Monday, October 31, 2005 

Hamburg SV 1 - 0 Schalke 04

HSV dramatically ended Schalke’s fine unbeaten run in front of a capacity crowd in the AOL Arena on Saturday afternoon, as HSV won their round 11 Bundesliga clash 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Mehdi Mahdavikia, who was playing at right back! The little Iranian’s strike was enough to beat the visiting side that looked extremely nervous following their midweek 0-6 drubbing in the cup away to Frankfurt.

Trochowski on fire!
Perfect conditions greeted the teams as they took to the feld in the sold out AOL-Arena on Saturday afternoon, as unbeaten Schalke came to town to lock horns with HSV. The start of the game had the huge crowd on their seats, as Piotr Trochowski (in the side for the suspended Dutch master van der Vaart), fired in no less than 3 long range efforts in as many minutes. Rafinha cleared off the line as Atouba threatened after Schalke’s keeper Rost had misjudged a corner.

Shell shocked Schalke
HSV continued to dominate the side which lost a midweek cup match 0-6 in Frankfurt in midweek. It was plain to see that that heavy defeat had left scars on the visiting side, which made a sluggish start to the game. The nerves of coach Ralf Rangnick’s side were frayed and the fabulous AOL Arena atmosphere didn’t help their cause either.

Mehdi on the mark
Mehdi Mahdavikia started the game at right back in place of the injured and suspended Guy Demel. The Iranian striker has played in that position many times for his country. The inclusion of Mahdavikia was a move which paid off for coach Thomas Doll after 19 minutes. After a corner, Barbarez provided a superb quick ball into the Schalke area. The visiting defence failed to clear, and Mahdavikia unleashed an unstoppable volley from 10 metres out to give HSV the lead! It was Mehdi’s 3rd goal of the season.

Harmless visitors
HSV took their foot off the gas and allowed the visiting side plenty of possession, which they didn’t take advantage of. Danish striker Larsen had a half chance, blasting well over from 15 metres out. Schalke improved somewhat the longer the first half went on. A cross by Altintop was headed just over by Kuranyi on 37 minutes. Shortly afterwards the German international striker went close again as he lobbed just over after a defensive mix up involving Stefan Wächter and skipper Daniel van Buyten. The final of the half came as Stefan Beinlich curled a superb free kick onto the crossbar. HSV deserved their one goal lead at the break.

HSV on top
HSV started the second half as they had done the first. Strangely though, the home side stepped back and allowed the visitors more possession once again while waiting for a chance to counter attack. One of those attacks saw Mpenza set up Jarolim, who almost scored with a header which went agonisingly wide on 57 minutes.

Poulsen off!
On 61 minutes, Schalke’s Dane Poulsen was sent off for a body check on Abouda. The Dane had already been booked during the first half, so the referee had no choice but to give him his marching orders. HSV didn’t change their tactics. Even with a man advantage they stood back and let Schalke play. The visitors however, were visibly nervous and rarely threatened the home goal. A minute from time, van Buyten could have put Schalke out of their misery, but the man-mountain defender put his shot just wide of Rost’s goal. Schalke just gave up and HSV easily handed Schalke their first defeat of the Bundesliga season.

FC Schalke 04: Rost - Rafinha (69.Ernst), Rodriguez (79.Varela), Bordon, Krstajic - Poulsen - Kobiashvili, Altintop, Lincoln - Larsen (51.Sand), Kuranyi

Hamburger SV: Wächter - Mahdavikia, Boulahrouz, van Buyten, Atouba - Wicky, Jarolim, Beinlich, Trochowski (90.Klingbeil) - Barbarez, Mpenza (76.Lauth)

Goal: 1:0 Mahdavikia (20.)



Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Bayern Munchen 11 28
2. Bremen 11 26
3. Hamburg 11 24
4. Schalke 11 18
5. Monchengladbach 11 18


Fiorentina 2 - 1 Cagliari

Fiorentina suffers but wins against Cagliari thanks to a strong comeback. The Rossoblu went ahead with a nice goal by Suazo, also thanks to a mistake by Di Loreto. In the second half, an invention by Fiore found Toni who shot past Campagnolo for the 1-1. Towards the end, Toni served an assist to Jorgensen who closed the match on the 2-1. Cagliari ended the game in nine men for the sending offs of Conti and Canini.

Goals: 23’fh Suazo, 9’sh Toni, 36’sh Jorgensen

Fiorentina: Frey, Ujfalusi, Dainelli, Di Loreto, Pancaro (1’sh Pasqual), Donadel (29’sh Pazienza), Brocchi, Fiore, Jorgensen, Bojinov (1’sh Pazzini), Toni. Coach Prandelli (Cejas, Mateo, Pazienza, Montolivo, Pasqual, Guigou, Pazzini)

Cagliari: Campagnolo, Agostini, Canini, Bega, Pisano, Capone (35’sh Cossu), Budel, Gobbi, Conti, Esposito, Suazo (13’sh Langella). Coach Ballardini (Tomasig, Vignati, Pani, Conticchio, Cossu, Ferrarese)


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Juventus 10 27
2. Milan 10 25
3. Fiorentina 10 22
4. Inter 10 19
5. Livorno 10 18



FC Twente 0 - 1 PSV

Ruling Dutch champions have maintained their lead in the Dutch table by a 0-1 win over FC Twente in Enschede. The only goal of the night was scored by Ibrahim Afellay from a free kick.


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. PSV 10 25
2. Feyenoord 10 24
3. AZ 10 24
4. Waalwijk 10 21
5. Vitesse 10 16



Naval 1 - 1 Benfica

Two great goals from Simão had given Benfica a 2-1 victory against Leixões SC in the Portuguese Cup at Estádio do Bessa on Wednesday but the Benfica captain later went off with a thigh injury that kept him out of Saturday's game against Naval 1º Maio. Missing his influence, Benfica were held to a draw.

Besides Simão, coach Ronald Koeman was also without goalkeepers José Moreira (knee) and Quim (groin strain), out for six months and one week respectively. Brazilian winger Geovanni was omitted due to personal problems, but Petit and Nuno Assis both returned. Léo and João Pereira replaced Simão and Geovanni.

Benfica began well but could not convert their chances, while Andrei Kariaka and Nuno Gomes faded after a bright first half as heavy rain took its toll on the pitch. Bruno Fogaça scored for Naval in the 71st minute after a fast counterattack down the right. The Portuguese champions reacted swiftly and Nuno Gomes equalised ten minutes from time, after some great work by Nélson on the right wing.

Koeman said: "We felt the absence of Simão. It is only natural. Nevertheless, we played very well and we dominated the entire match. We deserved more than just a draw, but we did not take advantage of the opportunities we created. It was difficult because of the heavy pitch."


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Braga 8 20
2. Nacional 9 18
3. Porto 9 18
4. Benfica 9 17
5. Rio Ave 9 14


Thursday, October 27, 2005 

Hamburg 3 - 2 Bayer Leverkusen (German Cup)

HSV reached the third round of the FA Cup on Wednesday evening (26.10.05), as they beat fellow Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 in front of 35,871 in the AOL Arena. Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov put the visitors ahead on 3 minutes after a mistake by the HSV keeper Stefan Wächter. After the break, the HSV skipper Daniel van Buyten headed his side’s equaliser on 55 minutes. Sergej Barbarez put the home side ahead on 62 minutes, before Berbatov equalised for Leverkusen nine minutes from time. Three minutes later, Raphael Wicky scored the winner with a header.

Dolly raises eyebrows
The HSV coach Thomas Doll made three changes to his side which drew 1-1 away to Dortmund in the Bundesliga at the weekend. Van der Vaart, Mahdavikia and Takahara came into the side for Klingbeil, Wicky and Mpenza. The new Bayer coach Michael Skibbe introduced two players to the side which drew 1-1 against Stuttgart. Rolfes and Madouni replaced Freier and Babic in his starting line-up, allowing Athirson to move into midfield.

