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German press sensing glory

Published: Wednesday 24 November 2004, 12.00CET
A resurgent FC Bayern München and a resilient Bayer 04 Leverkusen left the German press full of optimism.

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Published: Wednesday 24 November 2004, 12.00CET

German press sensing glory

A resurgent FC Bayern München and a resilient Bayer 04 Leverkusen left the German press full of optimism.
A resurgent FC Bayern München's qualification for the first knockout round and an impressive showing by Bayer 04 Leverkusen left the German press glowing this morning. Things were not so bright in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic after AFC Ajax and AC Sparta Praha were eliminated.

AS Monaco FC 1-0 Liverpool FC

Although they kept hope alive, Monaco did not really shine. Full of willing but nervous in front of goal, and full of doubts, they struggled for long periods before being relieved by the final whistle. They were not helped by a Liverpool team who, with Milan Baroš and Djibril Cissé sidelined, came here to draw. (L'Equipe, France)

In the language of the casinos that abound in this playground of the rich and famous, Liverpool did not quite blow it all last night, but they headed back to Merseyside with little to warm them but the shirts on their back. If this was a dire occasion, unbefitting the grandiose billing of the Champions League, it was also a costly one for the Premiership team. (The Times, England)

Olympiacos CFP 1-0 RC Deportivo La Coruña

This season, for the first time in years, Olympiacos decided to play with the system they used to laugh at - and it paid off. Three 1-0 wins, without much to say about their attack, but with relentless defence. Like it or not, this is the only way that Greek teams can achieve something in Europe. (Sportime, Greece)

It's over. Deportivo completed the poorest Champions League in their history following five games in which they have been incapable of scoring a single goal. Not one goal in five meetings in which they have registered two draws and three defeats. (El Ideal Gallego, Spain)

FC Dynamo Kyiv 2-0 AS Roma

After a poor first half and two clear-cut chances when our players shot at Ivan Pelizzoli from point-blank range, Traianos Dellas was the man in the middle on 73 minutes. The experienced Roma defender slipped in the area and headed Oleh Gusev's cross into his own net as he fell. (www.sports.com.ua, Ukraine)

Roma played well for at least an hour on an ice-cold night in Kiev. However, we had no illusions that Roma could qualify for the UEFA Cup before this game and watching their performances in the group, their early exit from Europe is fully deserved. (Corriere dello Sport, Italy)

Real Madrid CF 1-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Raúl González equalled Alfredo Di Stéfano's record of 49 goals in the premier European competition and helped Madrid avoid an unpleasant scenario. They deserved to win overall, for a decent second half. But their bad luck in front of goal and then Figo's penalty miss left them with a draw. (AS Spain, Spain)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen more than convinced in their tough task at Real Madrid. When Madrid coach Mariano García Remón ordered everyone to attack, Bayer goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt grew bigger and bigger denying efforts from Salgado, Morientes and Roberto Carlos along with Figo, who failed from the penalty spot. (Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Germany)

FC Bayern Munchen 5-1 Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC

Simply outstanding. After three wins on the trot in the Bundesliga, now they have done it in the league of kings. The 45,000 spectators were happy with the great offensive football on view, and felt sorry for the Israelis as Bayern picked up their biggest win in Europe since 2001. (Bild, Germany)

Maccabi Tel-Aviv were put on ice in Bavaria as Nir Klinger's side took a 5-1 beating at the hands of Bayern Munich. A consolation goal from Barukh Dego in the freezing conditions and the fact that Ajax also lost are the only positives Tel-Aviv can draw upon. (Jerusalem Post, Israel)

Juventus FC 1-0 AFC Ajax

There are three secrets to Juventus's success. An exceptional goalkeeper in Gianluigi Buffon. A great coach in Fabio Capello. And a team that is always able to score at least one goal despite being without a natural-born goalscorer like Adriano or Andriy Shevchenko. The Bianconeri can continue their unstoppable run. (Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy)

In surroundings and an atmosphere that was in marked contrast with the greatness of the Champions League, Ajax have continued their horrible European downfall. Ajax in Europe was a guarantee for success ten years ago. Now Ajax are like the tiny tot who looks at the big toys, but is told every time that they are only suitable for four years and older. (De Volkskrant, the Netherlands)

Manchester United FC 2-1 Olympique Lyonnais

A thousand games as manager is a remarkable feat of longevity but Sir Alex Ferguson, originally a goalscorer by trade, would be the first to admit the most impressive statistic last night belonged to Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Dutchman's winner here means he now has 36 goals in 37 Champions League appearances. (The Guardian, England)

After their first European loss yesterday at Old Trafford, Lyon will have to beat Sparta and rely on a draw or a defeat for Manchester United at Fenerbahçe to take first place in their group. Is it vital? At the end of the day, it isn't because both teams are in the knockout phase after a very open, and sometimes intense, game, which delighted Old Trafford. (L'Equipe, France)

AC Sparta Praha 0-1 Fenerbahçe SK

Goodbye Europe. It was an unsuccessful evening at a half-full stadium. Without good feelings, without Karel Poborský, but with an own goal which proved decisive. The silly goal crowned the most furious minute of the game with chances on both sides. Instead of Sparta joy, there was a Turkish storm on the counterattack. (Mf Dnes, Czech Republic)

Despite the absence of key players, Fenerbahçe arguably played their best football of the season so far. Radoslav Kovác's own goal helped the Istanbul side to get what they required, a first away victory in Europe in eight years. (Hürriyet, Turkey)

Last updated: 24/11/04 15.01CET

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