Fri, Aug 15, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Celtic, Lazio and Chelsea seem to be in good shape


Chelsea's new team of millionaires showed some of their value on Wednesday, taking an easy 2-0 victory at Slovakia's Zilina in the third qualifying round, first leg of the Champion League.

Italy's Lazio won 3-1 at home over Portugal's Benfica, another of the top European sides trying to qualify for the continent's top club competition.

The second legs are played in two weeks with the regular phase of the Champions League beginning next month.

Celtic hammered Hungarian side MTK Budapest 4-0, putting the Scots all but through to the group stage. English side Newcastle picked up a narrow 1-0 victory at Serbia's Partizan Belgrade, with Spain's Deportivo drawing 0-0 at Norway's Rosenborg.

Chelsea took a 1-0 lead on Eidur Gudjohnsen's first-half goal, and made it 2-0 15 minutes from the end when Zilina's Michal Drahno scored an own-goal as he tried to defend against Gudjohnsen.

The game was the first competitive match for Chelsea as manager Claudio Ranieri tries to find a place for eight players purchased by new owner and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

Abramovich has been soccer's biggest spender over the summer, shelling out ?75 million (US$120 million) since buying the London club last month.

Lazio picked up goals from Sinisa Mihajlovic, Bernanrdo Corradi and Stefano Fiore with Simao scoring for the Portuguese.

Mihajlovic's goal came on a long-distance free kick in the 80th minute which will provide a cushion for the Italians entering the return leg in Lisbon.

At Donetsk, Ukraine, Serbian international midfielder Zvonimir Vukic converted a second-half penalty as Shakhtar Donetsk defeated Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0. Vukic scored in the 56th after Lokomotiv defender Oleg Pachinine brought down Shakhtar striker Olexiy Bielik.

Tuesday's matches

* Dynamo Kiev 3, Dinamo Zagreb 1

* Grazer AK 1, Ajax 1

* Celta de Vigo 3, Slavia Prague 0

At Istanbul, Turkey, Galatasaray defeated CSKA Sofia 3-0 raising Galatasaray's hopes of moving on. The Turks' three first-half goals came from Hasan Sas, Hakan Sukur and Arif Erdem.

At Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, Nolberto Solano scored the only goal as Newcaslte edged Partizan Belgrade 1-0. Solano scored six minutes before the break with Shay Given coming up with key stops for the Magpies.

At Skopje, Macedonia, Karel Poborsky scored twice as Czech champions Sparta Prague beat Vardar Skopje 3-2. Sparta took the lead on first-half goals from Poborsky and Igor Gluscevic. Brazilian striker Rogerio da Costa and Slavco Georgievski equalized in the second half. Poborsky got the 89th-minute winner.

At Budapest, Hungary, Swedish striker Henrik Larsson scored a goal and assisted on another as Celtic beat Hungarian champions MTK Budapest 4-0.

At Trondheim, Norway, Rosenborg held Spain's Deportivo to a scoreless draw to set up the key match in La Coruna.

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