Early shock
The crowd had hardly taken their seats in the AOL Arena for the FA Cup round 2 clash before the visitors took the lead. The home keeper Stefan Wächter could only parry a shot by Barnetta into the path of the ever-dangerous Bulgarian international striker Dimitar Berbatov, who easily scored from close range to give Leverkusen the perfect start.

Close free kick
HSV needed some time to recover from the early shock. The got a grip on the game without it must be said creating much goalmouth action. The only real threat to the goal being guarded by the former HSV goalie Butt, was a 16th minute free kick by Raphael van der Vaart, who is suspended for the Bundesliga, but is eligible for both the UEFA and FA Cup competitions.

Three second half goal
HSV remained dominant at the start of the second half and they were finally rewarded for their pressure on 55 minutes, as their skipper Daniel van Buyten equalised with a powerful header. Seven minutes later, Bosnian striker Sergej Barbarez nudged HSV into the lead for the first time. Leverkusen to their credit never gave up, and dramatically equalised through Berbatov nine minutes from time. HSV refused to be undone, and on 84 minutes Swiss-born defensive midfielder and second half substitute Raphael Wicky, scored what turned ou to be the winner with a fine header

HSV: Wächter - Mahdavikia, Boulahrouz, van Buyten, Atouba (66.Ziegler) - Beinlich, Jarolim, Trochowski (46.Lauth), van der Vaart - Barbarez, Takahara (72.Wicky)

Bayer Leverkusen: Butt - Madouni (65.Freier), Juan, Roque Junior, Athirson - Barnetta, Castro, Rolfes (66.Krzynowek), Schneider - Berbatov, Voronin

Goals: 0:1 Berbatov (03.), 1:1 van Buyten (55.), 2:1 Barbarez (62.), 2:2 Berbatov (81.), 3:2 Wicky (84.)



Leixões 1 - 2 Benfica (Portuguese Cup)

LEIXÕES: Marco; Alexandre, Nuno Silva, Elvis e Nuno Amaro; Jorge Duarte, Guerra, Marco Cadete e Malafaia; Jorge Gonçalves e João Pedro.

BENFICA: Rui Nereu; João Pereira, Anderson, Ricardo Rocha e Léo; Beto, Karagounis e Manuel Fernandes; Carlitos, Mantorras e Simão. Árbitro: Carlos Xistra (Castelo Branco).

Goals: Simão 11´ (0-1); Nuno Amaro 38´(1-1); Simão 85´ (1-2)



Siena 0 - 2 Fiorentina

After two minutes with a header Toni opened the score in the derby at the Franchi of Siena. Frey closed the goalpost on Nanni and Vergassola. In the second half a great move by Jorgensen paved the way for Toni’s brace, who picked up the rebound from the goalpost and scored his second goal. Fiorentina moves to third place in the standings after nine matchdays, Toni on top of the top scorer list with eleven goals.

Goals: 2’fh, 22’sh Toni

Siena: Mirante, Negro, Tudor, Le Grottaglie, Alberto, D’Aversa (C), Vergassola, Falsini, Nanni (4’sh Nanni), Paro(4’sh Locatelli),Bogdani. Coach De Canio (Fortin, Colonnese, Chiesa, Locatelli, Bachini, Gastaldello, Portanova)

Fiorentina: Frey, Ujfalusi, Di Loreto, Dainelli (C), Pasqual, Brocchi, Pazienza, Donadel, Fiore (38’sh Jorgensen), Toni. Coach Prandelli (Cejas, Bojinov, Brivio, Mateo, Montolivo, Guigou, Pazzini)


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Juventus 9 27
2. Milan 9 22
3. Fiorentina 9 19
4. Inter 9 18
5. Palermo 9 15


Monday, October 24, 2005 

Benfica 2 - 0 Estrela da Amadora (Derby United)

Benfica struck twice in the second-half to overcome CF Estrela da Amadora in the Portuguese Liga and move up to third in the table. Russian international Andrei Kariaka opened the scoring on 49 minutes with his first goal for the league champions from a Nélson cross. The right-back was the provider again 12 minutes later when he set up Nuno Gomes for his eighth goal in as many league games this season to double Benfica's lead.

Goalkeeper Quim failed to finish a game for a second time in succession. He was replaced by 19-year-old Rui Nereu, who followed up his substitute superb display against Villarreal CF in the UEFA Champions League with a clean sheet.

Benfica coach Ronald Koeman said: "After a very complicated first half, where we didn't create many goalscoring opportunities, the team was focused and worked well. We know that matches have 90 minutes and, in the second half, we were quicker and had more pace in attack. After Kariaka's goal, we were able to control the match and create more danger."


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Braga 8 20
2. Porto 8 17
3. Benfica 8 16
4. Nacional 8 15
5. Rio Ave 8 13



Slavia 4 - 1 Sparta

Slavia won in the most famous Czech derby against Sparta Prague, although they were one goal down in the fourth minute. Our goals were scored by Dusan Svento, Martin Latka, Stanislav Vlcek, and Matej Krajcik. It is the first win against Sparta after six years. We are preparing the full report.

Famous evening
Slavia have not won a league game against Prague rivals of Sparta for six years. It was high time to change the history and it happened with a humiliation result. But the way to the victory was certainly not easy.

Early strike from Matusovic
The first goal came early on 4th minute, Kisel sent an in-through pass to Matusovic and Sparta forward managed to sent the ball to the net in spite of Slavia keeper Kozacik touched the ball. Sparta were one goal up. And they soon could have been in two-goal lead, but Dosek´s shot was amazingly saved by Slavia in-form keeper Kozacik.

Fort misses the penalty
The fifteenth minute brought a great advantage for Slavia, Petras fouled Hrdlicka in the penalty box. "I scored from the spot in the last match, but Pavel Fort believed he will convert it, so he went there," Lukas Jarolim said about the unlucky decision. Fort sent the ball to the direction Sparta keeper dive and the ball was bounced away.

Svento equalises
The thirty-first minute brought the first part of the turnover of the spectacular match. Vlcek ran through Sparta defence and his cross was directed to the net by Slovakian midfielder Dusan Svento. From this point Slavia were the better side.

Victorino forced substitution
Very probably the first ever Mexican playing the famous Czech derby Cesareo Victorino had to substitute five minutes later due to injury. Michal Svec replaced him and stayed in the midfield.

Slavia dominate the second half
The second half was a great performance of the red-whites. Martin Latka headed the ball in after the corner kick of Lukas Jarolim, Stanislav Vlcek added the second lobbing the Sparta helpless keeper after a great pass from Svento, and Matej Krajcik swept the right corner of the goal with marvellous strike. All of this within a six minutes! And Slavia were close to at least two more goals, when Petrous directed the ball towards his own net and Latka sent a technical curled shot. Marvellous night!

Jarolim satisfied with second half maximally
Slavia coach Karel Jarolim commented the match in happy tone. "We did not start well, conceded a goal and did not take a penalty, but then my boys simply find the will to turn the match to their favour and capitalised on Sparta defending mistakes, I am maximally satisfied with the second half," he said.

Sparta coach sad
"There are two things that are sad finding for me from this match. We were not good enough physically and we lacked commitment. Our defense was terrible," Sparta coach Stanislav Griga said.

