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Antic celebrates as Spanish shine

Published: Tuesday 18 February 2003, 22.05CET
FC Barcelona gave coach Radomir Antic a winning start, while Valencia CF beat AS Roma in Italy.
Published: Tuesday 18 February 2003, 22.05CET

Antic celebrates as Spanish shine

FC Barcelona gave coach Radomir Antic a winning start, while Valencia CF beat AS Roma in Italy.

FC Barcelona took control of UEFA Champions League Group A and gave new coach Radomir Antic a winning start in the competition as they secured a 3-0 victory over Internazionale FC at Camp Nou.

Kluivert on target
Goals from Javier Saviola and Philip Cocu inside the opening half-hour put Barça in charge before Patrick Kluivert made sure of the points with a stunning third in the 67th minute. The Spanish side now top the section with maximum points from their three second group stage matches and have surpassed AC Milan's ten-year record of ten straight wins in the competition. Inter also had Alvaro Recoba sent off for a challenge on Carles Puyol with ten minutes remaining.

Poor start for Hörster
Bayer 04 Leverkusen, with new coach Thomas Hörster in charge for the first time, are now rooted to the bottom of Group A following their 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Newcastle United FC. With Shola Ameobi and Lomana LuaLua deputising in attack for the suspended Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy, the visitors were two goals ahead after 16 minutes as Ameobi struck twice to silence the BayArena crowd. França pulled a goal back in the 26th minute but LuaLua restored the two-goal cushion six minutes later.

Carew the hero
Group B is shaping up to be the tightest section of all, with the top three teams all locked on five points. AS Roma are now cast adrift at the bottom and have still to register a point in the second group stage after a 1-0 home defeat by Valencia CF. John Carew's strike 12 minutes from time proved the difference as the two well-matched sides battled it out at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Early lead
Arsenal FC took an early lead against AFC Ajax through Sylvain Wiltord in Group B's other match, but Nigel de Jong drew the Dutch champions level on 17 minutes to secure a deserved share of the spoils at Highbury. The result means Ajax top the group, by virtue of their better results in matches between the top three.

Last updated: 19/02/03 15.16CET

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