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Milan pair earn press praise

Published: Thursday 21 October 2004, 9.04CET
FC Internazionale Milano and AC Milan had the Italian papers purring.

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Published: Thursday 21 October 2004, 9.04CET

Milan pair earn press praise

FC Internazionale Milano and AC Milan had the Italian papers purring.
FC Internazionale Milano and AC Milan had the Italian press purring today after fine performances that suggested they could go all the way in the UEFA Champions League. Elsewhere, another success for PSV Eindhoven also prompted celebration, and some disbelief, in the Netherlands.

Panathinaikos FC 2-2 Arsenal FC

Panathinaikos's European savoir-faire and the class of Basinas, González and Olisadebe punished the arrogance of Arsenal, which was evident in the way that Thierry Henry reacted after scoring the Gunners' second. The English side relied on their technical superiority to take the lead twice, but Panathinaikos came back both times thanks to their inner strength and the motivation of proving a worthy opponent for one of the best teams in Europe. (Goal News, Greece)

Arsenal are not learning from their mistakes in Europe. Carelessness cost them against Rosenborg in Trondheim three weeks ago and it was a similar story last night. Twice Arsène Wenger's team led but again they failed to capitalise. They can have no complaints, though, after a poor display, and Jens Lehmann in particular will not remember the evening with affection. (The Guardian, England)

Rosenborg BK 1-2 PSV Eindhoven

Rosenborg coach Ola By Rise wanted a win against PSV Eindhoven to silence the critics and end all the speculation regarding his job. He didn't get what he wanted, and we will now see weeks and months with talk about By Rise and the job he has done with Rosenborg. The team have lost their chance to advance in the Champions League, and will now have to concentrate on securing their 13th league title in a row. (Verdens Gang, Norway)

Even the most fanatical die-hard PSV fan must be astonished, and wonder if they have good eyesight, but after the 2-1 victory over Rosenborg in Group E, it really reads: No1 PSV, with six points from three matches, followed by Arsenal. The European prospects have never been better for a side who have never before made it into the second stage of the élite tournament. (De Volkskrant, The Netherlands)

AC Milan 1-0 FC Barcelona

There was only one difference between Milan and Barcelona: Andriy Shevchenko. The Ukrainian striker won the head to head against great attackers like Larsson, Eto'o and Ronaldinho. Milan suffered too much in the second half when Barcelona went for all-out attack. (Corriere dello Sport, Italy)

Even though at the San Siro they continue to say that Barça still lack strength and need take another step up in order to outdo Milan, the Azulgrana were more of a team last night than the Rossoneri. Rijkaard's men took the game to Ancelotti's team with grandeur and aplomb but just like other times a Shevchenko goal decided it. That is way it goes with the Italians. (El País, Spain)

FC Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 Celtic FC

There was plenty to worry about against Celtic, who proved tough opponents, so nobody should be deluded by the 3-0 scoreline. Indeed, given the amount of space that Shakhtar's defence allowed the Scottish team, the result could have been entirely different. However, there was one saving grace – Matuzalem - who is well worth the money Shakhtar paid for him. (www.sport.com.ua)

Martin O'Neill last night admitted he is having to take on Europe's biggest hitters with one hand tied behind his back. The Celtic manager looked on in despair as his patched-up side went down to a 3-0 hammering by Shakhtar Donetsk. It was Celtic's eighth successive away defeat in UEFA's premier competition and the result leaves Scotland's champions anchored at the bottom of Group F with no points from their first three games. (Daily Record, Scotland)

RSC Anderlecht 1-2 Werder Bremen

The dream is over. Against Werder Bremen, Anderlecht lost their second Champions League home match. In theory our national champions can still hope to prolong their European adventure, but after 270 minutes of playing the conclusion is just as hard as it is clear: this Anderlecht cannot compete at Champions League level. (Het Nieuwsblad, Belgium)

What a celebration. Werder's Frenchman Johan Micoud performed magic in the 2-1 win at Anderlecht and was at world-class level. He created both goals for Klasnic and did so like a genius. At the end, Micoud even defended inside his own penalty area. Werder trembled towards the end but can now dream of the knockout stage. (Bild, Germany)

Valencia CF 1-5 FC Internazionale Milano

Valencia slipped out of Ranieri's hands. He had it all under control while he had Vicente, his driving force down the left - with his goals, width, and his effervescent character. But since Vicente was injured during a terrible night in Bremen, the Valencianos have nose-dived. They are a disaster in defence as well as attack. They can't remember how to defend, their trademark during the last two years, and nor how to score. (El País, Spain)

Inter's 5-1 victory at the Mestalla stadium is a milestone. The new Inter play attacking football and always try to win games. It's not a surprise that no other team has scored more goals than Inter, either in the Champions League or in Serie A. (Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy)

Chelsea FC 2-0 PFC CSKA Moskva

A chance to drink vodka with some old friends from Moscow and a victory which has all but mathematically guaranteed Chelsea's place in the Champions League knockout phase - Roman Abramovich might have called this the perfect evening if only his side could have found the panache to gild another functional performance. (The Times, England)

A defeat is always a defeat. However, the Army team produced a decent display at Stamford Bridge. People were thinking of this game in the same terms as Russia's loss in Lisbon last week. Well, this one was different, and that is something. (Sport-Express, Russia)

Paris Saint-Germain FC 2-0 FC Porto

At last, yes, at last, they won again - for a night, they deserved their seat among the giants. The first goal was from another world and the second, scored by Pauleta, concluded a dazzling attack. Paris have not only recovered their pride but also reminded their fans and all of those obsessed with football in this country of the magic moments they gave us in the past. (L'Equipe, France)

It was a night to forget! FC Porto gave one of their poorest performances in recent years. In losing 2-0 to Paris Saint-Germain, they compromised their qualification for the next stage. They are in the last place in Group H, with just one point. Pauleta returned and scored one of the Parisians' goals. (A Bola online, Portugal)

Last updated: 21/10/04 15.06CET

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