Slavia: M. Kozacik - M. Krajcik, M. Latka, M. Suchy, M. Zboncak - C. Victorino (36. M. Svec), L. Jarolim (79. K. Kratochvil), T. Hrdlicka, D. Svento - S. Vlcek, P. Fort (84. T. Pesir)

Sparta: J. Blazek - Z. Pospech, A. Petrous, P. Lukas, M. Kadlec (66. J. Simak) - K. Kisel, M. Petras, L. Zelenka, T. Polacek (46. P. Pergl) - L. Dosek, M. Matusovic

Goals: 31. D. Svento, 61. M. Latka, 63. S. Vlcek, 67. M. Krajcik - M. Matusovic



Fiorentina 4 - 1 Parma

Great performance by Fiorentina who defeated Parma 4-1 at the Franchi. Toni was the key-player with a wonderful hat-trick and a great goal by Stefano Fiore.

Goals: 3’ and 24’fh, 14’sh Toni, 36’fh Fiore, 20’sh Grella


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Juventus 8 24
2. Milan 8 19
4. Inter 8 18
4. Fiorentina 8 16
5. Chievo 8 14



PSV 1 - 0 Ajax

PSV have finished a hectic week, during which three tough fixtures in eight days’ time were scheduled, in style. The Eindhoven outfit clinched a narrow 1-0 win over rivals Ajax in a domestic league game in the Eindhoven Philips Stadium on Sunday afternoon, by which the ruling Dutch champions have achieved three great results this week.

PSV have now taken an eight-point lead over Ajax in the Eredivisie table. A sell-out crowd saw Ajax create only one first half chance, although they dominated the greater part of the first period and moved men forward. Ryan Babel suddenly popped up in the box, but during the one-on-one attacker versus goalkeeper Gomes situation, he fired over the goal. PSV slowed down the pace of the game and hoped be successful with counter attacks, started by, among other players, Arouna Koné and Jefferson Farfán. PSV took the lead on ten minutes. Referee Vink awarded PSV a penalty, when Urby Emanuelson committed a foul on Farfán in the area. Timmy Simons coolly converted from the spot; 1-0. The Belgian took his season’s tally to two goals. Ibrahim Afellay threatened during the closing stages of the first half by firing two shot straight at Ajax keeper Maarten Stekelenburg. Referee Vink took the names of the PSV defenders Michael Reiziger and Alex in the first half.

Ibrahim Afellay
The game developed into a kind of stalemate after the break. Ajax tried to create an opening, but were unable to do so. PSV were well organized and the Ajax forwards could not breach the solid wall of PSV defenders. Steven Pienaar should have been red carded for kicking Ibrahim Afellay, when the young PSV midfielder was down on the ground. It was a gross foul and can undoubtedly be named for the most unsporting behaviour of the week award. Soon afterwards Afellay cleared the ball of the line from a Nigel de Jong effort. Afellay was the victim of another foul and this time Wesley Sneijder was cautioned by the referee. Sneijder also produced a dive in the box defended by Gomes, but the referee rightly waved play on.

Arouna Koné
PSV did not earn any more chances until the final stages. There was a goalmouth scrimmage in front of Stekelenburg, but the ball did not fall to a PSV player. Arouna Koné then had a golden opportunity to wrap things up. The Ivory Coast striker was superbly set up by substitute DaMarcus Beasley, but he missed, with the goal at his mercy. The home crowd started to their feet not much later, when Koné started a fine solo run, but he was thwarted at the very last moment. Ajax could not score the equalizer, so that PSV finished a hectic week in style. They secured maximum spoils by beating two of their nearest rivals on the road to winning the Dutch title.

Goal: 10´ Simons


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. PSV 9 22
2. Feyenoord 9 21
3. AZ 9 21
4. Waalwijk 9 18
5. Ajax 9 14



Dortmund 1 - 1 Hamburg

HSV drew 1-1 away to Borussia Dortmund, in round 10 of the Bundesliga on Sunday evening (23.10.05), in front of 75,100 in the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund. After a goalless first half, the game got going after the break. Dortmund defender Christoph Metzelder scored only his second ever goal for the home side on 58 minutes. Raphael van der Vaart’s replacement Piotr Trochowski justified his selection by grabbing the HSV equaliser on 74 minutes with a fine shot from the edge of the penalty area.

All change
Following his side's 3-3 draw away to Kaiserslautern in round 9, the Dortmund coach Bert van Marwijk decided on two changes fort he visit of HSV to the Westfalenstadion in round 10. Seventeen year old shooting star Sahin replaced Brenzka, and South African striker Buckley was preferred to Ricken. HSV’s coach Thomas Doll was allowed to sit in the dug out again after being banned from the bench in Sofia, where his side won 1-0 on Thursday. Doll was without his Dutch master van der Vaart and Ivory Coast defender Demel, both are serving lengthy bans. Klingbeil played for Demel, while Trochowski pulled the strings behind the strikers.

Cautious start
The huge crowd in Dortmund saw both sides make a cautios start to the game. An 8th minute free kick by Rosicky was the first effort on goal. The Czech Republic midfielder missed the target. Both sides got bogged down in midfield and the telling pass to the strikers was often missing. The home side tried to bring their lightning quick winger Odonkor into play down the right, and when he had the ball he was often dangerous. On 31 minutes David Jarolim fed Emile Mpenza inside the Dortmund area. The Belgian striker however, could only blast the ball into the side netting. Trochowski produced a sweet pass to Barbarez near the half way line. The Bosnian pushed the ball into the path of the advancing Klingbeil, who entered the Dortmund area and blasting a shot across the face of goal. The game was goalless at the break.

Metzelder opens scoring
Five minutes after the break, Jarolim played a long searching ball into the Dortmund box, where the home keeper Weidenfeller could parry the ball away. Beinlich went close following the resulting corner. Borussia bagan to come into the game more and scored an opening goal out of the blue on 58 minutes. Kehl robbed Barbarez in midfield before sending Odonkor on his way down the right. His pinpoint cross to the far post was met by the head of the German international midfielder Christoph Metzelder, who scored only his second ever goal for Dortmund in 82 appearances.

Troche on the score sheet!
HSV seemed rattled by that unexpected goal and were lucky not to go further behind and Khalid Boulahrouz hit his own post with his defensive team mates at sixes and sevens. After 70 minutes, Thomas Doll brought on some new fire power with Mahdavikia and Lauth, and they started causing the home side problems right away. Four minutes HSV deservedly drew level as Mahdavikia got possession some 25 metres out from goal. The Iranian winger passed to Trochowski on the edge of the Dortmund area, from where he unleashed a crisp shot which nestled into the bottom right hand corner of Weidenfeller’s net with the home keeper groping at air.

End to end stuff
Both sides tried everything to score a winner and Lauth and Barbarez both had good chances for the visitors. Rosicky missed a late chance for Dortmund. The game stayed at 1-1 and HSV can look back on a job well done. They are still unbeaten away in the Bundesliga.

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Kringe, Wörns, Metzelder, Dede - Kehl - Sahin (71.Kruska), Odonkor, Buckley (57.Ricken), Rosicky - Smolarek

HSV: Wächter - Klingbeil, Boulahrouz, van Buyten, Atouba - Wicky (70.Mahdavikia), Jarolim, Beinlich, Trochowski - Barbarez, Mpenza (70.Lauth)

Goals: 1:0 Metzelder (58.), 1:1 Trochowski (74.),



Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Bayern Munchen 10 25
2. Bremen 10 23
3. Hamburg 10 21
4. Schalke 10 18
5. Monchengladbach 10 18

Thursday, October 20, 2005 

Fenerbahce 3 - 3 Schalke 04 (CL)

A frustrating yet thrilling match under the ever pouring rain ended 3-3 with a manic second half, as Schalke 04 equalised to Fabio Luciano’s header then took the lead after a spell of pressure. Marcio Nobre then put us back on level terms, before a nightmare scenario occurred for Volkan Demirel, as he rushed out of his goal and missed the ball, letting in Kevin Kuranyi to score probably the easiest goal of his career. Stephen Appiah however scored a much more complex goal, launching a sensational dipping shot from outside the area for the sixth goal of the match.

