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Ten things we learned this week

Published: Thursday 27 November 2003, 21.00CET
uefa.com reflects on the highlights of this week's UEFA Champions League action.
Published: Thursday 27 November 2003, 21.00CET

Ten things we learned this week

uefa.com reflects on the highlights of this week's UEFA Champions League action.

By Marc Shaw

Here are ten things we have learned from this week's UEFA Champions League action.

1) Thierry Henry is a star
It wasn't just the context of the game that made Thierry Henry's two-goal performance - with two assists in the game as well - against Internazionale FC so spectacular. Arsenal FC needed to win to keep their hopes of progress alive and in their hour of need, the Frenchman delivered.

2) There is no stopping Morientes
Probably not for the last time, AS Monaco FC were forced to reel out the statistics on striker Fernando Morientes. The Spanish international netted his fourth goal in four games in this season's competition with a trademark header against PSV Eindhoven, his 21st strike in 58 Champions League matches.

3) Don't write off Bayern
Celtic FC had won each of their previous Group A fixtures at home. FC Bayern München could have bowed out at the first hurdle for the second consecutive year had the Scots maintained their record and Olympique Lyonnais won at RSC Anderlecht. However, a resilient performance from the Bundesliga champions saw them take home a 0-0 draw.

4) It's better late than never
FC Lokomotiv Moskva's Costa Rican striker Winston Parks was the toast of Moscow on a freezing Tuesday evening after coming off the bench to stun FC Dynamo Kyiv. Parks was hauled off the bench in the 83rd minute before stabbing home the winner six minutes later to move Lokomotiv to the top of Group B with one match remaining.

5) Greece is the word for United
English champions Manchester United FC could be forgiven for naming Greece as the 'one that they want' after making it five games unbeaten on Greek soil in the Champions League. Diego Forlán's late winner at Panathinaikos FC on Wednesday made it three wins and two draws from their trips to the country.

6) Ajax inexperience helps Milan
AFC Ajax fielded the second youngest team in Champions League history on Wednesday when they hosted AC Milan in Group H after injuries put Wesley Sonck and Hatem Trabelsi among the absentees. Their inexperience told on the night as Andriy Shevchenko struck the only goal of the game to leave Ajax needing a win at Club Brugge KV next time out to confirm their progress.

7) Home comforts not enough
S.S. Lazio netted for the 16th time in their last 19 Champions League games at the Stadio Olimpico when they took on Besiktas JK on Wednesday, but they are still fighting for their Group G lives. The Romans now need to win at AC Sparta Praha on Matchday 6 and pray that Mircea Lucescu's side fail to beat Chelsea FC in Istanbul.

8) 200 up for Madrid
David Beckham may have celebrated his first Champions League strike for Real Madrid CF - with a trademark free-kick - but Ronaldo's match-clincher against Olympique de Marseille brought up 200 goals for the club in the Champions League, and 600 overall in European competition.

9) Farewell to Das Antas
In the last European game at FC Porto's Das Antas stadium, they saw off FK Partizan 2-1 after South African Benni McCarthy netted twice to book their place in the last 16 at the venue that has been their fortress since 1952.

10) Italian wit is drier than red wine
Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti had a word or two for Johan Cruyff after his side's 1-0 win at Ajax booked the holders' place in the last 16. The Dutch legend had criticised Italian football prompting Ancelotti to comment: "I don't care, we won. And when Cruyff wants to enjoy himself, he has to go to the cinema."

Last updated: 28/11/03 20.46CET

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