There was smiles all round in Lyon and Trondheim as Olympique Lyonnais and Rosenborg BK secured impressive victories, although the same could not be said of UEFA Champions League Group F rivals Olympiacos CFP and Real Madrid CF, who both suffered demoralising defeats.
OFI Crete FC 1-0 Olympiacos CFP
Olympiacos suffered a third consecutive defeat in all competitions, after Alpha Ethniki strugglers OFI Crete FC claimed a one-goal win. The Greek champions had lost their previous league game to PAOK FC, before suffering further defeat in the UEFA Champions League against Lyon.
Greece international forward Nikos Machlas inflicted further misery with the only goal for OFI just after the hour though Trond Sollied's side remain second, just a point behind league leaders Xanthi FC, who lost at Egaleo FC.
Brazilian midfield player Rivaldo and Grigorios Georgatos remain sidelined, having also missed Wednesday's game against Lyon, after both picked up groin injuries in the loss to PAOK a week ago.
FC Metz 0-4 Olympique Lyonnais
Lyon earned a comprehensive win at FC Metz to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and open up a seven-point lead atop Ligue 1. Florent Malouda was the inspiration, teeing up first-half goals for John Carew and Sylvain Wiltord either side of Juninho Pernambucano's 36th-minute strike. Malouda then sealed an impressive victory five minutes after the restart with his first goal of the season.
It was a clinical display by a Lyon side without regular wing-backs Eric Abidal and Anthony Réveillère, both of whom were rested by coach Gérard Houllier. The former Liverpool FC manager also started with Sidney Govou, whose late goal earned the French side victory against Olympiacos CFP on Wednesday, on the bench.
Houllier said: "I'm satisfied because we avoided complacency following the Olympiacos win. We remained focussed and the players that came into the side played well."
Vålerenga IF 0-2 Rosenborg BK
Rosenborg confirmed their top-flight status with their fourth straight win against league leaders Vålerenga IF. The home side's first goal owed a lot to good fortune as former Rosenborg goalkeeper Árni Gautur Arason failed to connect with Thomas Holm's back pass and the ball rolled into the vacant net after 16 minutes.
Vålerenga pushed forward in search of an equaliser and as a result were caught on the break in the 76th minute when Frode Johnsen tapped in Per Ciljan Skjelbred's right-wing cross. "I am very satisfied," said coach Per-Mathias Høgmo. "We are getting better and better with every game. Four straight league wins with a goal difference of 15-1 tell its own story. This shows that the squad has quality in abundance."
Midfielder Ørjan Berg is out for the season with an ankle injury, while American defender Robbie Russell is still struggling with a knee injury.
Real Madrid CF 1-2 Valencia CF
Madrid missed a penalty en route to a 2-1 defeat by Valencia CF, a game they ended with just nine men. Zinedane Zidane's 11th-minute penalty grazed a post, and eleven minutes later Valencia went ahead through Rubén Baraja's free-kick. Raúl González brought Madrid level on 36 minutes, before the visitors won a penalty of their own just before half-time, which David Villa converted. It got worse for the home side when substitute Thomas Gravesen was dismissed late on, having only been on the pitch six minutes, and David Beckham soon followed.
Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo was left to rue Zidane's missed penalty, saying: "If that had gone in, it would have changed the game as Valencia would have been forced to push out of defence. After we equalised, they pressed forward quickly, which unbalanced us – we should have tried to stay calm. But in general, I only see one problem – we have lost two players, have three out injured and the tiredness is accumulating, but that's football."
Luxemburgo had several injury worries ahead of the game. Ronaldo remains out with a torn ankle ligament, Julio Baptista is nursing a sprained knee and Míchel Salgado is recovering from a hamstring tear.
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