The weather conditions never eased throughout the night and softened an already cut-up pitch. Both sides were aware of the danger though, attempting to block any long shot that would be trick on the goalkeepers. Volkan became an unfortunate victim of a combination of bad timing and slipperiness in the second half.

The visitors were certainly the more attacking side at the start of the game and didn’t allow us to build up play and enter their final third. A dead ball situation was our chance to make our presence known. Alex de Souza made sure a good chance was created, whipping in a great ball from the right for Luciano to head in at the front post in the 18th minute.

Nobre was a second behind the ball when Nicolas Anelka squared it to him in the box in a quick attack capitalising on a loss of possession by Schalke. The Brazilian swung his left foot but he could only manage to clip the ball and a chance to double the lead was waved goodbye.

Schalke eventually shook off the goal and began driving through our midfield. Marco Aurelio picked up a booking which summed up the pressure our team was under. Önder Turacý was frequently called upon to make last ditch challenges, as did the goalscorer Luciano, blocking Ebbe Sand in what was a sure goal at the half-hour mark.

Christian Poulsen’s header onto one of many corners called for a good Volkan save, who was nearly facing the threat of Rafinha, as he skipped past our defenders and struck a shot that hit the side netting in the 23rd minute.

Nobre had an even better chance than his previous one to give us a second goal, when Alex coolly played him in for a one-on-one situation with Frank Rost, but our man hit straight into the oncoming Rost to the surprise of our fans.

Aurelio forced a corner at the start of the second half with a low drive, but Schalke continued their pressure from the first half and had our players chasing, until the expected equaliser came in the 59th minute through Lincoln. The midfielder managed to scrap the ball amongst two of our players, fitting a left foot shot on the end of it to beat Volkan. Three minutes later he added another, this time hitting Soren Larsen’s pass into the bottom right hand corner.

A change had to be made by Christoph Daum, who called for Tuncay Þanlý to put on his shirt and enter the game. He certainly added some energy to our play, and it was his header back into the area after a cleared corner which Nobre did excellently to jump and head over Rost to make it 2-2.

Such a dramatic game unfortunately included a howler, which Volkan performed, presenting Kuranyi with a free goal for the Germans to take the lead again.

Stephen Appiah, who shrugged off a touch of concussion minutes earlier, managed to sweetly launch a great shot two minutes later, which had enough pace and height to go over Rost and dip back into the net.

The rain continued, but the storm of goals ended with Appiah’s product. The worst news from the night however, was Alex’s sending off minutes from the final whistle, as he picked up his second booking, made easier by Levan Kobiashvili’s theatrics. Alex will miss the reverse of this fixture, sure to be even tougher than tonight’s.

Goals: Fabio 14´(1-0), Lincoln 59´(1-1); Lincoln 62´(1-2), Marcio 73´(2-2), 77´ Kunaryi (2-3), Appiah 79´(3-3)



AC Milan 0 - 0 PSV (CL)

AC Milan were denied three points as determined PSV Eindhoven held them to a goalless draw in their UEFA Champions League Group E tie at the San Siro.

Great goalkeeping
The visitors endured a ferocious onslaught from last season's runners-up as the Rossoneri monopolised possession throughout. But despite creating a string of half-chances, Milan were unable to find a way past PSV goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Gilardino dropped
True to his word, Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti stuck with his new rotation policy, making five changes to the side that won on Sunday against Cagliari Calcio. Alberto Gilardino was dropped for Christian Vieri up front, while Filippo Inzaghi – just back from a five-month lay-off – began the night on the bench.

Farfán fit
PSV coach Guus Hiddink, meanwhile, breathed easier with the news that Jefferson Farfán passed a late fitness test. The Peruvian was paired opposite DaMarcus Beasley in the channels, with Robert spearheading the Dutch team's three-man attack.

Vieri chance
An eager-to-impress Vieri, still searching for his first goal in Rossoneri colours, nearly got on the scoresheet after just 120 seconds. The former FC Internazionale Milano marksman raced on to a Clarence Seedorf pass only to send his half-volley blazing over the crossbar.

Ooijer experience
In the opening period, PSV's striking options were stifled as they found themselves unable to release their lightning-quick forwards into space. But at the other end, the PSV back line did well to keep out Milan, exemplified by André Ooijer's ability to read the runs of Milan's front men.

Playmaker Pirlo
With the hosts controlling play, an opening goal seemed close at hand and Andriy Shevchenko should have done better when Andrea Pirlo set him up with a raking long pass. But the Ukrainian turned the wrong way after trapping the ball and his subsequent shot was directed almost straight at Gomes.

Double save
Milan ended the half with several more chances as a galloping Kaká tested Gomes with a powerful blast that forced the Brazilian into a double save. Then Pirlo dribbled his way into space and unloaded a right-footed effort that dipped just over the crossbar.

Inzaghi returns
No sooner had the second half started than Milan went into overdrive looking to break the deadlock. Straight from the kick-off, Seedorf drove a low ball at Gomes which the goalkeeper nearly spilled. Next, with Shevchenko clearly in discomfort, Ancelotti brought on Inzaghi in his place.

Kaladze cracker
The return of 'Pippo', who had already earned the lion's share of applause when introduced before kick-off, energised the locals. Team-mate Kakha Kaladze heeded the call to pour forward and fired a bullet at Gomes to herald a 20-minute spell that saw the PSV goal under siege.

Gomes grace
Clearly not pleased with his earlier efforts, Seedorf again was the protagonist as he found room on the right and let fly a deflected shot which Gomes blocked. It was an impressive one-man display of grace under fire as the Brazilian fended off wave after wave of Milan incursions into his area.

Tactical switch
In order to stop the continuous barrage, Hiddink replaced Robert with Ismaïl Aisatti to break up the tempo. The coach seemed content to emerge with a well-deserved point and stay close to Milan at the top of the group - and despite four minutes of added time, his disciplined team held firm.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005 

Villarreal 1 - 1 Benfica (CL)

Despite scoring their first-ever UEFA Champions League goal, Villarreal CF were unable to earn their inaugural victory in the competition as Portuguese visitors SL Benfica battled back to snatch a 1-1 draw.

Nereu excellence
After their first two Group D encounters finished all square, Juan Román Riquelme's 72nd-minute penalty seemed to have earned the Spanish side three valuable points. However, an extraordinary long-range volley from Manuel Fernandes five minutes later restored parity, with Benfica's substitute goalkeeper, 19-year-old Rui Nereu, producing a brilliant debut display to help the away team to a draw.

Midfield reshuffle
The game began cautiously with no player able to take control in the opening exchanges. Villarreal had to start without both first-choice central midfielders, as with Marcos Senna already out with muscle problems, Josico's achilles injury consigned him to the bench.

Riquelme invention
Villarreal's key player Riquelme did feature, and although he struggled to find his rhythm in the first 45 minutes – a legacy of missed matches caused by recurring injury problems – much of the home threat nevertheless originated from the Argentina playmaker. However, it was Josico's replacement, Santiago Cazorla, who very nearly registered his club's first UEFA Champions League goal, latching on to Riquelme's probing pass after a fortunate break and skimming a left-foot shot narrowly wide.

Quim replaced
Benfica goalkeeper Quim was a helpless onlooker on that occasion, which proved to be his last action of the match. Already without No1 José Moreira, coach Ronald Koeman had to watch Quim limp off in the 29th minute having earlier undergone lengthy treatment to a groin strain, and Nereu, the Eagles' reserve-team keeper, came on for his full debut.

Right-wing danger
The Portuguese outfit enjoyed better fortune in the opposition half, particularly down the right. Cape Verde full-back Nélson galloped up and down the touchline with increasing regularity, and found willing partners in both Geovanni and Nuno Gomes. One such combination allowed Geovanni to cross for Simão, but Cazorla intervened to make an exceptional interception with the Benfica captain set for a header on goal.

