Internazionale FC fired a UEFA Cup warning with a 3-1 fourth round first-leg win over AEK Athens while FC Slovan Liberec also turned in an impressive performance on Thursday night.
Inter recovered from the shock of going a goal behind at the San Siro to triumph 3-1 over the Greek league leaders. Goals from Javier Zanetti, Mohamed Kallon and Nicola Ventola ensured the Italian team would take a strong lead to Athens next week. On a sombre note though, a fan was seriously injured celebrating Ventola's goal when he fell from an upper tier
Italians going strong
AEK opened the scoring in the seventh minute through a wonderful dipping volley from Theodoros Zagoraki. But once Zanetti levelled there was no looking back for the Serie A side, who are one of three Italian teams left in the competition alongside Milan AC and Parma AC.
Parma in pole position
Earlier on Thursday, Parma were held 0-0 by Hapoel Tel-Aviv in Israel. There were plenty of chances in the match but neither side could find a way through. With Parma having home advantage in next week's second leg they will be favourites to book a place in the quarter-finals. Milan took a 1-0 lead over Roda JC on Tuesday ahead of their home leg next week. Along with the Italian clubs, Valencia CF must also be considered as possible UEFA Cup winners after securing a 3-0 first-leg lead over Servette FC in the other game played on Tuesday.
Ferguson rescues Rangers
There was late drama at Ibrox as Rangers FC's Barry Ferguson converted a penalty to cancel out Feyenoord's precious away goal scored by Shinji Ono in the 72nd minute. However, the Dutch club will be confident going into the second leg at home with the score at 1-1.
Slovan keep going
For Slovan, who have already achieved a number of scalps in this season's competition, a 1-1 draw at Olympique Lyonnais was arguably the best showing of all. This was underlined by the strength of their French opponents who had started the season in the UEFA Champions League. Slovan, who went into the game on a high after beating Czech leaders AC Sparta Praha in a domestic encounter last weekend, took the lead but could not hold on. Jirí Štajner's 14th-minute penalty was wiped out by substitute Sidney Govou to leave the tie finely poised.
PSV held by Leeds
Lyon's French rivals Lille OSC also earned a 1-1 draw, this time at home to BV Borussia Dortmund. Salaheddine Bassir's 72nd-minute goal for LOSC cancelled out Ewerthon's goal five minutes earlier for the German league leaders. Thursday night's final fourth round first-leg match saw PSV Eindhoven and Leeds United AFC play out a competitive goalless draw at the Philips stadium.
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