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Trabzonspor triumph and Giggs strikes again

Published: Friday 16 September 2011, 9.30CET
Trabzonspor AŞ enjoyed a heroic debut, Ryan Giggs reached a new milestone and Ivan Perišić hit an absolute cracker against Arsenal FC as Pick of the week returns for a new season.
Trabzonspor triumph and Giggs strikes again
Trabzonspor celebrate their improbable win at San Siro ©Getty Images

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Published: Friday 16 September 2011, 9.30CET

Trabzonspor triumph and Giggs strikes again

Trabzonspor AŞ enjoyed a heroic debut, Ryan Giggs reached a new milestone and Ivan Perišić hit an absolute cracker against Arsenal FC as Pick of the week returns for a new season.

Team: Trabzonspor AŞ
Ondřej Čelůstka's goal for the Turkish UEFA Champions League contenders 14 minutes from time silenced the home crowd at San Siro and handed FC Internazionale Milano their third successive defeat under Gian Piero Gasperini, much to the amazement of Trabzonspor coach Şenol Güneş. "We came to Italy to play good football," he said. "Even if we were defeated by Inter we wouldn't have seen it as a loss, but my players maintained their discipline and played cleverly." Gallant defending and resolute goalkeeping helped their cause too, with Čelůstka left to provide the finishing touch and add: "I dedicated the goal to my uncle because it's his birthday tomorrow."

Player: Ryan Giggs (Manchester United FC)
When the Welshman fired past SL Benfica goalkeeper Artur to equalise three minutes before half-time in United's opening 1-1 draw in Lisbon, not only did he beat the mark he established last term as the oldest UEFA Champions League scorer – now 37 years and 289 days – but Giggs became the first man to score in 16 separate seasons of the competition. It is actually his 17th campaign and the only time he failed to claim a goal was in his second winning season of 2007/08, when Giggs still managed to convert what proved the decisive shoot-out penalty in the Moscow final against Chelsea FC. "I'm lucky enough to play with good players," he said in typically deadpan style after the match.

Goal: Ivan Perišić (Borussia Dortmund)
Perišić's first-time volley hurtled into the net two minutes from time as the German champions earned a 1-1 opening-night draw against Arsenal FC. Standing in for Arsène Wenger at the post-match press conference, assistant manager Pat Rice said ruefully: "He could try that 25, 30, 40 times and he would hit it over the bar or at the goalkeeper. It was a great goal." The 22-year-old Croatian, a summer signing from Club Brugge KV, did not disagree. "I always try to shoot like this," he said. "Sometimes it's a goal, sometimes the ball flies into the stands, but this ended up being the perfect moment for my first goal in the Champions League."

Quote
"Until now, we have only come up against stars like this on PlayStation."
KRC Genk captain David Hubert feels the excitement of the UEFA Champions League ahead of his side's game against Valencia CF.

Number: 359
FC Shakhtar Donetsk ended their opener at FC Porto with nine men and a 2-1 defeat, but the game was also notable for coach Mircea Lucescu matching Oleh Oshenkov's record of 359 competitive games as coach of the Pitmen. In that period, Lucescu has won 247 games to Oshenkov's 134.

Prenatal responsibility: Tom Høgli (Club Brugge KV)
Norwegian right-back Høgli faced a terrible dilemma ahead of his side's first UEFA Europa League group stage game against NK Maribor: with his heavily pregnant wife two days past her due date, should he play or stay at home? "I would like to attend the birth," said the 27-year-old, who arrived from Trømso IL this summer. "But at the same time a Europa League match is really special too. I feel confident that my child will have the decency to wait until the end of the match." Ahead of the encounter, Club Brugge coach Adrie Koster had words of reassurance for Høgli's wife June: "[If she goes into labour after kick-off], I will inform him at half-time and then he can decide for himself."

Vocal talent: Joe Cole (LOSC Lille Métropole)
In a week when former Republic of Ireland defender Paul McGrath announced the imminent release of his debut album Handle With Care, new Lille loan signing Joe Cole revealed hitherto hidden talents as he serenaded his new team-mates with a rousing version of the unofficial Cockney anthem Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner. Born in Islington, and thus out of the reach of Bow Bells, the England midfielder is not technically a Cockney, which may explain why he got the words to the song wrong. Copyright issues prevent us from including them here, but Joe – for the sake of London pride, if in doubt, look it up.

Dog star: Taz
French football witnessed a famous first last weekend in SM Caen's Ligue 1 home game against Toulouse FC when, perhaps for the first time at a football game anywhere in the world, a dog performed the ceremonial kick-off before a professional football game. Showing the benefit of hours of training, Taz, a golden retriever, set the ball rolling with his muzzle and calmly completed the pass with his paw, as Caen paid tribute to a local guide dog charity.

Match report: Colin Calderwood (Hibernian FC)
Hibernian manager Colin Calderwood gave a memorable assessment of his side's performance in their 0-0 Scottish Premier League draw with Aberdeen FC: "The quality of play in the centre of the park was poor. It was dreadful on occasions and sometimes it was a lot worse than that. We tried [to entertain] but it's like trying to watch the TV and the TV's not working properly."

Last updated: 17/09/11 13.18CET

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