Sorín solution
From the corner Manuel Fernandes tested Sebastián Viera's reflexes, but as the first half ended it was the Spanish side who were on top. Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini's half-time solution to the threat down the visitors' right was to move Argentinian international Juan Pablo Sorín to left-back in place of Rodolfo Arruabarrena and introduce Josico in midfield. The switch nearly brought immediate reward, Riquelme playing in José María Romero for an elegant right-footed chip that floated a centimetre or two past Nereu's far post.

Nereu composure
Minutes later Jan Kromkamp's deep right-wing cross was expertly controlled on his chest by Sorín, who advanced on goal only for Nereu to dive and smother the danger with poise and confidence. The teenager did even better just past the hour when Riquelme's wonderfully disguised reverse pass left Cazorla clear, Nereu producing an instinctive stop to turn the ball over the crossbar.

Rapid response
The Benfica No43 then blocked Diego Forlán's vicious shot, but was unable to keep out Riquelme's set-piece 18 minutes from time after Sorín had been fouled by Ricardo Rocha. The celebrations had barely subsided when the visitors responded, however. Villarreal failed to clear and Manuel Fernandes's dipping effort from 35 metres caught Viera off his line to give Benfica a point Nereu's display had more than merited.

Goals: Riquelme 72´P (1-0), Manuel Fernandes 77´(1-1)


Monday, October 17, 2005 

FC Porto 0 - 2 SL Benfica

Benfica ended a 14-year wait to win at Porto thanks to two goals from Nuno Gomes. The striker scored his first after 56 minutes, heading home Nélson's cross. Then, after Ricardo Costa failed to clear a Geovanni centre, the Portuguese international had no trouble making it 2-0. The result was all the more impressive as it was achieved after Fabrizio Miccoli's 14th-minute withdrawal with a thigh injury. The Italian joined the watching José Moreira (right knee) and João Pereira (right thigh) on the sidelines.

Both teams finished a game rich in tactics but poor in goalscoring opportunities with ten men. After Porto's Bruno Alves was dismissed in the 81st minute following a clash with Nuno Gomes, Benfica defender Léo saw his second yellow card of the night five minutes from time.

Koeman, whose opposite number was another Dutch coach in Co Adriaanse, said: "The most important thing is that Benfica won. It was not a victory for Koeman against Adriaanse. I am very happy and I think we deserved it. Things were not easy for us in the first half but we improved a lot in the second. All the players were outstanding. This will boost our morale for the Champions League, but now is the time to enjoy a great victory."

FC PORTO: Vítor Baía, Bosingwa, Ricardo Costa, Bruno Alves (81', EXPULSO), César Peixoto, Lucho Gonzalez (64', Quaresma), Ibson, Alan (69', Hugo Almeida), Jorginho, Lisandro Lopez (24', Diego) e McCarthy.

BENFICA: Quim, Nélson, Luisão, Anderson, Léo (85', EXPULSO), Petit, Karagounis (54', Karyaka), Manuel Fernandes, Simão, Miccoli (13', Geovanni, 88', Ricardo Rocha) e Nuno Gomes.

Goals: 56', Nuno Gomes; 63', Nuno Gomes


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Braga 7 17
2. Nacional 7 15
3. Porto 7 14
4. Benfica 7 13
5. Setúbal 7 13


Friday, October 14, 2005 

Hamburg SV - Wolfsburg (Derby United Preview)

As the dust settles on recent World Cup qualifiers and friendlies, the Bundesliga takes centre stage again as round nine looms on Saturday (15.10.05, kick off 3.30 pm). Second placed HSV brimming with confidence after a 19 game unbeaten run, entertains seventh placed VfL Wolfsburg in the AOL Arena. The clash promises to be one of the most entertaining of the round, and the fans from both clubs can't wait for the action to start!

Van Buyten doubtful
The HSV skipper Daniel van Buyten could miss the game on Saturday. The giant Belgian defender is struggling with an adductor strain. Should he miss the game, there could be a rare first team appearance for René Klingbeil. Apart from that single doubt, the HSV coach Thomas Doll can pick from a full strength side, after his internationals returned home unscathed-

Belgian returns
The visiting side under coach Holger Fach will be hoping to end their dismal record in the AOL Arena. They lost all three of their last visits there. Fach will be able to pick his Belgian defender Peter van der Heyden again, after the player with 17 international caps to his name was sidelined for months through injury. In-form striker Mike Hanke is expected to partner Diego Klimowicz up front. Georgian international midfielder Levan Tskitishvili is not expected to make the starting line-up in Hamburg.

HSV could go top
A victory for the home side could put them top of the Bundesliga table should Bayern Munich ( one point ahead of HSV) lose their tough away match at Schalke. A victory for the Wolves could move them into 5th place in the Bundesliga table should other results go their way. The Wolves lost 0-2 away to Bayern in round 8, it was their first defeat in four matches. They will be determined to return to winning ways in the AOL Arena on Saturday.

Dutch danger
Rafael van der Vaart is the player in form at the moment. The youg Dutch midfielder is proving to be a handful for all Bundesliga defences, and it will be interesting to see how Wolfsburg try to contain the considerable threat that he poses.

HSV: 1 Wächter - 20 Demel, 21 Boulahrouz, 5 van Buyten, 3 Atouba - 6 Wicky - 14 Jarolim, 22 Beinlich - 23 van der Vaart - 11 Lauth, 10 Barbarez

Reserves: 12 Kirschstein (Gk), 7 Mahdavikia, 8 Karl, 13 Fillinger, 15 Trochowski, 16 Klingbeil, 17 Ziebig, 19 Kucukovic, 24 Ziegler, 25 Mpenza, 27 Laas, 31 Takyi, 32 Takahara

Missing: 4 B. Reinhardt 18 Hampel 28 Benjamin

VfL Wolfsburg: 1 Jentzsch - 19 Alex, 18 Quiroga, 29 Hofland, 22 Neziri - 6 Thiam - 27 Karhan, 3 van der Heyden - 10 d'Alessandro - 11 Hanke, 9 Klimowicz

Reserves: 30 Lenz (Gk), 4 Langkamp, 5 Schnoor, 7 Abuda, 15 Makiadi, 20 Hrgovic, 21 Marlet, 31 Sarpei, 33 Franz, 36 Menseguez

Missing: 8 Hristov 17 Tskitishvili 26 Fischer 32 Lamprecht 40 Platins


Friday, October 07, 2005 

Rafael van der Vaart profile

Eyebrows were raised when Rafael van der Vaart joined Hamburger SV in May. Why would such a young, prodigious talent agree to a move to the Bundesliga, a league the Dutch perceive to be built on strength, stamina and running?

Hamburg's gain
Surely his attacking flair would be better suited to southern Europe. After all, the attacking midfielder had often claimed FC Barcelona as his favourite club, and his mother is Spanish. Italy or England, maybe, but Germany? Van der Vaart’s decision to leave AFC Ajax, however, had not come as a surprise. The 22-year-old's career had come to a standstill. His form had dipped and he had announced he would not extend his contract beyond June 2006. Ajax's loss has been Hamburg's gain.

Hamburg spark
Van der Vaart has been outstanding for HSV, inspiring his new side through the UEFA Intertoto Cup and into the UEFA Cup Group Stage. He is the spark that sets Hamburg’s attack alight, and has already scored ten times. A week ago his early strike helped inflict a first defeat on FC Bayern Műnchen, on Thursday his late penalty knocked FC København out of the UEFA Cup, on Saturday he scored two more as Hamburg defeated Kaiserslautern to stay within a point of leaders Bayern. Van der Vaart has put the dark days at Ajax behind him, the upward trajectory of his early career has been resumed.

