Inzaghi, 77').

CELTIC: Marshall; Varga, Balde, Valgaeren; Agathe, Lennon, Petrov, Sutton, Thompson(Juninho, 59'); Hartson (Sylla, 86'), Camara.

GOALS: 1-0, Shevchenko (8'); 1-1, Varga (74'); 2-1, Inzaghi (89'); 3-1 Pirlo (91').



PSV 1 - 0 Panathinaikos (CL)

It took PSV eighty minutes to overcome tough resistance from a stubborn Greek defence, but then Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink broke the deadlock and by scoring a lucky header he made sure of the first victory in the Champions League current campaign. PSV collected a hard-fought, but deserved 1-0 victory over Panathinaikos in the Eindhoven Philips Stadium.

PSV did not effectively capitalize on the many chances they created against Panathinaikos, who were slow, passive and full of only defensive ideas. The Greeks cannot just take credit for having not conceded a goal until ten minutes from final time; PSV should rather be blamed for not having found the net before against a rather mediocre opponent. So eventually the goal that Vennegoor of Hesselink scored, a header from a corner that deviated off Alex, was welcomed with great relief. The first step towards qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions league, a home win, had been taken.

On eleven minutes PSV earned a big opportunity from a free kick taken by Jefferson Farfán. Two PSV players just could not make contact with the ball, Alex suddenly was completely unmarked, but he did not hit the ball properly and fired wide. After half an hour Wilfred Bouma popped up in front of the Greek goal, but he missed the cross by some inches. Ands five minutes from first half final time John de Jong was put clear, but his effort agonizingly went on the wrong side of the post. PSV got three opportunities and Panathinaikos had nothing whatsoever to offer.

The Greeks attempted to play counter attacks, but they lacked two important ingredients: speed and moving forward when in possession of the ball. They were helpless in attack and actually their only ambition was to grab one point. PSV keeper Gomes was never forced to swing into action in the first forty-five minutes. The game was never stopped for players who were off-side and the simple explanation is that Panathinaikos leaned back and hardly ever crossed the midfield line.

After the break the game continued in the same vein and did not burst into life. PSV surged forward and the opponents from Athens defended in a compact way, intimidating the hosts with a wall of physically strong defenders. On the hour mark winger Farfán was taken off and another striker, Gerald Sibon, came on. He returned from injury by which he was on the sidelines during the sc Heerenveen league game last Saturday. Meanwhile PSV created one chance after another. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, De Jong, Alex and various other players all had a chance to score, but either the final pass was sloppy or the finishing was poor. But then, ten minutes from final time the crowd finally had reason to celebrate. A corner kick was cleared, Mark van Bommel produced another cross; Alex headed the ball on to Vennegoor of Hesselink, who accidentally headed home; 1-0.

The atmosphere in the Eindhoven Philips Stadium was great. Ahead of the game, the popular Dutch singer Guus Meeuwis had sung two songs to warm up the crowd. There was a flag on each seat and the 26, 000 fans were cheering their team and singing songs.

Goal: 80´ Vennegoor of Hesselink



Barcelona 3 - 0 Shakhtar (CL)

FC Barcelona laid on a thrilling night of creative football to defeat FC Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 in UEFA Champions League Group F thanks to goals from Deco, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o.

Second-half penalty
Only the brilliance of Shakhtar's outstanding goalkeeper, Jan Lastuvka, with fine saves to deny Ludovic Giuly, Eto'o and substitute Henrik Larsson, kept the scoreline so low. But after Deco's opener, Ronaldinho's second-half penalty clinched control of the match to leave Shakhtar with no way back.

Testing match
It had shaped up as a testing match for Barça and their coach, Frank Rijkaard, who warned that Shakhtar "know their system so well that they almost play by remote control". The Ukranian side have earned the reputation of being hard-working, confident counterattack specialists.

Early chance
When Ronaldinho could only skewer an early free-kick high over Lastuvka's crossbar it appeared that Rijkaard's other warning, about the need for a massive amount of hard work, was going to prove correct. But the Dutchman's side moved up a gear with silky elegance and played 30 minutes of fine creative football in the first half.

Deadlock broken
Confidence flowed after the opening goal, scored by Portuguese international Deco, his second goal in two Champions League matches for his new club, but it took marvellous skill to create it in the first place. Ronaldinho and Eto'o exchanged passes allowing the Brazilian to cut open the visiting defence with a fine right-footed pass before Deco crashed a rising drive in off the heel of Flavius Stoican.

Flowing football
Shakhtar's fightback started and ended during the first half with a curving free-kick from their captain, Anatoliy Tymoschuk, the effort skimming just past the right-hand post of Víctor Valdés. Tymoschuk was then robbed of the ball in midfield almost allowing Xavi Hernandéz's pass to Giuly to create a second goal.

Brilliant Brazilian
Ronaldinho's marker, Marius Lewandowski, had picked up a 12th-minute booking for three consecutive fouls on the Brazilian and that caution enabled the Barça playmaker to revel in a little extra space. In the 26th minute he received Deco's clever overhead flick, controlled it on his chest and then lofted a 'sand-iron' style chip into the path of Eto'o, who raced through the visitors' defence only for Lastuvka to produce a brave and well-timed diving block.

Wasted opportunity
With what little creative possession the Ukranian champions were enjoying, Zvonomir Vukic, playing at the attacking point of a midfield diamond, gave striker Ciprian Marica a fine chance to score but the young Romanian was fiercely off target with his shot.

Stubborn resistance
In the 52nd minute the visitors' hard work almost brought an equaliser. Vukic's clever pass outside full-back Giovanni van Bronckhorst let Marica send in a perfectly aimed low cross, which Carles Puyol somehow blocked and then stole off the toes of Matuzalem.

Lastuvka bravery
Moments later it was Shakhtar keeper Lastuvka who was at the centre of some panicky moments. First the Ukrainian defied Giuly with a double save only metres from his goal-line – the second block being work of the highest possibly quality and bravery.

Penalty converted
Then Lastuvka totally read Ronaldinho's intention to chip the ball over him, as the Brazilian ran through on goal, but was ruled to have fouled Barça's striker as he attempted to clear. Having missed one penalty at Celtic Park on Matchday 1, Ronaldinho made no mistake this time. The third goal was the icing on the cake, Andrés Iniesta taking Larsson's pass, fooling the visitors' defence and leaving the goal gaping for Eto'o to score.

Goals: 15' Deco ; 64'(pen) Ronaldinho ; 89' Eto'o



Anderlecht 1 - 3 Inter (CL)

FC Internazionale Milano moved to the top of UEFA Champions League Group G after a comfortable win at RSC Anderlecht. Obafemi Martins got the Italian side off to a perfect start with an early goal before quick-fire second-half strikes from Adriano and Dejan Stankovic killed off the game.

All change
Inter coach Roberto Mancini made five changes to the side that drew with Parma FC on Sunday. The most significant was Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins, the 'super-sub' of Serie A, making a rare start in place of the injured Christian Vieri.

