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Panathinaikos purring

Published: Thursday 17 February 2005, 10.00CET reviews the reaction to Wednesday's opening Round of 32 ties, including a win for Panathinaikos FC.
Published: Thursday 17 February 2005, 10.00CET

Panathinaikos purring reviews the reaction to Wednesday's opening Round of 32 ties, including a win for Panathinaikos FC.

Snow put paid to FK Austria Wien's home tie with Athletic Club Bilbao as the UEFA Cup resumed last night but seven other ties went ahead and among the first-leg winners were Panathinaikos FC, who with new coach Alberto Malesani watching from the stands, defeated Sevilla FC 1-0.

Narrow victories
There were also narrow victories for AFC Ajax and Sporting Clube de Portugal, over AJ Auxerre and Feyenoord respectively, while holders Valencia CF won their first game in this season's competition 2-0 against FC Steaua Bucuresti. rounds up the reaction to the opening Round of 32 games.

* AFC Ajax 1-0 AJ Auxerre
The 1-0 victory is a good result, but it should have been better because we had the opportunities. We played very well just after our goal and the important thing was the speed with which we moved the ball. Ronald Koeman, Ajax coach

We came here for at least a draw but we failed to get that. So we have to amend this situation next week. Guy Roux, Auxerre coach

* Panathinaikos FC 1-0 Sevilla FC
This was a special win for me. I would like to thank everyone for their support. When Vintra scored, I felt ten years younger. Tactically, the players were impeccable and deserved the win. Panagiotis Fylakouris, Panathinaikos caretaker coach

Panathinaikos controlled the match and played as we expected them to. The goal they scored was fabulous. The second leg is wide open. I expect us to be more aggressive and I am sure we will be able to score. Joaquín Caparrós, Sevilla coach

* Parma FC 0-0 VfB Stuttgart
The result is not bad because they will have to defeat us in Stuttgart if they want to qualify and tonight we proved, for an hour at least, that we can play at their level. Stuttgart have a strong defence, especially in the air, but I think we can cause them problems when we attack on the ground. Pietro Carmignani, Parma coach

In the first half we played very well but couldn't score. In the second half we were a bit tired and did not manage to play at the same level. It's a difficult period but certainly we cannot talk about a crisis, although we do have to improve our communication on the pitch. The 0-0 is a good result, even if we know we still have a lot to do. Matthias Sammer, VfB Stuttgart coach

* FK Partizan 2-2 FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
That was very tough for us, our first competitive game in three months. My players made many mistakes, but I understand that - they were playing in difficult weather conditions. We are still hopeful but, if we want to succeed, we must not repeat those mistakes. Vladimir Vermezovic, Partizan coach

The snow hindered both sides. Two of the four goals only happened because defenders made mistakes. I'm satisfied but in the next few days we must work on improving. Yevgen Kucherevskyy, Dnipro coach

* FC Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 FC Schalke 04
I said before the match that I was worried as we hadn't played any competitive football this year. I had been worrying about how we would start and unfortunately, I was right. We could not close down the central area and conceded an early goal, which played a big part in the result. But overall I think we deserved victory - we had more possession and more chances to score. Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach

We put Shakhtar under a lot of pressure in the opening 20 minutes and obviously the early goal helped us. Donetsk's strengths lie in midfield and attack and as soon as they recovered from our goal, they started coming forward and created chances of their own. However, we were able to rely on Frank Rost this evening and he saved everything. Ralf Rangnick, Schalke coach

* Sporting Clube de Portugal 2-1 Feyenoord
This was a very fair result but it might not be enough. We did a wonderful job in the first half, where we deserved more goals. Unfortunately Custódio was sent off and the task was very hard for us then because Feyenoord are a very good team. This is a narrow advantage for what we put into the match. José Peseiro, Sporting coach

We started very well. Our tactics were perfect and we got an early goal. After that, Sporting responded well and got the equaliser and deserved to go 2-1 up. The second half was different and our team were not so good, but I said that scoring a goal in Lisbon would be important for Feyenoord. It was a fair result. Ruud Gullit, Feyenoord coach

* Valencia CF 2-0 FC Steaua Bucuresti
Winning is always nice, and even more so because since the start of the year, it had seemed as though we'd forgotten what it was like to win. It has come at a good time and I am doubly pleased as we kept a clean sheet. Despite that, the tie is not over. I know Steaua very well and I am anticipating the first 20 minutes of the return leg to be very tough. Claudio Ranieri, Valencia coach

The team did well - we played good football and showed character, and gave virtually nothing to Valencia. They only scored from a corner and a free-kick. But although we had more chances, we couldn't score. Walter Zenga, Steaua coach

Last updated: 17/02/05 15.07CET

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