'Something special'
Van der Vaart was born on 11 February 1983 in Heemskerk. His father is Dutch, his mother Spanish. The family lived in a trailer-park. By the age of four he was already playing football. "From the moment Rafael was able to walk, we were busy together with the ball. When he was about four, he did things with a ball that made me think, 'Hey, that boy really has something special'," his father later said.

Sudden rise
At the age of ten Van der Vaart was recruited by the Ajax youth set-up. He was the club's most exciting prospect and made his first-team debut soon after turning 17 on 19 April 2000. He stepped up to the international side just eight months after that. Van der Vaart suffered his first set-back in February 2002 when he badly injured his right knee, but his 14 goals had already helped Ajax to the title.

Top form
Van der Vaart was back in top form the following season, but with expectations so high, the Ajax captain was vulnerable to criticism, particularly over a perceived defensive vulnerability. His high-profile relationship with Dutch actress Sylvie Meis became a source of ammunition for opposition supporters and when in December 2004 he lost the captaincy after a conflict with coach Ronald Koeman, it was time to move on.

Title contenders
Released from the Ajax pressure cooker he has thrived at the Hamburg Arena where his attacking instincts are catered to the full. He plays in his preferred position behind the front two, with Rafael Wicky providing defensive cover. He is considered Hamburg’s best signing since Kevin Keegan, helping turn the sleeping giants from under-achievers into serious title contenders.

Coach Thomas Doll's €5.1m signing looks to be the steal of the year. "Doll is one of the reasons I decided Hamburg was the right team to join," Van der Vaart says. "He shared his visions with me and made me feel at home immediately. Trust is always important for a player and the coach put his trust in me." Persistence goes a long way too. "I pestered him until he agreed to join us," HSV sporting director Dietmar Beiersdorfer said.

Responsibility shared
It is not only the goals and smooth passing that have adhered the Dutchman to his German following, but also his down-to-earth attitude and willingness to take responsibility. In recent years Sergej Barbarez has carried the side, but with Van der Vaart alongside him the load is lifted. Ultimately, though, the Dutch may benefit most from Van der Vaart's German renaissance.

'Feeling terrific'
Should the Netherlands avoid defeat against the Czech Republic on Saturday, the rest of the Dutch squad could be joining Van der Vaart in Germany this summer. First though, he must convince coach Marco van Basten he deserves a place back in the side. "I am feeling terrific," he said on his arrival at the Dutch training camp. "I'm in good form, and always feel at home in the Dutch squad. I have to show it in training. I have come here to get a place in the team."

World Cup goal
The Dutch 4-3-3 formation means Van der Vaart has to adapt to a place on the left wing for the Netherlands, and with Philip Cocu suspended he is likely to win his 33rd cap. If he can reproduce in Prague the excellent form he is showing for Hamburg, a place in the World Cup squad should follow. It appears Hamburg was the right move for Van der Vaart after all.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005 

Fiorentina 3 - 2 Livorno

Fiorentina defeated Livorno 3-2 at the end of a match dominated by the Viola but which risked to be compromised in the last 10 minutes thanks to to goals by the Labronici. Under a heavy rain, which at times transformed itself in a rainstorm, the match heated up with the expulsion of Lucarelli after just 15 minutes, following protests. Toni put the Viola ahead with a header in the 26th minute and Jorgensen doubled the score in the 34th minute. The 3-0 was scored by Pazzini in the 15th minute of the second half, but Livorno re-opened the game with a goal by Galante in the 41st minute and a goal by Morrone a minute later. Fiorentina controlled the final minutes without any further risks.

Fiorentina: Frey, Ujfalusi , Di Loreto, Gamberini, Pasqual, Fiore, Donadel, Brocchi (35’sh Pazienza) , Jorgensen (26’sh Pancaro), Pazzini, Toni (22’sh Bojinov).

Livorno: Amelia, Grandoni , Vargas, Galante, Cesar Prates, Coco, Ruotolo (11’sh Lazetic), De Ascentis, Morrone, C. Lucarelli, Palladino (22’sh Bakayoko).

Goals: 26’fh Toni, 34’fh Jorgensen, 15’sh Pazzini, 41’sh Galante, 42’sh Morrone


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Juventus 6 18
2. Milan 6 13
3. Fiorentina 6 13
4. Sampdoria 6 12
5. Inter 6 12



Kaiserslautern 0 - 3 Hamburg SV

HSV convincingly beat Kaiserslautern 3-0 in the Betzenberg stadium on Sunday evening, to move back into second place in the Bundesliga table. A crowd of 34,775 saw the man of the match Rafael van der Vaart give the visitors the lead on 36 minutes. Sergej Barbarez made it 2-0 five minutes into the second half. Eight minutes from time, it was again van der Vaart who crowned a superb HSV display by scoring his side’s third goal with a superb long distance effort.

Trio still out
HSV coach Thomas Doll was without Bastian Reinhardt, Mehdi Mahdavikia and Collin Benjamin for the trip to Kaiserslautern. His Lautern counterpart Michael Henke was without his veteran midfielder Ciriaco Sforza. Henke changed his system in the hope of putting to an end a dismal run which has seen his side fail to win in their last four games.

Cruise control
HSV showed who is boss from the first minute on. They played attractive combination football and created the first chances of what was to be a one sided match. The best early chance came on 18 minutes, and fell to Bosnian striker Barbarez, who headed a Wicky cross towards goal. The striker could only watch as Riedl cleared off the line. Seven minutes later, Barbarez connected with a fine ball from van der Vaart. This time his curling sho´t was well saved by the Lautern keeper Macho.

Lautern had no chance
Lautern never saw the light of day and so it was only a matter of time before HSV took the lead. On 36 minutes, Takahara missed a sitter. HSV was not daunted and a fine move involving Thimothee Atouba, Barbarez and van der Vaart, saw the latter let fly from the edge of the area with his weaker right foot to give HSV a long overdue lead. HSV should have scored again before the break, but David Jarolim (following a fine solo run) was foiled by Macho.

Barbarez and van der Vaart on target
After the break the frustrated home crowd saw a dominant visiting side. On 50 minutes, the 10,000 or so travelling HSV fans went into raptures of joy as Boulahrouz won possession in his own half, from where he passed to his compatriot van der Vaart. His dream pass into the path of the advancing Barbarez was superbly finished off by the Bosnian, leaving macho no chance with a well struck low shot into the bottom corner. On 65 minutes, Lautern was down to ten men as Blank was sent off for a foul on van der Vaart. He had already been booked earlier in the match.

Missed chances
HSV had more room to operate from that moment onwards and there followed further chances to increase their lead, as Takahara (69.), Reto Ziegler (87.) and Barbarez (90.) all went close. On 82 minutes however, van der Vaart put the icing on the cake of a fine performance by HSV as he scored his fifth goal of the season from distance, to leave the home side wondering whether or not they will remain in the top flight after this season.

Kaiserslautern: Macho - Lembi (46.Skela), Hertzsch, Pletsch, Blank - Bellinghausen, Engelhardt, Reuter, Riedel - Jancker (64.Göktan), Altintop

HSV: Wächter - Demel (85.Ziegler), Boulahrouz, van Buyten, Atouba - Wicky (65.Trochowski), Beinlich, Jarolim, van der Vaart - Barbarez, Takahara (74.Mpenza)

Goals: 0:1 van der Vaart (36.), 0:2 Barbarez (50.), 0:3 van der Vaart (82.)


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Bayern Munchen 8 21
2. Hamburg 8 20
3. Bremen 8 19
4. Schalke 8 16
5. Heartha 8 14



Benfica 2 - 1 V. Guimarães

Benfica – Moreira; Nélson, Luisão, Ricardo Rocha (35’ Anderson) e Léo; Petit, Manuel Fernandes; Simão (cap.), Geovanni (65’ Karagounis); Miccoli (84’ Mantorras) e Nuno Gomes.