Quick starter
Within nine minutes of the kick-off, Martins was on the score-sheet. Adriano broke down the left and the Brazilian's low cross was turned in from close range by the 19-year-old for his third goal in four days, after he scored twice against Parma.

Missed chances
The pace and physicality of Inter's strike-force was to prove a constant danger, although it was the home side that had drawn the game's first save, as Francesco Toldo was forced to tip over Besnik Hasi's vicious free-kick. On 20 minutes, Adriano's goalbound effort was deflected behind and from the resulting corner, Nicolás Burdisso missed a clear chance to double the visitors' lead.

Anderlecht response
Having cut inside Vincent Kompany with a tremendous piece of skill soon after, Adriano could not generate enough power to beat Tristan Peersman in the Anderlecht goal. In the remainder of the first half, Anderlecht coach Hugo Broos got the reaction he desired after keeping faith with the eleven that started last Friday's league defeat at R. Charleroi SC.

Increased confidence
Christian Wilhelmsson and Dindane Aruna came into the game, and Aruna tested Toldo's reactions at his near post, as the home support urged the Belgian champions forward. But Aruna was left frustrated when the quality of his free header failed to match Mbo Mpenza's cross from the right. Shortly afterwards, Wilhelmsson's thunderous volley was cleared off the line as Anderlecht grew in confidence.

Hopes dashed
But Anderlecht's hopes of salvaging something from a game Broos said they had to win to stand a chance of progression to the next round were ended in a frantic three-minute spell at the start of the second half. Inter began the second period purposefully and got their reward when Adriano rose highest to head in a 52nd-minute corner.

Stankovic strikes
The Brazilian's strike marked the first chants of 'Olé!' from the visitors' end and no sooner had they died down than Stankovic made it 3-0 with a perfectly placed effort from 25 metres. Peersman was quickly off his line to prevent the scoreline looking even worse for the home side as Adriano bore down on goal from Juan Sebastian Verón's clever through-ball. The closest Anderlecht came to scoring was Aruna's deflected effort, the spin imparted leaving Toldo out of position as the ball struck the post.

Inter push forward
Although the points were safe, Inter chased more goals. Julio Cruz, on for Adriano, went narrowly wide while Edgar Davids, another substitute, stung Peersman's gloves as the Nerazzurri continued to dictate the tempo. But Toldo still had to be at his best to make a point-blank stop from Anderlecht substitute Oleg Iachtchouk's header.

Late Baseggio effort
Anderlecht closed out the game still looking for a consolation and Walter Baseggio did the trick with a left-footed shot from the edge of the area in injury-time. Inter now face the double-header with Valencia CF, starting in Spain on 20 October, while Anderlecht are rooted at the bottom of the table without a point and meet Werder Bremen next.

Goals:9' Martins (0-1); 51' Adriano (0-2); 55' Stankovic (0-3); 90'+ 4' Baseggio (1-3)



CSKA Moskva 2 - 0 PSG (CL)

PFC CSKA Moskva continued their impressive start to this UEFA Champions League Group H campaign thanks to an early kick-off and the performance of second-half substitute Sergei Semak against Paris Saint-Germain FC.

Semak the hero
The home side had looked short of ideas up front until Semak replaced injured striker Ivica Olic after 57 minutes. Within 20 minutes, he had scored one and won a converted penalty with a mazy run in the area - ensuring that CSKA won their first home Champions League group stage match.

Wretched preparation
PSG went into the game in wretched form, having won only one of their first nine games of the season and with one success in their last eight Champions League fixtures. The visitors clearly missed their injured playmaker Jérôme Rothen and were also without centre-back Mario Yepes, so reverted to a 3-5-2 formation with Hélder coming into the defence and Charles-Edouard Coridon and Jean-Michel Badiane boosting the midfield.

Akinfeev saves well
Rolan Gusev replaced the suspended Chidi Odiah on the right while Yuri Zhirkov came in for Osmar Ferreyra on the left for CSKA. But CSKA started on the back foot and goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev dived at full length to push José Pierre-Fanfan's snapshot around the post after the hosts failed to clear a bouncing ball. The CSKA goalkeeper was then relieved to see Danijel Ljuboja head wide after outjumping Sergei Ignashevich.

Few CSKA chances
Olic provided CSKA's brightest moments of the first half, his acceleration and close control causing concern. Pierre-Fanfan slid in to block one shot after 23 minutes, and the rebound came to Zhirkov, whose effort was blocked. But CSKA created little: Jirí Jarošik had one effort from distance held by Lionel Letizi before Vágner Love broke into the box but Sylvain Armand deprived him of a shooting opportunity.

Fatal hesitation
Pauleta had the best chance of a lacklustre opening period, when Akinfeev spilled a shot from Coridon. The ball sat invitingly three metres from goal but the Portugal striker hesitated and Aleksei Berezoutski slid in to deny him. The pattern of the match continued in the second half as PSG persisted in shooting from distance, with no success.

Deadlock broken
The game changed just before the hour when Olic limped off and Semak entered the fray. If Semak's introduction was the turning point of the match, it was the hard-working Evgeny Aldonin who provided the inspiration. The Russian midfield player burst down the left and played a perfectly weighted through-ball for Vágner Love. The Brazilian's effort to chip the onrushing Letizi was foiled, but the goalkeeper could only parry the ball into the path of Semak, who stooped to break the deadlock from eight metres out.

Brief rally
The goal lifted the hosts and Vágner Love went close after combining excellently with Semak. Then Jarošik hit a left-footed shot narrowly wide of the post after a good lay-off from Semak. PSG rallied briefly but Ljuboja glanced an Armand cross wide, while Pauleta shot wide from a tight angle.

Late penalty
That was only a respite for another wave of CSKA attacks as they looked to kill off the game. Jarošik dragged one effort off-target before another substitute, Dmitri Kiritchenko, dived in to connect with Semak's cross-shot but was centimetres short. The crucial second goal came after Semak jinked into the PSG area and was brought down by Badiane. Vágner Love took the ensuing penalty and his shot crept under the body of Letizi to double the lead and secure the three points.


Wednesday, September 29, 2004 

Following FK Austria Wien

The Austrian league will have a representant in FU from now on. FK Austria Wien will be followed in domestic and international competitions (UEFA CUP).


Anderlecht - Internazionale (CL Preview)

RSC Anderlecht coach Hugo Broos has warned his side they must beat FC Internazionale Milano at Stade Constant Vanden Stock on Wednesday evening or be forced to reassess their UEFA Champions League Group G objectives.

'We have to win'
Anderlecht have finished bottom in four of the six group competitions they have contested and Broos believes this match will be pivotal if the side are to avoid a similar scenario. "We have to win if we want to stay in with a chance of qualifying in the top two otherwise we'll have to reassess the situation. That said, I don't want to call this a must-win game and put unnecessary pressure on my players," he said.

