Greece's two representatives and the pair of British sides remaining in the UEFA Cup were able to celebrate useful results last night, as Panathinaikos FC, AEK Athens FC, Celtic FC and Liverpool FC all gained an advantage in their fourth round first-leg ties.
Of that quartet, Panathinaikos were the biggest winners, defeating RSC Anderlecht 3-0 at home. Emmanuel Olisadebe was on target twice, claiming a goal in each half, with Nikos Lyberopoulos also scoring. The Polish international said afterwards: "I am very excited about the way we played today." The Anderlecht coach, Hugo Broos, was inconsolable. "For me, the UEFA Cup is over," he said.
Drawn in Spain
AEK will have a less daunting home task following their 0-0 draw at Málaga CF. Another club from the Greek capital, AEK had proven their resilience in drawing all six of their UEFA Champions League first group stage games, and that steel was on display again last night in a match in which both teams had opportunities to establish a lead.
Ten men beaten
Elsewhere, Celtic came from a goal behind to beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1. The German visitors had Marcelo Bordon sent off after 17 minutes, and although Kevin Kuranyi gave them the lead soon afterwards, Paul Lambert, Shaun Maloney and Stilian Petrov ensured the extra man counted. The only away winners of the night were Liverpool, who secured a 1-0 success at AJ Auxerre, captain Sami Hyypiä finishing with aplomb late on.
Wisla Kraków continued their good form against Italian sides, holding S.S. Lazio to a 3-3 draw in Rome. Lazio led 2-1 at the break, but two penalties from Maciej Zurawski gave the Polish visitors hope of victory before Enrico Chiesa equalised.
Porto score six
Both Turkish sides suffered defeats. Denizlispor found Portuguese league leaders FC Porto on top form as the home team won 6-1. The game was goalless at half-time, but Capucho, Derlei, Ricardo Costa, Edgaras Jankauskas, Deco and Dmitri Alenichev delighted their fans with six goals after the break.
Besiktas JK were involved in a closer affair, losing for the first time in 28 matches as they fell to a 1-0 loss against SK Slavia Praha, Tomáš Došek scoring the winner just past the hour. Besiktas defender Zago was sent off for violent conduct six minutes from time.
The night's other game was decided in the dying seconds, as Dick van Burik's acrobatic flick gave Hertha BSC Berlin a 3-2 home win against Boavista FC in a game where the Portuguese visitors twice came from behind. All eight ties will be settled on 27 February when the return legs take place.
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