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FIORENTINA 0

SPARTAK MOSKVA 2 (Dianelli og, Henry)

Spartak lived up to expectations with a dominant display in Florence, tormenting their hosts from start to end. Their endless possession was not rewarded however until the second half, when an unlucky DIANELLI scored an own goal that was more the fault of the hapless Sebastien FREY than his own.

Substitute Thierry HENRY then underlined the Russians dominance with a neatly taken volleyed goal on 67 minutes. The reckless Giampaolo PAZZINI did not help his team by getting a straight red for a headbutt after less than half an hour.

Fiorentina face a severely uphill struggle to qualify, realistically requiring a 3 goal turnaround in Moscow on the return. Unlikely.

BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1 (Sahin)

LYON 4 (Gomez, Van Bommel x2, Wagner)

We predicted a Dortmund victory prior to the match, but the impressive Lyon had other ideas. They had slightly more of the ball than their hosts, and were fairly even on goalscoring opportunities also, but showed a ruthlessness in front of goal that leaves the tie looking dead and buried.

They raced into a 3 goal lead thanks to Mario GOMEZ and the impressive Marc VAN BOMMEL – the pick of the goals Gomez’s cheeky lob over the onrushing Marco AMELIA on 2 minutes.

Nuri SAHIN did pull a goal back to give the hosts hope of a comeback, but their hopes were dashed shortly after by WAGNER who met a precision ROBINHO cross with a neat headed finish.

Lyon must surely be safely into the quarters – unless Dortmund can ‘do a Lyon’ in the return leg in France.

DERBY COUNTY 3 (Ambrosini, Pantelic x2)

RACING SANTANDER 1 (Olic)

Three goals in a frantic first eleven minutes at Pride Park – Racing taking the lead through main man Ivica OLIC on just 5 minutes. Six minutes later and they were trailling 2-1 thanks to decent strikes from first AMBROSINI and then PANTELIC.

The game then settled into a pattern of Derby possession and Racing breaks until PANTELIC added a crucial third for the home side on 77 minutes. The two goal cushion would appear to be enough for Derby to be confident of going to Spain for the second leg – it could have all been different in the unfortunate RICARDINHO’s effort (three minutes from time) had nestled in the corner, rather than swinging just past it.

Derby favourites to progress.

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Ferdinand, Balzaretti)

PSV EINDHOVEN 1 (Saumel)

PSV were possibly worth a draw at Old Trafford, frustrating the Red Devils with a stubborn display of containment football. United edged the early exchanges and Rio FERDINAND had the Stretford end jumping on 8 minutes when he gave United the lead.

The expected onslaught did not follow however, with United subdued by their stubborn Dutch opponents. Indeed it took a long range bullet from the unlikely BALZARETTI to give the home crowd the cushion of the second goal on 65.

Manager Danny McGrain was left shocked moments later when Jurgen SAUMEL replied with a crucial away goal that leaves the tie in the balance.

Tickets for the second leg will be at a premium in what could be a famous night for PSV on the return.

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 1 (Negredo)

RENNES 1 (Ledesma)

A tight affair at the Commerzbank Arena leaves this tie still well open – it could have been an excellent result for Rennes had the prolific NEGREDO not equalised LEDESMA’s opener just four minutes from time.

Frankfurt may still be favourites but Rennes have already proven that they are a tough nut to crack.

CSKA MOSKVA 1 (Salihamidzic)

RKC GENK 0

CSKA were worthy winners at Luzhniki stadium last night – but manager Mic Mic would surely have preferred the cushion of the second goal to travel to Belgium with. As it was, Bosnian veteran Hasan SALIHAMIDZIC proved the difference with an expertly taken strike after breaching the Genk offside trap.

Genk are formidable at home, but if CSKA can score in Belgium, the task facing manager Philipp Goppel may be beyond his side. This is a finely poised match and whichever team scores first will have a clear advantage in 10 days time.

PALERMO 4 (Otamendi, Washington, Simplicio, Bresciano)

REAL MADRID 3 (Wijnaldum, Keita, Raul)

Palermo and Real served up a real feast of football at Renzo Barbera last night – the hosts recovering from the blow of going behind after 2 minutes to be 3-1 up when Aussie BRESCIANO scored on 54.

KEITA then made it 3-2 on 58, only for Fabio SIMPLICIO to restore the two goal advantage on 64 with a fantastic curler that had CASILLAS well beaten.

The next goal was obviously crucial to the momentum of the tie - a two or three goal advantage for Palermo being the ideal cushion to take to the Bernebau. Step up club captain RAUL to drag the Spaniards right back into the tie with a third away goal of pure RAUL genius.

Real are probably favourites to win at the Bernebau and with it the tie – but what a game we have in store.

NEWCASTLE UNITED 3 (Tandogan, Tasci, McDonald)

SPORTING LISBON 3 (Fritz, Rasmussen x2)

Nearly upstaging the drama in Palermo was Newcastle and Sportings own attempt at outgunning each other – three a piece making the Portuguese favourites to progress – a draw on home soil in the return would be enough to see them through.

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Re: Gold Championship 1 News

Some serious good work here fella

Shame I cant rep you again

You deserve to be higher than a 5 rep

MORE REP FOR STIFLER

Infact im going to put that in my sig to try and boost your rep

Genius mate.

Yeah, best reporter on the game at the moment by a country mile. Has brought the thread, and indeed the setup to life again. Top stuff.

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Re: Gold Championship 1 News

Thanks for the comments gents' date=' you are far too kind. I'm blushing now.[/quote']

You shouldn't be :D As a fellow reporter you make mine look babyish in design :eek: Its fantastic layout and design which takes time Im sure. You will surely be MR of January :D Your rep is really high for the amount of posts you have and it will be no time before you have one of the highest reps on the forum and you deserve to be :) Keep them up m8 great work.

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