Vanden Borre test
The Belgian champions have not had the best preparation for the visit of the Serie A side, and go into the game on the back of a 2-1 defeat at R. Charleroi FC on Friday night, that leaves them four points adrift of leaders Club Brugge KV. But Broos says he will keep faith with the eleven who started that game, meaning 16-year-old Anthony Vanden Borre continues to deputise for injured defender Michal Zewlakow as the experienced Glen de Boeck is still short of match fitness.

'Something special'
The 2-0 loss to Valencia CF at the Mestalla in Matchday 1 has not altered the Anderlecht coach's ambition though. "We are in the hardest group but I still expect us to get a maximum nine points from our home games, and if we can pick up one or two points away from home then we can qualify," he said. "I have every faith in my squad," said Broos. "They've been looking good in training and really look in the mood to produce something special on Wednesday night."

Disappointing domestic form
Broos watched Inter draw 2-2 with Parma FC in Serie A on Sunday and was far from impressed. "It's amazing they managed to score twice and if they defend like that against us then we'll create chances." However, he expects a different Inter side to take the field in Brussels. "We didn't see the real Inter at Parma," he said. "When we meet them I expect they will be back to the form they showed against Werder Bremen."

Speedy threat
Brazilian international forward Adriano scored both goals in a 2-0 win against the German champions in the opening Group G fixture, and Broos identifies him as a danger man. "They'll play in a typically Italian way, choosing their moments to attack and looking to use the pace of Adriano and Obafemi Martins." The young Nigerian striker Martins is not a certainty to start, despite coach Roberto Mancini omitting Christian Vieri from the squad.

Matins doubt
"I don't know whether Martins is ready for a full 90 minutes," Mancini said of the man who scored both his side's goals in Serie A at the weekend after replacing Vieri. "I have the luxury of five good strikers in my squad. I will decide who will partner Adriano after watching my players train." Julio Ricardo Cruz and Alvaro Recoba are both in the frame.

Defensive frailty
The game against Bremen was the only clean sheet Inter have kept all season. Although Mancini will encourage his side to stay true to the attacking philosophy he espouses, he also believes the side must work harder when they don't have the ball, a point echoed by captain Javier Zanetti. "We have to close them down," the Argentinian said, "win the ball back quicker and eliminate the individual errors. Only then will the good results start to come."



Barcelona - Shakhtar (CL Preview)

FC Barcelona face FC Shakhtar Donetsk on Matchday 2 with the task of building on their impressive 3-1 win against Celtic FC a fortnight ago.

Early points
The victory in Glasgow was vital, with Barcelona's remaining Group F fixtures including a double-header against AC Milan after tonight's visit of Shakhtar. For that reason Barcelona want to stockpile points as quickly as possible in order to assure their progress to the knockout rounds. This will also allow them to concentrate on domestic form, after a strong start in the Primera División.

Home advantage
Coach Frank Rijkaard and his inspirational forward Ronaldinho are among a group of ten staff and players likely to make home UEFA Champions League debuts for Barcelona against the Ukrainian side. The match comes 17 months after the club were eliminated from the competition on their last Champions League night at the Camp Nou, losing 2-1 to Juventus FC in the 2002/03 quarter-finals for a 3-2 aggregate defeat.

Excited Ronaldinho
"I'm going to love seeing the Camp Nou full, noisy and hopefully enjoying itself very much," said Ronaldinho, who took one assist and one missed penalty away from Celtic Park. "I can't wait to make my home debut in this competition and my only desire is to win the game and entertain the fans." The day before the match, the Brazilian dressed in Barcelona's shirt from their 1992 European Champion Clubs' Cup victory, but was too superstitious to pose with the replica Champions League trophy. He promised: "When we win it I'll have a thousand photos taken of me with the real trophy!"

Injury problems
The only blot on Barcelona's landscape is their injury list, with Thiago Motta and Gabri García out for several months with knee injuries, and Sylvinho, Gerard López, Albert Jorquera and Rafael Márquez carrying short to mid-term problems. Nevertheless, Rijkaard's team should continue with the powerful brand of football that has made them one of Europe's most thrilling sides. "We make games simple for ourselves if we put in lots of hard work and pressurise the opposition like we must do against the Ukrainians," said wing-back Juliano Belletti. "To win games you have to run and suffer."

'No fear'
Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu believes Barcelona are the competition's form team. But the experienced Romanian still predicts that his side can create a shock by winning. "Barcelona have rebuilt well and are back in the Champions League much stronger than they were last time," said Lucescu. "They are playing marvellous football and have to be Europe's form side. But we are here with respect, not fear, and I'm sure my team will be ready because everyone, including Barcelona, has weak points."

Missing duo
Nigeria striker Julius Aghahowa and Croatia midfield player Darijo Srna are missing because of a knee injury and suspension respectively. However, Shakhtar have cause for confidence, having won all of their eight matches in Ukraine's Premier League and been unlucky 1-0 losers to Milan on Matchday 1. After Srna's dismissal early in the second half, Lucescu's men showed dogged resistance until Clarence Seedorf's late goal.

Not invincible
Shakhtar captain Anatoliy Tymoschuk will have the job of shutting off the Barcelona midfield but believes his work is achievable. "I'm a Barcelona fan and I have been since I modelled myself on 'Pep' Guardiola from Johan Cruyff's 'Dream Team'," he said, providing another reminder of that triumph in 1992. "Winning at the Camp Nou will be difficult but Barcelona are not invincible," Tymoschuk added



CSKA Moskva - PSG (CL Preview)

PFC CSKA Moskva will look to put the disappointment of their weekend defeat by rivals FC Lokomtiv Moskva behind them by building on their confident start in the UEFA Champions League with a victory against Paris Saint-Germain FC.

'Everyone is healthy'
Coach Valeriy Gazzaev insists that Saturday's 1-0 loss will not affect his second-placed side, who are looking for success on both domestic and European fronts. "We are getting down to business," he said. "It was an even game and Lokomotiv were a bit luckier than us, plus striker Vágner Love did not feel well on the day of that match. Now everyone is healthy and ready to play."

'Different side'
Gazzaev also played down claims that his side might take PSG lightly after their poor start to the season. "PSG have a good squad and despite their recent form we take them with all possible seriousness," he said. "Domestic leagues and the Champions League are two different things and I am quite sure that PSG will be a different side on Wednesday."

'Huge will'
After opening their Group H campaign with a 0-0 draw away to European champions FC Porto, the Moscow side are full of confidence. "We have a huge will to qualify from this group, and I am happy to see that the players are doing all they can to fulfil their potential," Gazzaev said. "I am grateful to Lokomotiv for letting us use their ground for Champions League games and we will do everything possible to please the fans who I hope will pack the stadium."

Odiah suspended
CSKA are without suspended Nigerian international Chidi Odiah, who is expected to be replaced by Rolan Gusev on the right. Gusev will be looking to make the most of his chance to break out of a recent dip in form, while Yuri Zhirkov, who is serving a five-match domestic suspension, is likely to come in for Osmar Ferreyra on the left.

