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Form guide points to home wins

Published: Saturday 10 September 2005, 23.54CET
Group F: Olympique Lyonnais and Olympiacos CFP had fine results while Tuesday visitors Real Madrid CF and Rosenborg BK suffered defeats.

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Published: Saturday 10 September 2005, 23.54CET

Form guide points to home wins

Group F: Olympique Lyonnais and Olympiacos CFP had fine results while Tuesday visitors Real Madrid CF and Rosenborg BK suffered defeats.
While the two teams beginning their UEFA Champions League Group F campaigns at home - Olympique Lyonnais and Olympiacos CFP - were in fine form on Saturday, their respective Tuesday visitors Real Madrid CF and Rosenborg BK suffered demoralising defeats.

Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 AS Monaco FC

Olympique Lyonnais will start their sixth consecutive Champions League campaign from the familiar position of first in Ligue 1 thanks to their victory against Monaco. New Brazilian signing Fred made a real impact in his first match in Europe, the former Cruzeiro EC player scoring at the start of each half. Monaco midfielder Olivier Kapo was shown a second yellow card in the 57th minute and Lyon proved dominant except when David Gigliotti reduced their lead ten minutes from time with a deflected free-kick.

Lyon, French champions four years running, now have five wins and a draw from their opening six league games, their best start for five seasons. Coach Gérard Houllier said: "It was an important victory against contenders for our crown who are now nine points behind."

Cris is Houllier's only injury concern after he left the pitch against Monaco with a suspected bruised knee ligament, with a scan to follow on Monday. Houllier added of Madrid: "The absence of [Zinedine] Zidane and Ronaldo is not totally good news as their team will be balanced more towards defence, especially away from home."

Real Madrid CF 2-3 RC Celta de Vigo

Madrid suffered defeat in their opening home game of the season, losing to newly-promoted Celta. Madrid were 1-0 down by the eighth minute when Fernando Baiano's far-post header bounced off the bar for Pedro Contreras to stroke the ball in from close range. The home team were back on level terms on 36 minutes from Ronaldo's penalty following a foul on Julio Baptista.

Baptista put Madrid in front on the cusp of half-time, heading in Iván Helguera's sweeping centre, but within seconds, Celta had levelled as a direct result of Francisco Pavón's handball. Iker Casillas, playing his 200th game, brilliantly kept out Néstor Cannobio's penalty but the ball landed sweetly for Antonio Núñez to head in against his former club. Celta struck an unusual winner on 76 minutes when Cannobio's fierce strike ricocheted off the bar and, according to the assistant referee, over the line.

Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo said: "Losing this game hurts but looking at it positively, it has been a lesson that we should learn from. We did not play well, conceded an early goal and following that, the situation did not develop as we had anticipated. It's not been a good week for us and perhaps the absence of players for international duty has contributed."

Luxemburgo, who is missing Ronaldo on Tuesday due to suspension, was without Zidane, out for three weeks recovering from a groin strain suffered for France against the Republic of Ireland. The Madrid coach deployed Guti in his place while new signing Robinho started, confining Raúl González, who has a back problem, to the bench. Latest signing Sergio Ramos made an appearance at the start of the second half, replacing Pavón, who injured his toe, in central defence while David Beckham was forced out of the match on 80 minutes after taking a knock to his right knee.

Raúl, who is one goal short of 50 in the Champions League, scored for Spain in the 1-1 draw with Serbia and Montenegro in midweek, with Míchel Salgado and Casillas also figuring but Ramos omitted. While Beckham might have been ruing England's 1-0 defeat by Northern Ireland, Thomas Gravesen was celebrating as Denmark overcame Georgia 6-1.

Olympiacos CFP 5-0 Panionios NFC

Olympiacos cruised to victory against Panionios, their eleventh home win in a row against that opposition. Panionios have not won so much as a friendly since July, and the reigning champions went ahead through man of the match Pantelis Kafes in the 24th minute from close range. The midfield player was to set up the remaining four goals, starting just after the break when his cross from the right was headed in by Ieroklis Stoltidis.

Eight minutes later, Kafes found Athanassios Kostoulas, whose header made it 3-0. In the 58th minute, Kafes laid the ball into the path of Ioannis Taralidis to score with a powerful shot. Eight minutes later, Kafes's effort found its way to Haruna Babangida, who completed the scoring in front of an empty Karaiskaki stadium, Olympiacos in the penultimate game of a stadium ban due to crowd trouble last season. They have won both their games this season, having previously defeated Panathinaikos FC 2-0.

Home coach Trond Sollied decided to rest Rivaldo to ensure he recovers from a groin injury in time to face Rosenborg, and Yaya Touré, who arrived late on Thursday from international duty with the Ivory Coast, and missed several training sessions. Rivaldo's absence allowed Kafes to start, as he is not usually a part of the Norwegian coach's 4-3-3 scheme. Mihalis Kapsis complained of pain in his left thigh muscle and was sidelined as a precaution, allowing Taralidis to step in.

Viking FK 3-2 Rosenborg BK

Rosenborg remained in relegation trouble in the Norwegian Eliteserien after letting slip a two-goal lead against Viking FK to lose 3-2. Two Thorstein Helstad strikes in the first 35 minutes seemed to have secured Rosenborg's first league points in five matches, but Egil Østenstad swiftly pulled one back almost immediately and, Allan Gaarde and Toni Nhleko turned the game in the final ten minutes.

"We tired at the end, and Viking took advantage of that," said Rosenborg coach Per-Mathias Høgmo, whose club's struggles are in stark contrast to their run of 13 straight championships which has ended with a dramatic bump.

At Olympiacos, Rosenborg are expected to be without defenders Christer Basma, Robbie Russell and Miika Koppinen through injury. Goalkeeper Espen Johnsen is also a doubt with a knee problem. He was on the bench against Viking.

Last updated: 12/09/05 14.39CET

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