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Mixed fortunes for front men

Published: Monday 29 November 2004, 13.12CET
Groups E-H: AC Milan's Hernán Crespo keeps on scoring but Werder Bremen have lost Ivan Klasnic to injury. features

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Published: Monday 29 November 2004, 13.12CET

Mixed fortunes for front men

Groups E-H: AC Milan's Hernán Crespo keeps on scoring but Werder Bremen have lost Ivan Klasnic to injury.
Hernán Crespo continued his scoring streak with the winner for AC Milan against AC Chievo Verona yesterday but Werder Bremen lost their striker Ivan Klasnic to injury. rounds up the latest news on the teams in UEFA Champions League Groups E-H.

Group E
After qualifying for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League in midweek PSV Eindhoven had further cause to celebrate as they equalled AFC Ajax's 34-year record for consecutive clean sheets by beating FC Twente 2-0 on Saturday. Gerald Sibon and Phillip Cocu scored the goals for the Eredivisie leaders but their defence took the plaudits after an eleventh game without conceding. Meanwhile, midfielder Michael Lamey is close to returning from a hamstring problem after a run-out for the reserves. It was a less happy weekend for the second-placed team in Group E, Arsenal FC, who lost 2-1 at Liverpool FC, going down to a last-minute Neil Mellor goal. Patrick Vieira had brought them back into the match with a second-half equaliser, but his booking yesterday means he will miss the upcoming Highbury showdown with leaders Chelsea FC. Arsenal now trail Chelsea by five points, having taken six points from a possible 18. Their rivals for the second qualifying place, Panathinaikos FC, were also hurt by an injury-time goal as an Avraam Papadopoulos strike meant they had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Aris Thessaloniki FC. Dimitrios Papadopoulos looked to have won the match with his 88th-minute goal but the return of both him and Markus Münch are a positive ahead of next week's derby against Olympiacos CFP. Finally, Rosenborg BK spent a few days' training in Are, Sweden ahead of Thursday's match against Denmark's Esbjerg fB in the Scandinavian Royal League. Ivar Rønningen will replace Espen Johnsen in goal against EfB but the latter should return against Arsenal on Matchday 6.

Group F
After climbing two points clear of FC Barcelona at the top of Group F last week, AC Milan finished the weekend four points behind Serie A leaders Juventus FC after defeating AC Chievo Verona 1-0. Crespo's fourth goal in three games made the difference and his return to form is timely given injuries to Andriy Shevchenko and Jon Dahl Tomasson. For Barcelona it was a mixed weekend: the 2-1 defeat of Getafe CF, secured by goals from Rafael Márquez and Deco, kept them top of the Primera División, but Gerard López's groin surgery earlier on Saturday means he will be missing for up to eight weeks. The third-placed team in the group, Celtic FC, may be ahead of FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the fight for a UEFA Cup place but they slipped to second place in the Scottish Premier League yesterday. Despite goals from Henri Camara and John Hartson at Dundee FC, Steve Lovell's 76th-minute equaliser meant a 2-2 draw in a match which Stanislav Varga missed with an ankle injury. As for Shakhtar, their scheduled match against FC Volyn Lutsk was postponed because of security concerns. Meanwhile, coach Mircea Lucescu has dismissed speculation linking him with the vacant Romania coach's job. "No, no and - once again - no," he said.

Group G
Werder Bremen beat BV Borussia Dortmund 2-0 but suffered the loss of striker Klasnic to a dislocated shoulder, which has already ruled the Croatian out of next weekend's Bundesliga visit to SC Freiburg. On a brighter note, long-term absentee Frank Fahrenhorst was among the substitutes after recovering from a foot problem. Bremen visit Valencia CF on Matchday 6 in a match to determine who will progress to the last 16 and Klasnic should be fit for then. The Spanish side's recent resurgence continued with a 2-0 home victory over RSC Mallorca yesterday. Bernardo Corradi and Rubén Baraja scored and Brazilian left-back Fábio Aurelio returned from a long-term knee problem as Valencia moved up to fourth place in the Primera División. FC Internazionale Milano have already qualified from Group G but they are finding Serie A victories more difficult to achieve; however, few home supporters were complaining in the San Siro last night when late goals from Christian Vieri and Adriano salvaged a 2-2 draw with Juventus FC. It was Inter's eleventh draw in 13 league games this season but came at the cost of a knee injury to Giuseppe Favalli. Finally, RSC Anderlecht bounced back from their European elimination by defeating KVC Westerlo 4-0, Glen De Boeck, Pär Zetterberg and Oleg Iachtchouk (2) the scorers. Hannu Tihinen, Mark Deman and Nenad Jestrovic are close to first-team returns after appearing for the reserves.

Group H
Paris Saint-Germain FC had to rely on the same battling qualities they displayed at Chelsea FC last week to escape with a 1-1 draw at OGC Nice. PSG took the lead through Fabrice Pancrate in a first half when goalkeeper Lionel Letizi saved a Marama Vahirua penalty but after Edouard Cissé was sent off around the hour, Nice won a second penalty which Sammy Traoré converted and PSG were left hanging on for a draw which leaves them 12th in Ligue 1. Jérôme Rothen, Jean-Hugues Ateba and Jean-Michel Badiane were all missing for the Parisians whose opponents on Matchday 6, PFC CSKA Moskva, are training in Marbella, Spain ahead of the sides' showdown in the French capital. CSKA will play Málaga CF in a friendly this week but have doubts over Jirí Jarošik, Dani Carvalho and Ivica Olic. However, Nigerian full-back Chidi Odiah is back in training after a shoulder injury. FC Porto went two points clear at the top of the Portuguese SuperLiga after beating Vitória FC 1-0 away on Monday night. Jorge Costa got the only goal of the game on 25 minutes before being sent off shortly before half-time. Carlos Alberto returned as a second-half substitute, Diego started and Hugo Leal was on the subsitutes' bench after injury, but Vítor Baía, Nuno Valente, Raul Meireles and Luís Fabiano remain sidelined. Hélder Postiga partnered Ricardo Quaresma in attack in place of the suspended Benni McCarthy and Derlei. Finally, the Group G winners, Chelsea, moved five points clear at the top of the Premiership after a 4-0 win at Charlton Athletic FC on Saturday. Damien Duff, John Terry (2) and Eidur Gudjohnsen scored, and Didier Drogba continued his comeback from injury as a second-half substitute.

Last updated: 30/11/04 10.26CET

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