'Looking to win'
PSG's 1-0 win against RC Strasbourg on Saturday was their first of the season, and after being comprehensively beaten 3-0 at home by Chelsea on Matchday 1, coach Vahid Halilhodzic is hoping that his side's improved form will carry over into Europe. "After a poor start in the league I tried to calm the players down and help them gain some form," he said. "CSKA are favourites here, but after losing to Chelsea we will be looking to win."

'Doing better'
Halilhodzic admitted, however, that given the circumstances a draw would be acceptable. "A draw will satisfy us, but if we win it will be a psychological boost both for our home and European games in the future," he said. "After the win against Strasbourg the players are doing better and I hope this trend continues."

Rothen out
Halilhodzic is without injured playmaker Jérôme Rothen, who has not even travelled to Moscow, but his players are upbeat none the less, believing that the worst is behind them. Captain José Pierre-Fanfan, however, warned that CSKA strikers Love and Ivica Olic could make life very difficult for the Parisian side in Moscow.

'Strong opponent'
"CSKA are very strong opponents, their [third qualifying round] victory against Rangers FC in the third qualifying round says a lot," he said. "They have an athletic defence and two strong strikers. The draw against Porto was actually quite a bad result for them - CSKA had every chance to pick up all three points."



PSV - Panathinaikos (CL Preview)

After defeat in London by Arsenal FC a fortnight ago, PSV Eindhoven are aiming to kick-start their UEFA Champions League campaign when early Group E leaders Panathinaikos FC visit the Philips stadium.

Riding high
Other than the 1-0 loss at Arsenal, PSV have been riding high this season, dropping just one point from their opening six Eredivisie games, and scoring seven and conceding none in the two games since Champions League Matchday 1.

Disappointment overcome
On that night the Greek title-holders overcame Rosenborg BK 2-1, but PSV coach Guus Hiddink is not looking back. "After the disappointment of Highbury two weeks ago, when we had hoped for a point, played well in the second half and kept things under control until the very end, we must win if we are to finish second in our group," he said.

Formidable challenge
However, Hiddink is aware that Panathinaikos present a formidable challenge. "They have Germans, Czechs, Argentinians," he said. "They are technically good and tactically disciplined, and we have seen what those qualities can produce in the [UEFA] European Championship this summer."

Bitter experience
This is PSV's ninth Champions League campaign - a record only surpassed by FC Porto and Manchester United FC - but unlike those former winners have never passed the group stage, despite coming particularly close last season. "We played some good games and took ten points, but still failed to progress," Hiddink remembers.

Squad improvement
The coach added, though, that he is delighted with the improvement in the squad since 2003. "Several of our players have progressed since last year, both for PSV and with the Dutch side," Hiddink said. "[Johann] Vogel, [John] de Jong and [Wilfred] Bouma for example."

Cocu calm
Hiddink added that the return of the experienced Phillip Cocu to PSV from FC Barcelona this season has brought a new level of calm to the team, while Mark van Bommel remains a vital cog in the side. He also has the luxury of a goalkeeping choice, with Edwin Zoetebier fit again, but Heurelho Gomes having impressed in his absence.

Weekend knocks
Awaiting late fitness tests are Brazilian defender Alex and attacking summer signing Gerald Sibon, who both picked up painful knocks at the weekend but are hopeful of playing. Dutch international defender André Ooijer is definitely out with a pulled hamstring.

Panathinaikos options
Panathinaikos have doubts only over defender Nasief Morris, who has an arm injury, but coach Itzhak Shum may opt for a five-man midfield, with striker Michalis Konstantinou making way to leave Dimitrios Papadopoulos as a lone forward. Since beating Rosenborg, Panathinaikos have gone on to win both their opening domestic matches, but Shum is aware that PSV are their toughest test this season.

Greek pressure
The Israeli coach added that Greece's triumph at UEFA EURO 2004™ had increased the pressure on Panathinaikos and their domestic rivals, even though none of their league's three representatives came close to progressing past the group stage last season. "Everyone expects us to do well, but it will not be easy," Stum said. "We are not the best sides in Europe. But we have seen that if you believe, anything can happen in football. That is why people come to watch!"



AC Milan - Celtic Glasgow (CL Preview)

For AC Milan, the task against Celtic FC will be to reproduce their superb away form on home turf - while the visitors are desperate to finally show their true ability on their travels.

Mixed fortunes
Milan may have a perfect record on the road this season, including a 1-0 victory at FC Shakhtar Donetsk in their opening UEFA Champions League Group F fixture, but their results at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza have been a 2-2 draw against AS Livorno Calcio and a 2-1 defeat against FC Messina Peloro, both Serie A newcomers. Celtic, meanwhile, may have held a 19-game unbeaten home European record prior to losing 3-1 to FC Barcelona a fortnight ago, but they have never secured a Champions League point away from Glasgow in six attempts.

Respect for Celtic
Despite that record, though, Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti considers the Scottish champions a real threat. "We always have problems against small teams who only play to defend," Ancelotti said. "Celtic would be considered a top team even in Serie A and I am sure they will come here to play their usual game, not only to defend."

Victory vital
Victory is important for Milan, looking to hold six points before meetings with in-form Barcelona in their next two matches. "We really want to win this game in order to put us in a strong position in the group," Ancelotti said. "Celtic have a great tradition but I am confident because we usually do not fail in this kind of matches."

Stam doubt
Ancelotti will probably be without defender Jaap Stam, who is recovering from an ankle injury, the coach revealing: "He did not train [on Monday] and it is unlikely he will play." Andriy Shevchenko is set to start up front on the day he turns 28, but the coach would not say if Filippo Inzaghi, Jon Dahl Tomasson or Hernán Crespo would partner the birthday boy.

Lennon intelligence
But Ancelotti is also focusing on the opposition lineup. "Like every Scottish side they are very strong physically and very aggressive in midfield," he said. "However, they are also very technical. In attack they have lost [Henrik] Larsson, but [Henri] Camara is a very good player. Juninho [Paulista] is also very good but my favourite player is [Neil] Lennon. He is very intelligent and determined, he has more or less the same characteristics I had when I was a player."

Sutton hope
Celtic striker Chris Sutton, who scored as a substitute for Juninho against Barcelona, damaged his hamstring in that game but could start against Milan, while defender Didier Agathe has overcome a leg injury to rejoin training. Manager Martin O'Neill admits that he will need his team at full-strength - and on top form - to progress from such a tough pool.

Point needed
"We knew how difficult the group was going to be with two very fine sides in our group," he said. "So it is a simple equation - we have to try and get something out of the game to stay in the competition."

'Hell of a task'
It will be hard for Celtic, though, who quite apart from their lack of away points in the Champions League have never won in Italy - and the manager admits that Milan and Barcelona are formidable obstacles. "If we are going to qualify then we have to knock out one or the other, which is a hell of task," said O'Neill.



Olympiacos 1 - 0 Liverpool

Olympiacos CFP moved to the top of UEFA Champions League Group A as a first-half goal by Ieroklis Stoltidis was enough to thwart Liverpool FC.