V. Guimarães – Paiva; Mário Sérgio, Medeiros (cap.), Hélder Cabral e Svard; Dragoner, Neca (60’ Pintasilgo), Targino (64’ Dário), Moreno; Benachour e Saganowski.

Goals: Miccoli 20’ (1-0), Targino 33’ (1-1); Simão 68’ (1-2)


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Porto 6 14
2. Nacional 6 14
3. Sporting 6 12
4. Braga 5 11
5. Benfica 6 10



SC Heerenveen 2 - 3 PSV

Arouna Koné gave PSV a 3-2 win over sc Heerenveen. As PSV enjoyed a victory themselves and some rivals drooped points, the team coached by Guus Hiddink moved up to the third place in the table.

Phillip Cocu
Captain Phillip Cocu and Arouna Koné were inspirational for PSV in the Abe Lenstra Stadion. The captain led the example and was involved in the start of all the three moves that were finished coolly by Koné. The African, who effortlessly rounded his markers and proved to be a clinical finisher, was a constant handful. The gap between leaders AZ and Feyenoord is now only two points. The Alkmaar outfit will travel to Eindhoven in two weeks to meet PSV in a top clash in the Philips Stadium.

Koné finished clinically
Bruggink wasted another chance to put Heerenveen on top after the break, but then Koné made his mark as a clinical finisher and soon guided PSV to a two-goal lead. Farfán won the ball on his own end and found Cocu, who produced a long ball. Koné outwitted two defenders before he mercilessly hammered home; 1-2. Ten minutes later Cocu headed the ball on and Koné again turned and rounded some defenders before coolly slotting home. Heerenveen keeper Waterman did not stand a chance; 1-3. Heerenveen reduced the deficit in the final stages when defender Seip cleverly kept possession and substitute Tarvajärvi prodded home the rebound from close range. The hosts had eight minutes left to salvage one point, but PSV held out.

Goal: 16 Bosvelt (1-0); 36 Koné (1-1); 56 Koné (1-2); 69 Koné (1-3); 82 Tarvajärvi (2-3)


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. AZ 7 18
2. Feyenoord 7 18
3. PSV 7 16
4. Waalwijk 7 15
5. Ajax 7 13


Sunday, October 02, 2005 

FU on the green - Estádio da Tapadinha (Atlético Clube de Portugal)

Atlético 2-1 Alcochetense (Portuguese III Division)

Estádio da Tapadinha




Milan 2-1 Reggina

Two first-half goals from Paolo Maldini were enough to give Milan all three points against Reggina who scored a late consolation goal through Simone Cavalli. Overall, it was a comfortable win for the Rossoneri, with the captain scoring the first after just five minutes as he dribbled into the area before firing a low drive into the corner of the net. The second game on 20 minutes when the defender rose in the area to head home a Rui Costa header. Christain Vieri came close to extending the lead in the second half before the visitors netted a consolation goal with the last kick of the game.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti made a number of changes from the side that drew 2-2 at Schalke 04 in midweek, with Jaap Stam and Serginho starting in the full-back roles. Johann Vogel replaced Andrea Pirlo in the centre of midfield while Rui Costa was given the advanced role behind strikers Andriy Shevchenko and Vieri. It was certainly a day to remember for Maldini has he rolled back the years with a neat nutmeg just inside the left-hand side of the penalty and hitting home for the opener. Shevchenko then went close with a fierce drive as Milan looked to kill off the game early on. It was Maldini who answered Ancelotti call to end this ohase of the season before the international break on a high as the 37 year old out-jumped the defence to head in for his first brace of his career. Vieri then ran through on Rui Costa’s excellent pass but put his shot wide of goalkeeper Nicola Pavarini and the post. Reggina almost pulled a goal back before the break but Simone Cavalli headed over from a promising position.

Milan continued to enjoy more of the possession in the second half and Vogel hit a powerful shot wide whiel Vieri floated a cross-shot to the back post which Pavarini was forced to push away for a corner. Rui Costa was once again on hand to provide a prefect pass but despite controlling the ball well on the edge of the area, Bobo curled his effort just over the bar. Kakà came on for Shevchenko but it was Seedorf who produced an amazing moment of magic when the midfielder acrobatically twisted in mid-air to crash a bicycle-kick just past the frame of the goal. With four minutes to go, Rui Costa saw a shot deflect off a defender and against the bar and then another delightful move ended with Vieri’s backheel almost letting Kakà in but the goalkeeper reacted quickly and Stam could not keep his follow-up shot down. Some slack tackling along the right flank saw the ball played over the top of the home defence and Cavalli slid his shot into the roof of the net but that could not take the shine off the victory or Maldini’s double strike.

MILAN: Dida; Stam, Nesta, Maldini, Serginho; Gattuso, Vogel, Seedorf; Rui Costa; Shevchenko (Kaka, 74'), Vieri

REGGINA: Pavarini; Carobbio (Missiroli, 81'), De Rosa, Franceschini, Lanzaro (A Lucarelli, 81'); Mesto, Paredes (Cavalli, 12'), Tedesco, Modesto; Vigiani; Cozza

GOALS: 1-0, Maldini (5'); 2-0, Maldini (20'); 2-1, Cavalli (94')


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Juventus 6 18
2. Milan 6 13
3. Fiorentina 6 13
4. Sampdoria 6 12
5. Inter 6 12



Livingston 0-5 Celtic

CELTIC turned on the style at Almondvale today and produced a five goal, five star showing that simply overwhelmed Paul Lambert’s Livingston.
There were also five different names on the scoresheet today, with Gordon Strachan making just one change to the side which beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle last Saturday and resting top goalscorer John Hartson.

This fact alone made the scoreline all the more remarkable and perhaps particularly satisfying for the Celtic manager, given that his side will now go into a 14-day break enforced by the forthcoming series of international fixtures.
Strachan had stressed in his prematch comments the importance of going into this break with a win and with this in mind his team got out the blocks fast, with Shaun Maloney teeing up Shunsuke Nakamura who swung a vicious left foot shot at goal that was punched away by Roddy McKenzie for a corner.

In the following half hour Celtic came close to opening the scoring on no fewer than five occasions with Beattie, Sutton, Telfer, Nakamura and Petrov troubling the Livingston goalkeeper.
Given this sustained pressure and the fact that the home side seemed unable to maintain the little possession they were given, it seemed only a matter of time before Celtic took the lead and this goal was to come from an unlikely source.
It was a Shaun Maloney corner to the near post that sparked the danger and Chris Sutton helped on the ball with a flick of his head. Just as McKenzie looked set to step out and claim the lay off Stephen McManus skipped in in front of the keeper and nodded the ball home for the opener.

There was a lull in play in the following ten minutes, but unlike in recent games where Celtic have been unable to add to their tally and have allowed teams back into the match, the team today showed a ruthless streak.
There were seconds left on the clock when Mo Camara fed a pass to Petrov who, breaking into the box, rolled the ball into the feet of Maloney. The player looked composed as he held off the covering defender and swivelled to unleash a low drive that fizzed into McKenzie’s bottom right hand corner and Celtic were able to go into the break with a two goal cushion.

Celtic restarted the second period much in the same vein as Maciej Zurawski took the tally to three. The goal actually followed a spell of pressure for Livingston, but Celtic worked their way out of the half and gradually began to show their quality.
Then, after some good play on the left by Maloney and Sutton, the Englishman found Camara with an inch perfect pass to the byline. The left back gave the ball to Beattie, who returned it to him and watched as the Guinean delivered an inch perfect ball to Zurawski, who rose above his man and nodded home.

