Thu, Oct 19, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Big sides dominate Champions League


Wayne Rooney, left, in action against FC Copenhagen during the Champions League group F soccer match at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, on Tuesday.


Champions League hopefuls Porto, Celtic, Real Madrid, Olympique Lyon and Manchester United all enjoyed comfortable wins on a night of high scoring victories in Tuesday's group matches.

Manchester United and Celtic Glasgow had no problems winning their home matches in Group F, beating Benfica and FC Copenhagen 3-0 respectively.

In Glasgow Kenny Miller scored twice in the space of ten minute in the second half before substitute Stephen Pearson added a third in injury time.

United, for whom Paul Scholes, John O'Shea and Kieran Richardson scored, top the group on nine points from their three matches, while Celtic have six. Copenhagen and Benfica are on one point each.

Lyon and Real Madrid both enjoyed three-goal victories in Group E. The French side, who lead the group with nine points, won 3-0 at Olympique Lyon.

Brazilian midfielder Juninho opened the scoring for Lyon with a freekick in the 31st minute, Kim Kallstrom added a second three minutes later. Florent Malouda scored the third six minutes after the restart.

Real Madrid, won 4-1 in Kiev with goals from Sergio Ramos, Raul, Robinho and Ruud van Nistelrooy. Valentin Badea pulled one back for the home side.

The win sees the former champions from Spain move to six points, while Steaua have three. Kiev are all but eliminated from the competition after three defeats.

In Group H a 10-man AC Milan side, who had Daniele Bonera sent off early in the first half, scored a hard-earned 1-0 victory at Anderlecht. Brazil's Kaka scored the only goal of the match in the 58th minute with a long-range effort.

French side Lille, who have to play their Champions League matches away from home as their stadium is not big enough, beat AEK Athens 3-1 in Lens to move to second behind AC Milan in the group.

In Lens all goals were scored in the second half as teenager Mathieu Robail opened the scoring in the 64th minute. Vladimir Ivic equalized four minutes later, but Swiss substitute Daniel Gygax put Lille ahead again eight minutes from the end. Cameroon international Jean Makoun put the victory beyond doubt in injury time.

The Serie A club lead with seven points, while Lille have five points.

Struggling Bundesliga club SV Hamburg, who are still waiting for their first competitive win of the season, were trounced 4-1 in Porto to remain rooted at the bottom of Group G.

Lisandro Lopez with a brace, Lucho Gonzalez with a converted penalty and Helder Postiga scored for the home side, while German international Piotr Trochowski pulled one back late in the game.

It was Hamburg's worst defeat in 26 years and coach Thomas Doll said that very difficult times were ahead for the club.

"We went into the game really determined to do well, but things did just not work out," he said.

"I can't fault my team for trying, we just seem to give goals away. This is really very bad and we are facing very difficult times," Doll said.

In the day's early match former UEFA Cup winners CSKA Moscow went to the top of the group with a 1-0 victory in Moscow against English Premiership club Arsenal.

Last year's beaten finalists went into the game on the back of two victories, but found the going tough in near-freezing temperatures in Russia with Brazilian international Carvalho scoring the only goal of the game in the first half.

The goal followed a foul by Brazilian Gilberto, which referee Manuel Gonzalez awarded on the edge of the area. Defender Sergei Ignashevich played the ball into Carvalho's path and his shot gave German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann no chance.

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