Headed goal
It was Olympiacos's first win against English opposition in more than three decades and a well deserved one as Rivaldo starred in midfield, and it was he that sent in the free-kick from Stoltidis headed the winner. The Greek side were twice denied by the woodwork and even had a string of chances to increase their lead.

Georgatos returns
Olympiacos coach Dusan Bajevic chose to play a 4-4-2 formation and made few changes to the side that earned a goalless draw at RC Deportivo La Coruña a fortnight ago, Anastasios Pantos moving to the left side of defence in place of Stylianos Venetidis while Dimitrios Mavrogenidis played on the right. Bajevic also welcomed back left-winger Grigoris Georgatos and central defender Gabriel Schürrer.

Gerrard missing
Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez played Stephen Warnock in place of Harry Kewell, who has just recovered from a thigh strain, while Dietmar Hamann deputised for the injured Steven Gerrard. However, it was Olympiacos who started the brighter and seized the initiative by dominating the central areas.

Okkas effort
They rattled the visitors after five minutes when Cypriot striker Yiannis Okkas found space inside the penalty area, danced past Sami Hyypiä, and hit the post from close range. The Piraeus club continued to surge forward as Liverpool struggled to find their feet, Milan Baroš often isolated as the lone striker.

Crucial goal
Olympiacos finally took the lead on 17 minutes when midfielder Ieroklis Stoltidis rose above a pack of defenders and headed in Rivaldo's deflected free-kick to the delight of the capacity crowd. They continued to press in attack and came close to doubling their lead on 25 minutes when Rivaldo unleashed a blistering shot from outside the box which went narrowly wide.

Further chance
A further chance arrived ten minutes before the break as Jerzy Dudek's clearance fell to Grigorios Georgatos, a constant threat down the left flank. He crossed to Giovanni, but the Brazilian's close-range header went narrowly wide.

Liverpool response
Olympiacos picked up where they left off in the first half and continued to dominate in the opening stages of the second period Georgatos going close with a left-footed volley on 46 minutes. A troubled Benítez responded by sending on Kewell for Warnock on the left.

Riise disappointment
The English club began to enjoy a larger share of the possession but rarely looked dangerous, a free-kick from Riise was the closest they came to troubling Antonios Nikopolidis in the opening exchanges of the second half.

Olympiacos changes
Bajevic reshuffled his pack on 71 minutes, sending on defender Stylianos Venetidis for Dimitrios Mavrogenidis and midfield player Georgios Georgiadis for Giovanni. A minute later Benítez boosted his forward line by bringing on Djibril Cissé for Josemi as Liverpool attempted to find a way past a solid Olympiacos defence.

More pressure
But it was the home team who continued to create the better chances and Stoltidis nearly scored a second after 75 minutes as his header, from a Rivaldo corner, beat Dudek but hit the crossbar.

No way past Nikopolidis
Benítez's last gamble was to bring on Salif Diao for Hamann in the closing stages but, even with Olympiacos being reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Anastasios Pantos for two yellow cards after 82 minutes, it was not enough to find a way past Nikopolidis. Liverpool are now second in the group, a point behind Olympiacos.

Goal: 17' Stoltidis



Manchester United 6 - 2 Fenerbahçe

Wayne Rooney marked his Manchester United FC debut with a sensational hat-trick, his first senior competitive treble, as the English side collected their first win in this year's UEFA Champions League in a lively Group D encounter with Fenerbahçe SK.

Great atmosphere
Amid a buzzing Old Trafford atmosphere, all eyes were on teenaged England striker Rooney as his team-mates tried to involve him from the start. But it was fellow forward Ruud van Nistelrooij who had the first attempt after five minutes - turning on a through ball but shooting tamely into the arms of Rüstü Reçber.

Giggs scores
Three minutes later it was the European veteran of this United side, Ryan Giggs, who put the two-time champions in front. Eric Djemba-Djemba won the ball in his own half, fed Kleberson down the left and his cross was met by the marauding Giggs, whose brilliant header flew into the corner of the net.

Rooney dangerous
A minute later, Rooney showed the crowd what he could do with a trademark run from deep only for his shot to be cleared for a corner. Six minutes later he was at it again, picking the ball up on the edge of the Fenerbahçe area, showing Deniz a clean pair of heels, evading the on-rushing goalkeeper but lifting his shot over the bar.

Rooney rocket
Rooney eventually made it 2-0 just three minutes later, latching on to a perfect pass from Van Nistelrooij and rocketing home his shot from the edge of the area. The Turkish champions tried to hit back and won a corner in the 27th minute. The cross was met by Márcio Nobre, who buried his effort only for it to be ruled out by the referee because the corner had floated out of play.

United spurred
That scare spurred United on and they took the ball upfield with Giggs who passed to the effervescent Rooney. He dummied the defence with ease and fired in ruthlessly from 20 metres out. Now everything the teenager touched seemed like genius to an almost disbelieving Old Trafford. His vision in the 37th minute put David Bellion in sight of goal but the Frenchman’s shot whistled wide.

Fenerbahçe goal
United looked comfortable going into the second period, but within a minute of the restart Fenerbahçe gave their vociferous fans something to cheer. United failed to clear a corner leaving Nobre to score from close range.

Rooney treble
Four minutes later United restored their three-goal cushion after winning a free-kick on the edge of the visitors' area. Despite the presence of older heads, it was Rooney who placed the ball down and skilfully chip the wall to claim a superb hat-trick.

Fenerbahçe second
Fenerbahçe refused to lie down and scored a deserved second when United failed to clear a corner conceded in bizarre fashion by Rooney, who booted the ball behind from 35 metres out. Goalkeeper Roy Carroll parried the first effort, but the ever-dangerous Tuncay Sanli collected the rebound and finished off with an effort which crept inside the post.

United's fifth
The Turkish side continued to press but United’s record European goalscorer Van Nistelrooij got in on the act himself ten minutes from time. He controlled a cross from substitute Darren Fletcher on his chest, danced past the defence and smashed the ball in to end the visitors' hopes.

Bellion goal
A minute later it was 6-2 with Rooney turning provider. He expertly headed a defensive clearance into the path of David Bellion, who stroked the ball past Reçber to complete the scoring.

Goals: 7' Giggs (1-0), 17' Rooney (2-0), 28' Rooney (3-0), 46' Márcio Nobre (3-1), 54' Rooney (4-1), 59' Tuncay Sanli (4-2), 78' Van Nistelrooij (5-2), 81' Bellion (6-2)


Tuesday, September 28, 2004 

Manchester United FC - Fenerbahçe SK (CL Preview)

Having stolen the show with some stellar performances at UEFA EURO 2004™, Wayne Rooney seems set for his UEFA Champions League debut as Manchester United FC welcome Turkish champions Fenerbahçe SK to Old Trafford.

Rooney bow
Rooney moved to United from Everton FC for €29.6m last month, but has remained sidelined with the broken foot he suffered in England's EURO 2004™ quarter-final defeat by Portugal in June, having scored four goals in the tournament. However, he is now ready to return and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that the 18-year-old striker will make his bow for United and play his first European club game.

