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Porto take the press plaudits

Published: Wednesday 8 December 2004, 11.12CET
The Portuguese newspapers were pleased but the French and Norwegian ones less happy after Tuesday's action.

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Published: Wednesday 8 December 2004, 11.12CET

Porto take the press plaudits

The Portuguese newspapers were pleased but the French and Norwegian ones less happy after Tuesday's action.
The Portuguese newspapers were pleased with FC Porto's progress, but their French and Norwegian counterparts less than happy about the attitude and ineptitude of Paris Saint-Germain FC and Rosenborg BK respectively. However, this morning's loudest cheer came from Germany after "Wonderful Werder" won in Spain. uefa.com rounds up the media reaction to Tuesday's UEFA Champions League Matchday 6 action.

Arsenal FC 5-1 Rosenborg BK
Arsenal trotted happily into the knockout phase by topping their group and even ended on a note of glee when substitute Robin van Persie dinked in a fifth goal in the closing minutes. They thereby equalled the club's record win in the competition, even if it was definitely far harder to run up that score against Internazionale in Milan last year. (The Guardian, England)

I thought the days of too much respect for the opposition were over, but the way the Rosenborg players rushed to swap shirts with the Arsenal players after one of their most embarrassing matches in Europe, showed otherwise. This only underlined the difference between the sides. And it also rekindled memories of the time when Norwegian teams was classed as 'bus drivers' when they met Europe's finest. (Verdens Gang, Norway)

Panathinaikos FC 4-1 PSV Einhhoven
The consequences of PSV's 4-1 defeat at Panathinaikos were not measurable last night. Already sure of getting through the winter in the Champions League, they came to Athens with a below-strength team to avoid any damage. But maybe the final group match will lead to some small tears in the Eindhoven self-confidence. But certainly for one evening, PSV lost their aura of being invincible. (Algemeen Dagblad, Netherlands)

In their last-ever Champions League game at the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium, Panathinaikos were great and went out of the competition with their heads held high. They scored four times against PSV Eindhoven, who hadn't conceded any goal in their 12 last encounters. Panathinaikos picked up nine points, scored eleven goals and had only one defeat in this group stage - a memorable overall performance. But the match at Highbury decided the qualification spots and the Panathinaikos fans left the stadium with a bittersweet feeling. (Athlitiki Echo, Greece)

Celtic FC 0-0 AC Milan
Martin O'Neill last night said it is time for Celtic to indulge in a period of critical self-analysis as they try to come to terms with their exile from the latter stages of European competition for the first time in three seasons. The Celtic manager made it plain he sees the need for urgent action by the club if they are to avoid a decline in the enhanced European status they have earned under his four-and-half year tenure. (The Scotsman, Scotland)

Milan won their group, keeping 'Fantasy-Barcelona' at a distance. The Rossoneri did not play at full steam in Glasgow; they just tried to control the game especially as the front two of Andriy Shevchenko and Hernán Crespo never threatened. However, coach Carlo Ancelotti wanted one point to win the section, and his players made him happy by destroying Celtic's European dreams without suffering too much. (Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy)

FC Shaktar Donetsk 2-0 FC Barcelona
There is justice in the world! Whatever anyone has to say, Shakhtar deserved the third place more than Celtic - at least by head-to-head meetings, never mind the game in Glasgow where Shakhtar had nine men. Barcelona and Milan were in control of this group, and it's very pleasing that Milan only allowed the Scots one point, while Barça gave their youth players a chance. (www.sport.com.ua)

Coach Frank Rijkaard's decisión to dispense with Oleguer Presas, Rafael Márquez, Deco, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o from his starting lineup had a predictable effect. Barça suffered their second Champions League defeat and must wait to see which rival they are pitted against next. Only then will they know if finishing second in the group has been positive or not. (El Mundo Deportivo, Spain)

FC Internazionale Milano 3-0 RSC Anderlecht
Roberto Mancini wanted first place and he must be happy with the performance of his team in the easiest game of the group stage. The Nerazzurri scored three goals and wasted at least half a dozen clear chances and remain the only unbeaten side both in Europe and their domestic league. (Corriere dello Sport, Italy)

Anderlecht ended their interest in the Champions League yesterday. It happened with a defeat, what else did you expect? Raymond Goethals, who passed away on Monday, wrote history in the San Siro on the way to the 1972 UEFA European Championship, but Anderlecht did not pay him a tribute in the shape of a victory. Anderlecht must want to bury this Champions League season as soon as possible. And who can blame them? Even yesterday, against the B team of Inter, the Purple-Whites did not succeed in proving that bad luck had been a big factor in their previous five matches. (Het Nieuwsblad, Belgium)

Valencia CF 0-2 Werder Bremen
As in Germany, Werder were braver than Valencia at the Mestalla last night and deservedly scooped a big, fat prize for their efforts. Even though a draw would have been enough, the Germans fielded an offensive side including two strikers and an attacking midfielder - for the entire game. Valencia, on the other hand, did not even attempt such a risk and played throughout with every man behind the ball, even right at the end. (El País, Spain)

Werder kept their cool in a heated match at Valencia and won 2-0. Our champions are among the last 16 in the UEFA Champions League. Man of the match was the super sub, Nelson Valdez. The Paraguayan forward struck three minutes after being introduced and also scored the second. Werder, that was wonderful. (Bild, Germany)

FC Porto 2-1 Chelsea FC
Benni McCarthy was the difference as his goal sealed Porto's qualification for the next stage though coach Víctor Fernández made some crucial changes, bringing in the Brazilian Luís Fabiano. With five minutes to play, the Estádio do Dragão roared with McCarthy's goal and with the perfect win over José Mourinho's Chelsea. (A Bola online)

At the final whistle Mourinho shook the hands and congratulated Porto coach Víctor Fernández and members of his backroom team but, however politically correct the outcome of last night's game may have been, the Chelsea manager would have been bitterly disappointed at his team's second defeat of his reign. (The Daily Telegraph, England)

Paris Saint-Germain FC 1-3 PFC CSKA Moskva
There were great expectations at the Parc des Princes yesterday - but not of this. Paris Saint-Germain delivered one of their worst-ever home displays in European competition, against busy and talented opponents who were not, however, unbeatable. Once again, PSG failed to make the play. This time they were punished for it and all the players must take responsibility, with the possible exceptions of Lionel Letizi and Fabrice Pancrate. (L'Equipe, France)

It's a pity that after such a victory, after the Parc des Princes hailed the 'Army Men' with such an ovation, CSKA still go out of the Champions League. The Muscovites were capable of more, and we hope they prove it in the UEFA Cup. (Sport-Express, Russia)

Last updated: 08/12/04 15.09CET

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