With the three-goal cushion came a growing confidence and in the ensuing spell Celtic began to knock the ball about with authority and began to play some excellent football.
In turn, Livingston’s frustration began to mount and substitute Paul Tierney unceremoniously dumped Zurawski on his backside 20 yards from goal. The ensuing Maloney free-kick ricocheted off the wall and into the path of Sutton on the right, who waited for the bounce to settle and sent a sweet volley beyond McKenzie for the fourth.
This strike was the sickener for the home side and when they did succeed in pushing forward and winning a corner even the Livvy bugler failed to muster the enthusiasm to sound the cavalry charge that usually accompanies such set plays.

Craig Beattie’s tap in at the back post, from a Mo Camara cross, only rubbed salt in Livvy manager, Paul Lambert’s wounds and the left back’s part in this goal brought cries of ‘Super Mo Camara’ from the away support.
Livingston did come close with two deflected efforts during the closing 15 minute spell, but Celtic were the masters in this game from first minute to last.
This was by far and away the side’s best performance of the season so far and the challenge now is to continue this momentum after the international break, in their next game against league leaders Hearts.

LIVINGSTON: McKenzie; MacKay, Strong, Dorado, Dair; Walker (Vincze, 77'), Adams, Pereira (Tierney, 55'), Brittain; Dalglish (Snodgrass, 66'), Barrett.

CELTIC: Boruc; Telfer, Balde, McManus, Camara; Nakamura, Sutton, Petrov, Maloney; Zurawski (Hartson, 80'), Beattie (Agathe, 84').

GOALS: 0-1, McManus (36'); 0-2, Maloney (44'): 0-3, Zurawski (52'); 0-4, Sutton (62'); 0-5, Beattie (72')


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Hearts 8 24
2. Celtic 8 19
3. Hibernians 8 16
4. Kilmarnock 8 14
5. Rangers 8 13



Bayern München2-0 Wolfsburg

The home side was forced to make several changes to the side which beat Bruges 1-0 in the Champions League in midweek. Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn complained of a knee problem during his warm up before the game. Because his understudy Rensing is sidelined with a shoulder injury, 38 year old amateur keeper coach Bernd Dreher played his first Bundesliga game for four and a half years. Schweinsteiger replaced Lizarazu at left back, Karimi replaced Ballack and Santa Cruz and Jeremies replaced Guerrero and Demichelis respectively.

Wolfsburg’s coach Holger Fach also changed the line-up which beat Frankfurt at home in round 7. He gave Frenchman Steve Marlet his debut, who replaced Levan Tskitishvili in the side. Skipper Pablo Thiam was unable to play due to a thigh problem, his place in the side went to Hans Sarpei. Fach began his side’s first ever visit to the Allianz Arena with three strikers up front.

Dull start
The opening exchanges saw both sides cancelling each other out in midfield, whith neither side prepared to take any risks. Wolfsburg to their credit had not come to Munich just to make up the numbers, and although they tried to take the initiative early on, they rarely troubled the home defence. Bayern for their part made a cautious start to the match, pushing the ball around in a calm and collected way.

No goalmouth action
Chances were few and far between, so as Quiroga blocked a shot by Makaay who had latched onto a low pass by Santa Cruz, the crowd was wakened from its collective snooze for a moment. Up the other end of the pitch, Andres D’Alessandro curled in a corner from the right onto the head of Marlet, who put his effort wide of the angle of bar and post. Bayern was clearly missing the ideas of Ballack in midfield, and the many changes forced upon their coach Felix Magath were having an adverse effect on the game. The Bayern game just creaked along with little or no flowing play. Both defences were on their guard and neither allowed their opponent a clear opportunity during the first 45 minutes which ended goalless.

Wolves make better start
The Wolves began the better of the two sides in the second half, runnung at Bayern whenever they could, albeit to little or no effect. On 50 minutes, Magath brought on his veteran midfielder Mehmet Scholl for the disappointing Iranian Karimi. Scholl’s introduction failed to bring the change his coach had hoped it would and misplaced passes and loss of possession became the order of the day.

Marlet goes agonisingly close
Then out of nothing on 57 minutes, the Wolves almost took the lead. Alex crossed into the Bayern penalty area to Marlet who shook off both Lucio and Sagnol. The Frenchman however was left holding his head in his hands as he saw his effort hit the inside of a post, before trickling along the goal line to Sagnol who cleared the danger. The Wolves stood solid at the back, but it must be said that Bayern rarely threatened them.

A goal out of nothing
On 67 minutes, a set piece changed the direction of the game as Scholl curled in a corner from the left. Roque Santa Cruz rose above the Wolves defence to powerfully head his side in front. Quiroga and Schnoor came too late to stop him. Bayern did not make the mistake of sitting back on their slender lead, but continued to press forward, keeping the Wolves occupied, but without posing much danger. The Wolves for their part, found it increasingly difficult to get behind the home defence.

Lucio scores killer goal
In the first minute of injury time it was game over fort he Wolves. Brazilian defender Lucio began a move inside his own half and ran forward into the Wolfsburg area. Guerro played a one two with Lucio, and the latter rounded Simon Jentzsch in the Wolves goal before firing home a shot from an almost impossible angle to seal the game for Bayern.

BAYERN: Dreher; Sagnol, Lucio, Ismael, Schweinsteiger; Jeremies; Deisler, Zé Roberto; Karimi; Santa Cruz, Makaay.

WOLFSBURG: Jentzsch; Alex, Quiroga, Hofland, Neziri; Karhan, Sarpei; d'Alessandro; Hanke, Klimowicz, Marlet

GOALS: 1-0, Santa Cruz (67'); 2-0 Lucio (91')


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Bayern 8 21
2. Hamburg 8 20
3. Bremen 8 19
4. Schalke 8 16
5. Hertha 8 14
7. Wolfsburg 8 12


Saturday, October 01, 2005 

Wisla 0-1 Vit. Guimarães (Uefa Cup)

Having won 3-0 in Portugal two weeks ago, the visitors claimed the only goal in Krakow as Marek Saganowski marked his return to his native Poland with a strike eight minutes from time.

WISLA: Radoslaw Majdan; Marcin Baszczynski, Tomasz Klos, Arkadiusz Glowacki, Dariusz Dudka; Marek Penksa (Andre Barreto), Mauro Cantoro, Radoslaw Sobolewski; Marek Zienczuk, Pawel Brozek, Marcin Kuzba.

VITÓRIA: Paiva; Mario Sergio, Dragoner, Medeiros, Rogerio Matias; Svard, Moreno, Neca (Pintassilgo), Benachour; Targino (Rivas), Saganowski (Zezinho).

GOALS: 0-1, Saganowski



SC Braga 1-1 Crvena Zvezda (Uefa Cup)

Former European champions Crvena Zvezda went through in Portugal thanks to Milan Purović's tenth-minute away goal, a powerful shot into the top corner. Júnior headed in Rossato's free-kick five minutes later, but the Serbo-Montenegrin visitors prevailed.

KRC Genk 0-1 PFC Litex Lovech (agg: 2-3)Litex were held 2-2 at home in the first leg but in Belgium they claimed the only goal as Sandrinho turned in Robert Popov's pass on 56 minutes. Mirsad Bešlija hit the post from 30 metres out for Genk in the 82nd minute.

BRAGA: Santos; Abel (Rosato, 35'), Nunes, Nem, Luis; Madrid, Hugo Leal, Vandinho, Luis Felipe (Jaime, 56'); Davide, Maxi.

CRVENA ZVEZDA: Stojković; Basta, Dudić, Joksimović, Luković; Kovačević, Mladenović, Mudrinić (Milovanović, 37'), Janković (Miladinović, 88'); Purović (Djokaj, 57'), Žigić

GOALS: 0-1, Purović (10'); 1-1, Jaime (86')



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