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Derby delight for Shakhtar

Published: Monday 24 October 2005, 4.30CET
Group G: The five clubs in the pool enjoyed fine returns to domestic football, with FC Shakhtar Donetsk and PAOK FC posting impressive results.

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Published: Monday 24 October 2005, 4.30CET

Derby delight for Shakhtar

Group G: The five clubs in the pool enjoyed fine returns to domestic football, with FC Shakhtar Donetsk and PAOK FC posting impressive results.
The five UEFA Cup Group G contenders enjoyed decent returns to domestic action as all negotiated league fixtures unbeaten. FC Shakhtar Donetsk were derby victors, AFC Rapid Bucuresti were held in the Romanian capital, and PAOK FC hit six past Ionikos FC.

AFC Rapid Bucuresti 0-0 FC Steaua Bucuresti

The final derby of the year featuring two of the capital's three leading teams - FC Dinamo Bucuresti complete the trio - ended in stalemate, although Steaua were the happier side having had midfielder Banel Nicolita dismissed in the 31st minute for striking Rapid's Daniel Niculae. That moment summed up a tense match which referee Alexandru Tudor twice threatened to abandon because of objects thrown on to the pitch from the stands.

The game was twice interrupted, ensuring further tension as nine minutes of added time were played. With Steaua captain Mirel Radoi off the field with an ankle injury sustained in a challenge with Rapid defender Ionut Rada, the home side pressed late on but failed to turn their chances into goals. "I don't know what I am supposed to say about this match," said Rapid coach Razvan Lucescu. "With the game constantly stopping and starting the concentration of the players dropped and so did the standard of football."

AC Ajaccio 0-1 Stade Rennais FC

Rennes climbed to tenth place in Ligue 1 having become the first team to win at Ajaccio this season. Switzerland striker Alexander Frei showed the form that earned him the French golden boot last term, hitting the only goal following a defensive mix-up in the 42nd minute. The success means Rennes have taken ten points from a possible 12 on their travels.

Due to injuries coach Laszlo Bölöni fielded a side with an average age of 22 in the UEFA Cup defeat by VfB Stuttgart, and defender Abdeslam Ouaddou was the only player to return for Saturday's game. "I must take the blame for what has been a poor start to the season," Bölöni said. "I've made some changes to my approach and am now making as much effort as the players." Nonetheless, the absence of players such as Swedish internationals Andreas Isaksson and Kim Källström would affect any coach.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-1 VfB Stuttgart

Stuttgart failed to earn a second win in four days as they were held 1-1 at the BayArena to leave them ninth in the Bundesliga. The first half was an even affair, as was the start of the second before Tranquillo Barnetta (56) put Leverkusen ahead. The visitors equalised 16 minutes later as Marco Streller was brought down in the box and Danijel Ljuboja stepped up to equalise from the spot.

Coach Giovanni Trapattoni was satisfied with the draw, having been deprived of Jon Dahl Tomasson, who is serving a three-match ban after being sent off at BV Borussia Dortmund, as well as Silvio Meissner (flu) and Daniel Bierofka (broken ankle). The Italian said: "We played well and created a lot of chances. Sadly we weren't as efficient in front of goal as we were in Rennes. I am happy though because I can see the team developing and showing a lot more continuity than earlier in the season."

FC Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 FC Metalurh Donetsk

Shakhtar maintained their proud record of never having lost a Donetsk derby since independence by defeating their city rivals on Sunday, Matuzalem and Jadson Rodriguez scoring the goals. Coach Mircea Lucescu again selected Dmytro Shutkov in goal, with No1 Jan Laštuvka possibly out until the end of the group stage with a groin problem. "It's a very unpleasant injury and I will have to miss at least a month," said the Czech.

Elano Blumer, Brandão and Ciprian Marica started on the bench, with Jadson, Olexiy Bielik and Andriy Vorobey getting their chance to impress. "We were prepared for a tough derby as Metalurh's feelings against us have been growing for quite some time," said Lucescu. "However, the scoreline doesn't reflect our dominance, and I'm happy with the team's desire. Shakhtar keep improving and that can only please me."

PAOK FC 6-1 Ionikos FC

PAOK recovered from their UEFA Cup loss to Shakhtar by plundering six goals against Ionikos to move into fourth position in Greece. Two players suspended for the European match, Christos Karipidis and Yiasoumi Yiasoumis, were available as PAOK looked to put the arduous trip to Ukraine behind them. Nigerian defender Ifeanyi Udeze got the ball rolling in the 17th minute with a header from Guy Armand Feutchine's corner.

Pantelis Konstantinidis doubled the lead ten minutes later before Dimitrios Salpingidis made it 3-0 on 35 minutes. Oliver Makor gave Ionikos hope with a goal on the stroke of half-time, but it proved short-lived as Feutchine struck PAOK's fourth soon after the break. Lazaros Hristodoulopoulos (58) and Salpingidis, with his second in the 70th minute, completed the scoring.

Last updated: 25/10/05 18.12CET

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