UEFA Intertoto Cup winners Villarreal CF and AC Perugia have continued the European adventure that started back in July with excellent UEFA Cup second round first-leg wins tonight.
Primera División side Villarreal won 2-0 against Russian hopefuls FC Torpedo Moskva thanks to Juan Riquelme's two second-half goals. Serie A side Perugia achieved the same scoreline at home against Greek visitors FC Aris Thessaloniki thanks to Massimo Margiotta's double. The striker's second came from the penalty spot after Mezkouze Karaliopoulos was sent off in the 88th minute.
FC Schalke 04, the third team to earn a Intertoto success, were also happy after a 2-1 win against Brøndby IF. The trio of Intertoto winners will have every confidence of making progress when all 24 second-leg matches are played on 27 November.
Gaziantepspor see through Lens
Elsewhere, Gaziantepspor achieved a fantastic result by defeating in-form French side RC Lens 3-0 in Turkey. Devran Ayhan gave the Turkish team a 43rd-minute lead and second-half strikes from Riadh Bouazizi and Zdravko Lazarov settled matters. SL Benfica achieved a 3-1 win after two goals from Nuno Gomes, either side of a Geovanni effort, against Molde FK, although Daniel Berg Hestad registered late on to give the visiting side some hope.
Even more emphatic was FC Spartak Moskva's 4-0 success against FC Dinamo Bucuresti. Mihailo Pjanovic scored twice for Spartak with Maxym Kalinichenko and Aleksandr Pavlenko also getting on the scoresheet. To complete a miserable night for Dinamo, midfield player Ionut Badea was sent off a minute from full time.
There was no such excitement for FC Utrecht as the Dutch side played out a goalless home draw with AJ Auxerre. The visitors' former Feyenoord winger Bonaventure Kalou had the best two chances, both in the first half, but he was unable to break the deadlock. There were no goals either in Vålerenga IF's meeting with Wisla Kraków, although the Polish visitors will be happier with the result, especially after they had Damian Gorawski sent off with seven minutes remaining.
There was a dramatic finish for AS Roma, as Antonio Cassano earned them a precious 1-0 home victory against HNK Hajduk Split with a 90th-minute winner. Roma were on top throughout but could not find a breakthrough until John Carew nodded into the path of Cassano, who could not miss from close range. Valencia CF had no such late luck and were held to a frustrating goalless draw at home against hard-working Maccabi Haifa FC.
Albrechtsen's busy night
Martin Albrechtsen had a crazy night for FC København. The Danish defender put through his own net in the 29th minute against visitors RCD Mallorca but then scored at the right end four minutes later. He was to finish on the losing side though as Domingo Nagore Arbizu struck with a quarter of an hour left for a 2-1 away win. Finally, Debreceni VSC of Hungary held FC PAOK to a 1-1 draw after Péter Bajzát cancelled out a Loukas Karadimos opener for the Greek side.
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