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Schalke and Shakhtar are shaken

Published: Saturday 11 September 2010, 0.55CET
Four of the five sides hoping for a boost ahead of UEFA Champions League action next week suffered domestic setbacks on Friday, with FC Schalke 04 and FC Shakhtar Donetsk among those defeated.
Schalke and Shakhtar are shaken
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar shows his frustration on his Schalke debut ©Getty Images

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Published: Saturday 11 September 2010, 0.55CET

Schalke and Shakhtar are shaken

Four of the five sides hoping for a boost ahead of UEFA Champions League action next week suffered domestic setbacks on Friday, with FC Schalke 04 and FC Shakhtar Donetsk among those defeated.

FC Schalke 04, FC Shakhtar Donetsk, SL Benfica and CFR 1907 Cluj will all head into their opening UEFA Champions League group stage matches on the back of domestic defeats on Friday.

Schalke appear in the most serious state as they head to Olympique Lyonnais on Tuesday after suffering a third consecutive league defeat at the start of their Bundesliga campaign, going down 2-0 at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar made his debut for the Gelsenkirchen club and was unlucky to see a potential second-half equaliser touched onto the bar by goalkeeper Tom Starke. Hoffenheim already led through Isaac Vorsah's 37th-minute header at that stage and confirmed their 100% record after three games with an added-time own goal from Manuel Neuer following Sejad Salihović's free-kick.

Shakhtar, who travel to FK Partizan on Wednesday, were consigned to a first league defeat of the season with a 1-0 reverse at FC Obolon Kyiv. Pavlo Khudzik struck a 51st-minute winner but at least Mircea Lucescu's men can take comfort from the fact they still enjoy a five-point lead at the Ukrainian Premier League summit. CFR, who host FC Basel 1893 on Wednesday, also failed to score as they slumped 2-0 at FC Rapid Bucureşti. Cássio's second-half double settled matters after Andrea Mandorlini's charges had Emmanuel Koné and Rafael Bastos sent off either side of the interval.

SL Benfica will welcome Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC on Tuesday nursing three defeats from their first four league encounters after they slipped to a 2-1 loss at Vitória SC, Rui Miguel sealing the points for the unbeaten hosts in the 83rd minute. Respite for the UEFA Champions League contenders came from group stage debutants Bursaspor, as the Turkish champions recovered from a goal down to overcome Eskisehirspor 2-1. Boasting a perfect record going into the game, the Green Crocs trailed to Sezer Öztürk's 19th-minute opener but they will host Valencia CF on Tuesday in fine spirits after Leonel Núñez (70) and Sercan Yıldırım (76) made it four league successes on the trot for Ertugrul Saglam's team.

Last updated: 11/09/10 0.28CET
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