Manager's choice
"He is likely to be involved," Sir Alex said. "I am just mulling over whether to start him or put him on the bench. Maybe putting him on the bench would be the fairest thing to do to him, none the less he is going to be involved and it is something we are all looking forward to."

'Work ethic'
The manager has certainly been impressed so far. "We are very pleased with him," Sir Alex said. "He is just an ordinary lad, who has a great work ethic and has really impressed us in training. He just needs to be consistent, but then every young player is the same, they all have lots to learn, tactically."

Attacking threat
Sir Alex could choose to combine Rooney with Ruud van Nistelrooij, who struck twice to turn a 2-0 Matchday 1 deficit at Olympique Lyonnais into a 2-2 draw. Fenerbahçe's veteran Dutch forward Pierre van Hooijdonk, who was the goalscorer as his side defeated AC Sparta Praha 1-0 in their Group D opener, certainly fears the potential partnership.

Van Hooijdonk impressed
"Rooney alongside Ruud will be a really dangerous combination, probably one of the best of the competition," Van Hooijdonk said. "I can understand why all the talk in Manchester is of Rooney. I was at the [UEFA] European Championship with the Netherlands and I saw what he did. Rooney has a great future, but it is all about doing it on the pitch. That is why Van Nistelrooij is still the main man at Old Trafford."

Duo return
Along with Rooney, United can also call on defender Gary Neville and forward Louis Saha, who both missed the trip to Lyon, but Paul Scholes has picked up a groin strain and is ruled out. Roy Carroll will also remain in goal at the expense of Tim Howard following fine Premiership displays against Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC in the last week.

Milestone win
Whoever United field, Fenerbahçe can take heart from their group stage visit in October 1996, when Elvir Bolic's late strike gave them a 1-0 win and ended United's unbeaten home record in Europe that stretched back more than 40 years. Sir Alex said: "I think Turkish football is to be respected. They have produced some good individual players and we are not underestimating them."

Daum demand
Fenerbahçe are without the suspended Servet Cetin and Kemal Arslan is out with a leg injury. Coach Christoph Daum wants an improvement on the showing against Sparta, despite the victory, and has demanded "top level performances" from his players.



Olympiacos - Liverpool (CL Preview)

Liverpool FC may have lifted the European Champion Clubs' Cup four times - four more than all Greek sides put together - but Olympiacos CFP are not afraid of their illustrious Group A visitors.

Useful results
Both teams gained useful results on Matchday 1 - Liverpool beating last season's runners-up AS Monaco FC 2-0 and Olympiacos holding 2003/04 semi-finalists RC Deportivo La Coruña to a goalless draw in Spain - and the Piraeus club's coach Dušan Bajevic believes his men could impress again.

No fear
"If Olympiacos are at their best they should fear nobody, but we cannot just say this, we have to prove it," Bajevic said. "The gap between clubs in Europe has narrowed, but we have full respect for Liverpool who are a historic side that have won trophies and are much better than they used to be. But they have weaknesses and we must exploit them."

Repeat wanted
The coach, who led Olympiacos to the knockout stages in 1998/99 in his previous spell in charge, wants more of the form showed a fortnight ago. "We must repeat the performance against Deportivo, meaning we have to be disciplined and run for 90 minutes and play with more imagination," he said. "Liverpool are stronger and faster, and are very good in the air. We must not allow them to play their game. The slower we keep the pace the better."

Unchanged team
Bajevic is expected to field an unchanged team as he welcomes back left-winger Grigorios Georgatos and central defender Gabriel Schürrer who missed Saturday's 1-0 win at Aris Thessaloniki FC - their second victory in two domestic games this season. Ieroklis Stoltidis will play alongside Georgatos in midfield, and said: "It will be a very difficult match against a side that has changed considerably since last season. We expect them to continue their good displays but we are also a very good team."

New-look Liverpool
The transformation in the Liverpool side has been brought about by new manager Rafael Benítez, who led Valencia CF to the UEFA Cup last term, a year after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals. However, captain Steven Gerrard is out with a broken foot, meaning Salif Diao or Igor Bišcan could step in, while Harry Kewell is doubtful with a thigh strain.

Kewell hope
Benítez said of Kewell, who missed Saturday's 3-0 success against Norwich City FC: "He is OK now but he is not 100 per cent. If I decide he can play, he will play. We need his help." Diao himself admitted the chance of a second start this season was far from his mind when Gerrard was hurt. "The first thing I thought was that we have lost one our best players," the Senegalese international said.

'Play to win'
Still, Benítez remains in a positive frame of mind. "We have four midfielders and all can play," he said, before reminding his players of their task in Greece. "We have a long way to go, I do not play for a draw, I always play to win. Olympiacos are a good team and we have great respect for them. But we can win."



League Standings

Pos. Team Pld Pts.
1. Benfica 4 10
2. Marítimo 4 9
3. Setúbal 4 7
4. Belenenses 4 7
5. Boavista 4 7


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Est. Amadora 4 10
2. Desp. Aves 4 9
3. Maia 4 9

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Valencia 5 13
2. Barcelona 5 13
3. Espanyol 5 10
4. Atlético 5 10
5. Osasuna
14 Athletic 5 5

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. PSV 6 16
2. Ajax 6 14
3. Feyenoord 6 13
4. Utrecht 6 13
5. Alkmaar 6 11

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Monaco 8 17
2. Lille 8 16
3. Lyon 8 16
4. Bordeaux 8 13
5. Auxerre 8 13
16. PSG 8 7

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Club Brugge 7 19
2. Anderlecht 7 15
3. La Louviére 7 13
4. Charleroi 7 12
5. AA Gent 7 12

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Wolfsburg 6 15
2. Stuttgart 6 14
3. Bremen 6 12
4. LBayern 6 11
5. Mainz 6 9
13. Hamburg 6 6

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Thun 10 20
2. Basel 10 18
3. Xamax 10 15
4. Aarau 10 14
5. Young Boys 10 13

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Hafnarfjördur 18 37
2. ÍBV 18 31
3. ÍA 18 31
4. Fylkir 18 29
5. Keflavik 18 24

Final Standings

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Arsenal 7 19
2. Chelsea 7 17
3. Everton 7 16
4. Bolton 7 12
5. Man. United 7 12

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Celtic 7 19
2. Rangers 7 14
3. Motherwell 7 13
4. Aberdeen 7 12
5. Kilmarnock 7 12

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Juventus 4 10
2. Lecce 4 8
3. Messina 4 8
4. Milan 4 7
5. Lazio 4 7
6. Inter 4 6

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Fenerbahçe 7 19
2. Trabzonspor 7 19
3. Galatasaray 7 16
4. Denizlispor 7 15
5. Gaziantepspor 7 14

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Sparta 7 19
2. Teplice 7 15
3. Sigma 7 15
4. Baník 7 14
5. Brno 7 13
7. Slavia 7 11

Pos. Team Pld Pts.
1. Ferencváros 7 18
2. Györ 7 153
3. Debrecen 7 15
4. Pápa 7 13
5. MTK 6 12
12. Honvéd 7 7

