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Leaders maintain solid form

Published: Monday 8 November 2004, 9.30CET
Group A: Feyenoord enjoyed a comfortable domestic victory while FC Schalke 04 continue to shine.

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Published: Monday 8 November 2004, 9.30CET

Leaders maintain solid form

Group A: Feyenoord enjoyed a comfortable domestic victory while FC Schalke 04 continue to shine.

The weekend of 6/7 November was a successful one for the Group A clubs, with victories for pacesetters Feyenoord and FC Schalke 04 as well as for still-to-win FC Basel 1893 and Heart of Midlothian FC. The feelgood factor did not, however, stretch as far as Budapest.

Feyenoord
The Dutch side followed up their 1-1 draw at Ferencvárosi TC by disposing of NAC Breda at De Kuip on 7 November. Dirk Kuijt's 14th-minute goal set them on their way to a 4-0 success which kept them in second place in the Eredivisie. Bart Goor scored twice and Thomas Buffel got the other while Kuijt also had a penalty saved. Chong-Gug Song and Pascal Bosschaart were suspended and defender Karim Saidi limped off with an injury which does not appear too serious. Romeo Castelen was unable to play because of a hamstring injury sustained against Ferencváros. Sebastián Pardo and Ramon van Haaren remain sidelined by hamstring and knee problems, while Brazilian attacker Leonardo has identified mid-January as his likely return from knee ligament damage.

Basel
Basel beat BSC Young Boys 2-1 to retain their four-point lead over FC Thun at the top of the Swiss Football League. After Mile Sterjovski's early strike for Basel had been cancelled out by Francisco Neri, the winner came from top scorer Christian Giménez from a controversially-awarded penalty. Christian Gross's team only really convinced in the last 30 minutes but just about deserved their victory.

Ferencváros
Ferencváros's spirits did not improve on their return to domestic action following the home draw with Feyenoord. The Hungarian First Division leaders suffered a second league defeat, going down 2-0 at second-placed Debreceni VSC. Serbian international Igor Bogdanovic scored both goals for the hosts who were playing their first game under new coach Attila Supka. Ferencváros failed to impress but the good news was they reported no injuries.

Schalke
The Gelsenkirchen club went level with Bundesliga leaders VfL Wolfsburg after a 2-1 win at Hamburger SV, their sixth successive league victory under new coach Ralf Rangnick. The coach made changes to the team that had beaten Hearts 1-0 on Matchday 2: Tomasz Waldoch replaced Mladen Krstajic at centre-back while Levan Kobiashvili also dropped into defence, deputising for Christian Pander with Hamit Altintop taking the Georgian's midfield place. Brazilian Lincoln struck the deciding goal on 81 minutes, moments after Mike Hanke, a substitute for Ailton, had equalised.

Hearts
Paul Hartley's penalty at Aberdeen FC was enough to give John Robertson his first win as Hearts manager - and lift the Edinburgh side after the defeat by Schalke three days before. Robertson, a former Hearts striker who has returned to Tynecastle to replace Craig Levein as head coach, recalled midfielder Phil Stamp following a calf injury but Dutch striker Mark de Vries - a second-half substitute against Schalke - was rested as he continues to recover from a poisoned toe. The win took Hearts into third place in the Scottish Premier League.

Last updated: 23/11/04 11.25CET

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