Although some UEFA Champions League sides had Saturday off due to the forthcoming international fixtures, for most it was business as usual. uefa.com rounds up the news.
In the absence of an Alpha Ethniki fixture, Olympiacos CFP beat second division Levadiakos 5-1 in a friendly. Milos Maric came off injured and Stylianos Venetidis was kept out by back pains, while Rivaldo did not play due to a knee injury. Medical staff need to decide whether to play the Brazilian against OFI Crete FC next week or rest him for the visit of RC Deportivo La Coruña on 23 November. The Spanish side's treatment room is filling up, with Joan Capdevila (thigh) and Walter Pandiani (back) the latest casualties. Aldo Duscher, Víctor Sánchez and Jorge Andrade also missed Saturday's 1-0 win against Levante UD. Diego Tristán scored the only goal, a twice-taken penalty. Liverpool FC forward Milan Baroš shook off a hamstring problem to score a hat-trick in a 3-2 victory against Crystal Palace FC at Anfield, including a last-minute penalty winner. There was more good news for manager Rafael Benítez, as captain Steven Gerrard and Antonio Núñez are both back in full training after a broken foot and knee surgery respectively. The duo could feature next time out against AS Monaco FC.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen drew 2-2 with fellow Champions League challengers Werder Bremen on Saturday, coming from a goal down to take control through goals from Andriy Voronin and Dimitar Berbatov before Nelson Valdez's equaliser. Midfield player Daniel Bierofka did not make the squad despite returning to training this week after seven weeks out following back surgery. Juan had shaken off a groin strain, however, and came on as a substitute. FC Dynamo Kyiv were in sparking form in beating FC Obolon Kyiv 7-0, all five of their first-half goals being scored by Brazilians. Maxim Shatskikh moved to 99 goals in Dynamo colours after the break as the champions remained a point behind FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
Israel's World Cup qualifier against Cyprus led to Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC's match against league leaders Maccabi Haifa FC - whom they trail by eleven points - being put back to next weekend. The game will be followed by a trip to FC Bayern München and a derby against Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC. Nir Klinger could have Marcio Giovanini (back strain) and Emile Mbamba (knee) back for the season-defining fixtures, while the coach will hope that Avi Strool and Under-21 duo Moshe Mishaelof and Liran Cohen return unscathed from international duty.
Captain Karel Poborský scored the only goal on Saturday as AC Sparta Praha beat 1. FC Brno 1-0 to re-establish a three-point lead at the Czech summit following Monday's shock home loss to FC Mladá Boleslav. Coach František Straka played just one up front, meaning Milan Pacanda was on the bench for his first return to his former club. Fenerbahçe SK's Turkish league leadership will come under threat against Trabzonspor next weekend following the midweek internationals. A squad missing 12 regulars will be rested as the three-day Ramadan feast starts, giving Brazilian duo Marco Aurelio and Fabio Luciano more time to recover from a trip home. Olympique Lyonnais, meanwhile, beat FC Nantes Atlantique 2-0 to move four points clear in France. Eric Abidal (knee) and Hatem Ben Arfa (collarbone) joined Claudio Caçapa (knee), Grégory Coupet (knee) and Sylvain Wiltord (hamsting) on the treatment table after Wednesday's French League Cup loss to LOSC Lille Métropole, Lyon's first defeat this season. Long-term convalescent Giovane Elber (ankle) made waves when he went to Grmany for an unauthorised operation last week.
Arsenal FC manager Arsène Wenger recalled his senior players for the north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur FC having fielded a youthful side against Everton FC in the English League Cup in midweek, and saw his team win a thrilling encounter 5-4. Sol Campbell sat out his fourth consecutive match with a calf complaint, while Edu may be out of action until 2005 with a toe injury sustained on Tuesday. Panathinaikos FC coach Zdenek Scasny has given his players a three-day break, although Dimitrios Papadopoulos will undergo a scan on Monday to see if an ankle injury requires further treatment. Emmanuel Olisadebe and Lucian Sanmartean have resumed training after knee complaints. Also on the way back are PSV Eindhoven pair Kasper Bøgelund and Michael Lamey after thigh and hamstring injuries, while forward John de Jong will have a scan on Tuesday to see how his knee injury has healed. Guus Hiddink's side defeated Willem II 1-0 on Saturday, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scoring. Rosenborg BK found their goalscoring touch against Djurgårdens IF in the first round of matches in Scandinavia's Royal League on Thursday, Harald Brattbakk and Thorstein Helstad both scoring twice in a 4-4 draw. Jan Gunnar Solli has pulled out of Norway's squad for Tuesday's friendly against Australia with a leg injury.
Celtic FC welcomed back Chris Sutton against Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC and the striker marked his recovery from a chest injury with the opening goal in a 3-0 win. Martin O'Neill rested Didier Agathe and Stilian Petrov, who is suffering from a shoulder injury, while Magnus Hedman was preferred to David Marshall in goal and Dianbobo Balde's shoulder problem makes him doubtful for Guinea's midweek international with Kenya. FC Shakhtar Donetsk were without Anataliy Tymoschuk and Matuzalem due to leg and ankle injuries respectively against FC Zakarpattya Uzhgorod, but Brandão's late penalty still earned a narrow victory for the Ukrainian leaders.
Valencia CF failed to win for the tenth successive game, drawing 0-0 with Real Zaragoza on Saturday. Coach Claudio Ranieri restored Bernado Corradi, Mohamed Sissoko and Marco Caneira to the starting lineup, although there was some good news for the Spanish champions as Ludovic Butelle and Fábian Ayala are close to regaining full fitness. Werder Bremen duo Frank Fahrenhorst and Pakka Lagerblom returned to training this week. Fahrenhorst (foot injury) did not make the squad for the 2-2 draw against Leverkusen, although Lagerblom was an unused substitute. RSC Anderlecht were without Mbo Mpenza (achilles) as they lost 1-0 at R. Standard de Liège on Wednesday and the forward has since withdrawn from Belgium's squad for the friendly with Serbia and Montenegro, who are without Anderlecht forward Nenad Jestrovic because of a broken arm.
Chelsea FC's stylish 4-1 victory against west London neighbours Fulham FC was their eighth in succession. Russian international Alexey Smertin shook off a groin injury to take his place in midfield, although Joe Cole was sidelined with a virus. Goals from Frank Lampard, Arjen Robben – his fourth in as many games – William Gallas and Tiago kept José Mourinho's side two points clear. PFC CSKA Moskva missed out on the Russian Premier League title in the final round of matches on Friday, finishing a point behind FC Lokomotiv Moskva despite a 4-1 win at FC Moskva with Vágner Love twice, Sergei Semak and Daniel Carvalho on target. FC Porto coach Victor Fernández rested captain Jorge Costa for the visit to Gil Vicente FC, and was forced into a last-minute change as goalkeeper Vítor Baía sprained a thigh muscle in the warm-up. Despite those disruptions, goals from Ricardo Quaresma and Costinha gave the visitors victory, although Brazilian playmaker Diego was forced off by injury early on. Paris Saint-Germain FC could not build on Wednesday's stunning win against Olympique de Marseille in the French League Cup, losing 3-0 to FC Girondins de Bordeaux. Danijel Ljuboja suffered a shoulder injury against Marseille and, along with Jérôme Rothen (ankle), missed Saturday's game as the capital club dropped to 12th.
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