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Wisla 7 19
2. Groclin 6 15
3. Legia 6 14
4. Amica 7 12
5. Górnik 6 10

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Shakhtar 8 24
2. Dynamo Kyiv 8 19
3. Metalurh 8 16
4. Volyn 8 13
5. Illichivets 8 11

Torneo Apertura

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. River Plate 8 18
2. Boca Jrs 8 16
3. Estudiantes 8 16
4. Veléz Sarsfield 8 16
5. Newell's 8 15

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Santos 32 61
2. Atlético PR 32 61
3. São Caetano 32 55
4. Ponte Preta 32 52
5. Goiás 32 52
20. Botafogo 32 34

Torneo Apertura

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Defensor Sporting 4 8
2. Nacional 4 8
3. Danubio 4 8
4. Peñarol 4 6
5. Wanderers 4 6


Estoril 1 - 0 Belenenses

ESTORIL-PRAIA – Jorge; Rui Duarte, Buba, Dorival e João Pedro; N´Doye, Elias e Pinheiro; Fellahi (Ali, 66 m), João Paulo (Luís Torres, 81 m) e Hugo Santos (Yuri, 66 m).

BELENENSES – Marco Aurélio; Amaral, Rolando, Pelé e Cristiano; José Pedro, Andersson e Juninho Petrolina (Brasília, 59 m); Lourenço (Rodolfo Lima, 84 m), Antchouet (Neca, 78 m) e Marco Paulo.

Goal: N’Doye (88 m)

Monday, September 27, 2004 

Middlesbrough 0 - Chelsea 1

Didier Drogba won the points with a goal ten minutes from time, but Chelsea had to endure 80 minutes of domination with no goals before sealing an excellent away win.
Chelsea quickly got into the possession game, and frustrated Boro kept giving the ball away much to the anger of the below capacity crowd.

Alexey Smertin chased a cleared Drogba cross and tricked his way back into the area from wide to shoot left-footed and force Mark Schwarzer to save early on. There were on-target if inconsequential efforts from Eidur Gudjohnsen and Frank Lampard.

Smertin won the ball and broke well but his link-up with free man Drogba wasn’t spot on and a good position was wasted. Chelsea won two corners and from the second John Terry hammered a shot which was bravely blocked. Ten minutes had gone and there was only one team on the park.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink had to leave the field after Terry had caught him in the face with a challenge. Jimmy angrily waved away his old captain’s apologies. Boro were down to ten men and Chelsea continued to dominate. Drogba and Damien Duff both went close. Fifteen minutes gone.

Hasselbaink returned in the 21st minute by which time Smertin had driven a snap shot which Schwarzer was late down to and could only parry, Colin Cooper hurriedly clearing from the in-coming Gudjohnsen. A minute later Drogba just failed to meet a tantalising Duff cross.

Middlesbrough’s one spell in Chelsea’s half, during which Bolo Zenden won a free-kick off Paulo Ferreira and Hasselbaink crashed it into the wall, finished with Terry chipping a ball over Boro’s defence which Shwarzer blocked at full stretch at Drogba’s feet and then had to chase to kick away from the forward outside the area. Soon Drogba was just unable to reach another volleyed Duff cross, but the over-exuberant Blues were conceding too many free-kicks, and another Hasselbaink effort hit Chelsea’s wall.

From the rebound Drogba set up a counter which finished in Chelsea’s free-kick. Lampard mis-hit it, but Drogba turned on the loose ball and crashed it against the bar from 15 yards. William Gallas snatched the rebound over. Half an hour gone.

Boro were stretched. Ray Parlour was stretchered off having turned his knee in a challenge with Gallas. Joseph Desire Job replaced him ten minutes before half-time, and Boro switched to a 4-3-3 shape similar to Chelsea’s.

Chelsea’s 4-3-3 involved Gudjohnsen playing near Drogba than in previous games leaving Ferreira to work the right flank more. Ferreira hit several good crosses including one four minutes before half-time that the flying Drogba got to despite the defenders in his way but just couldn’t turn in.

Hasselbaink kicked off the second-half wearing the absent Ugo Ehiogu’s shirt because of blood down his own.

More dictating of possession for Chelsea, however, threatened penetration less, and Boro with their 4-3-3 working better got more involved. Smertin was booked for dragging back Zenden when beaten, and was lucky to escape further trouble when doing the same to Hasselbaink. A Stuart Parnaby long-range effort hit Terry somewhere between chest and bicep causing Boro screams for a penalty, and even though Drogba broke away to win a corner as he closed in on goal, it was substitution time.

Tiago and Mateja Kezman replaced Smertin and Gudjohnsen. At the same time Stewart Downing came on from limping Job. Sixty-five minutes gone.

Threat was restored. Gallas won a corner, Lampard forced a save, Kezman broke behind lines but pulled his cross too deep, Drogba headed wide from another excellent Duff cross and Tiago had a shot blocked by Gareth Southgate. When Boro did make ground, Petr Cech caught Downing’s cross one-handed with wonderful panache.

With ten minutes left Ferreira won a free-kick wide on the right off Franck Queudrue, Lampard pulled it low and square when everone was waiting for a high cross and Drogba slammed the ball in low to Schwarzer’s left from 15 yards. He now has four goals this season.

Robert Huth was sent on for Duff with three minutes left and joined Claude Makelele in central midfield.

Chelsea finished with eight shots on target and none against. Only one goal has been conceded in eight games. Something is going right.



Martins brace earns Inter point (Inter 2 - Parma 2)

Sunday, 26 September 2004

A double strike from Obafemi Martins salvaged a point for Inter as the Nerazzurri held Parma to a 2-2 draw at the San Siro.

Inter dominated for long periods of the Serie A Week 4 match but it was Parma who scored first when Alberto Gilardino's first-time shot from a corner found the roof of the net.

Substitute Martins equalised for Inter 27 minutes into the second half. Juan Veron found van der Meyde in space on the left with a superb long ball forward then the Dutch winger centred for the Nigerian to control and stab past Frey from close range.

Parma retook the lead almost immediately when Marchionni poked home after receiving from Morfeo and holding off a challenge from Favalli.

Recoba's entrance proved decisive for the second consecutive match, the Uruguay forward adding verve to the attack as Inter pushed for another equaliser. It came with less than ten minutes left on the clock. After another precise pass from Veron, Martins played a quick one-two with Il Chino then beat Frey with a powerful shot from the edge of the box.

Inter could have snatched a late winner but Materazzi's well-coordinated shot from inside the Parma area hit the crossbar.

