Steven Gerrard completed his first Premiership match since late August as Liverpool FC beat Arsenal FC 2-1 at Anfield on Sunday. Gerrard's return after breaking a bone in his foot comes as welcome relief to manager Rafael Benítez who will be without Luis García (torn hamstring) for the visit of Olympiacos CFP on Matchday 6. In the absence of injured strikers Djibril Cissé and Milan Baroš, Neil Mellor seized his chance by scoring a superb injury-time winner. Meanwhile, defender Djimi Traore missed the match with a medial ligament sprain in his right knee but should be fit to face Olympiacos. The Greek side's manager Dušan Bajevic rested Rivaldo and Ioannis Okkas for yesterday's 4-0 rout of Ionikos FC, but both are expected to feature on Saturday against Panathinaikos FC. However, midfielder Grigorios Georgatos and defender Gabriel Schürrer both suffered leg muscle injuries against Ionikos and Georgatos is doubtful for the Athens derby. AS Monaco FC's Ligue 1 woes continued with a 0-0 draw at Toulouse FC on Saturday. Monaco have not won in the league since September and there was further frustration for coach Didier Deschamps when Jaroslav Plašil limped off with a thigh injury. He joins Javier Saviola (groin), Flavio Roma (ribs), Lucas Bernardi (hamstring), Julien Rodriguez (ankle) and Souleymane Camara (foot) on the sidelines. Monaco next play RC Deportivo La Coruña, already eliminated from the competition, who let slip a two-goal lead against Real Sociedad de Fútbol on Sunday to draw 2-2. Albert Luque sprained his right ankle in the match and joins Diego Tristán (thigh), Víctor Sánchez (ankle) and Sergio González (hamstring) on the injury list.
Leverkusen beat FC Hansa Rostock 2-0 on Saturday to record their first away win of the season. Midfielder Daniel Bierofka returned to the squad for the first time since back surgery in September, but was as an unused substitute. Leverkusen must win at home to Dynamo Kyiv on Matchday 6 to be sure of reaching the last 16 and the Ukrainian side suffered a blow yesterday when midfield player Jerko Leko picked up a leg injury which rules him out of that match. The Croatian was carried off during the 3-0 win over FC Metalist Kharkiv and required stitches to a gash in his leg. Valentin Belkevich, who has not started a Champions League match since returning to full fitness, captained the side and Maksim Shatskikh came in for Maris Verpakovskis. Kleber, Ayila Yussuf and Verpakovskis got Dynamo's goals. Real Madrid CF reclaimed second place in Spain's Primera División after thrashing Levante UD 5-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu. The goals came from Ronaldo (2), Luís Figo, David Beckham and Michael Owen, while Zinedine Zidane's absence due to a back injury meant Albert Celades started. Madrid play AS Roma on Matchday 6 and the Serie A side returned to form with a 4-0 win at AC Siena, Vincenzo Montella and Francesco Totti both scoring twice. Defender Cristian Chivu will be out for the next six weeks after foot surgery, and Olivier Dacourt (thigh), Damiano Tommasi (cruciate ligament), Philippe Mexes (hamstring) and Mido (back) are also sidelined.
Serie A leaders Juventus FC conceded two goals for the first time since August when they squandered a 2-0 lead to draw with FC Internazionale Milano last night. Jonathan Zebina was restored to right-back after a month's injury lay-off, but Alessandro Del Piero missed out with a muscle injury. On Matchday 6, group winners Juve are away to Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC who ended a run of three successive League defeats by beating Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC 1-0 thanks to Eli Biton's ninth-minute goal. Maccabi were without the suspended Liran Strauber and John Pantsil, while Marcio Giovanini missed out with a knee injury. Coach Nir Klinger made six changes to the side that lost 5-1 to FC Bayern München on Matchday 5, with Gal Nir making his league debut in goal. Bayern themselves lost goalkeeper Oliver Kahn to a finger tendon injury at half-time of their 4-2 win over 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday but the problem is not serious. Felix Magath's side preserved their two-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with the victory, which Bastian Schweinsteiger, Robert Kovac and Willy Sagnol all missed through injury. However, Zé Roberto was back for the first time since suffering concussion in the defeat at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in October. Finally, AFC Ajax went third in the Eredivisie by beating RBC Roosendaal 4-1 at home, despite a lengthy injury list. Steven Pienaar and Bogdan Lobont are both suffering from knee ligament damage, and John O'Brien (hamstring), John Heitinga (knee), Tom De Mul (groin) and Wesley Sonck are also unavailable.
Olympique Lyonnais maintained their domestic form with a 2-1 home win against AJ Auxerre which moved them six points clear at the top of Ligue 1. Saturday's success was all the sweeter because it included a goal for Sylvain Wiltord, his first since returning to the side after a troublesome hamstring. However, the long-term injuries suffered by Giovane Elber (ankle), Claudio Caçapa (knee), Eric Abidal (knee), and Grégory Coupet (cruciate ligaments) are still hampering Paul Le Guen's team selection. Like Wiltord, Manchester United FC midfield player Paul Scholes is another player back in the groove. The 30-year-old struck twice in the 3-0 win at West Bromwich Albion FC to make it three goals in a week. More positive news came with Ruud van Nistelrooij's first domestic goal from open play this season. However, it was revealed today that fellow forward Louis Saha (knee) would not return until the new year. Like United, Fenerbahçe SK were 3-0 winners, their victory over Diyarbakirspor featuring two goals from Alex. Defender Servet Çetin returned from a domestic ban for the match but striker Márcio Nobre was suspended, and Pierre van Hooijdonk (achilles) and Deniz Baris (calf) remain on the injured list. AC Sparta Praha, meanwhile, have ended the first half of the Czech season six points adrift of the summit after a 0-0 draw at FK Teplice. Captain Karel Poborský spurned the best chance for a Sparta side missing the suspended Jirí Homola and injured Pavel Pergl (ankle).
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