The Nerazzurri are back in Uefa Champions League action this Wednesday with a Matchday 2 clash with Anderlecht at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels

INTER: 1 Toldo, 2 Cordoba, 4 J. Zanetti , 7 van der Meyde (5 Emre 79'), 8 Davids (20 Recoba 65'), 10 Adriano, 14 Veron, 16 Favalli, 23 Materazzi, 25 Stankovic, 32 Vieri (30 Martins 58')
Subs not used: 12 Fontana, 3 Burdisso, 13 Zé Maria , 19 Cambiasso
Coach: Mancini

Parma : 17 Frey, 5 Bonera, 10 Morfeo, 11 Gilardino (9 Maccarone 79'), 14 Contini (4 Bovo 59'), 23 Bresciano (8 Budel 13'), 28 P.Cannavaro, 30 Simplicio, 32 Marchionni, 33 Grella, 77 Potenza
Subs not used: 1 Berti, 6 Bolano, 20 Rosina, 26 Ferronetti
Coach: Baldini

Referee: Morganti

Scorers: Gilardino 17', Martins 72', 82', Marchionni 74'

Booked: Simplicio 32', Cordoba 36', Morfeo 90'

Attendance: 55,303



FC Aarau 1 - 0 FC Basel

FC Aarau: Colomba, Vardanian, Christ, Bättig, Simo, Varela, Menezes (88. Bekiri), Opango, Bühler, Giallanza (91. Hasler), Bieli (80. Dugic)

FC Basel: Zuberbühler, Barberis (68. Quennoz), Smiljanic, Yakin, Kléber, Huggel, Mesbah (60. Sterjovski), Delgado (46. Rossi), D. Degen, Gimenez, Petric

Goal: 6. Varela



Estrela da Amadora 1-0 Sp. Espinho

Estrela da Amadora gained three more points, in a narrow win. The home team dominated the first half, but ran against a efficient defense by Sp. Espinho. In the second half the visitors evened the events, untill Verona scored after a confusing play. From there on Espinho rampaged onto the attack, but with no visible results.

Estrela sits alone at the top of the table.

ESTRELA: Veiga; Quim Berto, Santamaria, Carlos, Wesnalton (Henrique, 46'); Adilson, Zamorano, Verona, Rui Borges; Rómulo (Nuno, 63'), Bruno Mauro (Pedro Simões, 79').

SP. ESPINHO: Tó Ferreira; Álvaro, Correia, Rolão, Ricardo Correia; Jojó (Magano, 74'), Nélson (Zacarias, 74'), Moisés, Carlos Manuel, Marco Cláudio (Lim, 85'); André Cunha.

GOALS: 1-0, Verona (69')


Benfica 0 - 0 Braga

Benfica lost their first points of the season with a home draw with Braga last night. After 3 wins in a row the eagles were unable to score a goal agains the team from Minho. Even so, Benfica still manage to hold on in the first place of the portuguese Superliga.

BENFICA – Moreira, Miguel, Luisão, Ricardo Rocha, Fyssas; Manuel Fernandes Petit, João Pereira (Geovanni 72 m), Simão (cap.) Nuno Gomes (Azar Karadas 55 m) e Tomo Sokota.

Sp. Braga – Paulo Santos, Abel, Nem, Nunes e Jorge Luiz; Cândido Costa (Paulo Sérgio 62 m), Luís Loureiro (Kenedy 45 m), Vandinho, Cesinha (Wender 75 m), Jaime Jr. e João Tomás



FC Shakhtar 3 - 0 FC Arsenal

FC Shakhtar- FC Arsenal was played at RSC Olympiyskiy. The Miners won 3:0. The goals were scored by Brandao, Matuzalem and Vorobyey.



Jablonec 1 - 1 Slavia

Early goal disallowed
Slavia came to Jablonec to end the amazing record of five draws in a row against the North Bohemian team. The active play at the beginning of the match brought several shots at the goal of Martin Spit and the ball in his net in the eighth minute. Patrik Gedeon got the ball in the midfield and pass it to Karel Pitak who found Adauto in front of the goal. But the offside decision of the linesman caused that the Brazilian had to wait for his goal till the twenty-fourth minute.

Jablonec take the lead
Just five minutes later Jablonec took the lead. Radek Cizek sent a through pass to Filip Klapka who ran all alone to Radek Cerny and passed the ball to the right to Tomas Michalek. Jablonec player had an easy task to shoot the ball to the net.

Adauto scores the equaliser
In the twenty-fourth minute Adauto scored his first goal after recovering from his long-term injury. Martin Zboncak provided a cross from the left and Adauto directed the ball precisely to the net. "I am glad I finally scored a goal, the cross from Martin was superb. It is a pity we did not add the second goal, we had chances, especially in the first half, "said the Brazilian after the match. He was right Slavia had more opportunities in the first half. But also Jablonec could add the second.

Second half without good opportunities
The second half was not as spectacular as the first one. There were no clear chances for any of the teams. The attacks lacked precision and the final passes were often anticipated by the defence. The final minute brought protests from the home side after the encounter of Radek Bejbl and Petr Smisek in the box, but the referee showed a yellow card to Jablonec forward for diving. The match ended in a draw, the sixth one in a row.

Josef Csaplar: The result is fair
"I am disappointed, we wanted to win and our tactics was aimed at the win," said Slavia coach Josef Csaplar. "The first half decided, we should have added the second goal. The effectiveness in scoring was our problem in the last season and it unforrtunately remains to be the same. But Jablonec also had their chances, the draw is fair," Csaplar also said.

Petr Rada sorry for the lost lead
"We also wanted to win, the matches against Slavia are always a special occassion. The lead was a great advantage, but we lost it. There were no good chances in the second half. But we had problems during the week and as I look at the match as a whole, we managed it."

Jablonec line-up: M. Spit - J. Lastovka, R. Dosoudil, R. Hrotek, L. Loucka (88. L. Husek) - T. Michalek, M. Kordula, R. Cizek (84. Z. Senkerik), J. Weber (76. J. Nesvadba) - P. Smisek, F. Klapka

Slavia line-up: R. Cerny - L. Dosek, M. Latka, M. Holenak, J. Rychlik - K. Pitak, P. Gedeon, R. Bejbl, M. Zboncak - P. Kuka, E. Adauto da Silva (85. P. Fort)

Goals: 13. Tomas Michalek - 24. Evandro Adauto



Aris 0 – 1 Olympiacos

Olympiacos CFP added three more points at their overall scoring, after their victory against Aris in Thessaloniki, by 1 - 0. The reds netted the opener at the 59th minute thanks to a shot by Giovanni from the penalty area and could have scored again provided their final attempts were better in the many opportunities they created, mainly during the first half. In fact, at some point, a shot by George Georgiadis hit the bar. On the other hand, Aris never threatened Antonis Nikopolidis.

ARIS: Liberopoulos, Kallimanis, Vashakide, Koltsidas, Passalis, Sanjurjo, Chrissafis, Martinez (54΄Lazanas), Markomihalis, Liolidis (40΄ Gitsis), Papadopoulos.

OLYMPIACOS CFP: Nikopolidis, Kafes, Venetidis (64’ Mavroyenidis), Rivaldo (46’ Maric), Stoltidis, Okkas (78΄ Castillo), Giovanni, Vallas, Pandos, Georgiadis, Anatolakis.

Goals: Giovanni 59´



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