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Leverkusen and Shakhtar soar but Milan held

Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Shakhtar Donetsk warmed up for their group stage openers with handsome wins but AC Milan drew and FC Oţelul Galaţi lost 4-0 at home.

Stefan Kiessling celebrate with team-mates after putting Leverkusen 2-1 ahead
Stefan Kiessling celebrate with team-mates after putting Leverkusen 2-1 ahead ©Getty Images

There were goals aplenty for six UEFA Champions League hopefuls in their final outings before beginning their group stage campaigns but AC Milan started the defence of their Serie A title with a draw and FC Oţelul Galaţi suffered a severe setback.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen produced the most eye-catching result as they recovered from conceding an early opener to run out 4-1 winners at FC Augsburg, although FC Shakhtar Donetsk went one better with a 5-1 cruise at home to FC Volyn Lutsk. Luiz Adriano scored twice for the hosts, who were four goals ahead inside 37 minutes.

KRC Genk were involved in the most thrilling contest of the evening as they let a 3-1 lead slip in the final 14 minutes at K. Sint-Truidense VV before Dániel Tőzsér (88) secured their first away victory of the season. FC Viktoria Plzeň also took the points on their travels with Marek Bakoš on target twice in the opening nine minutes in their 3-2 success at SK Sigma Olomouc. FC Porto maintained their 100% record with a 3-0 win at home to Vitória SC while APOEL FC overcame Alki Larnaca FC 3-1.

The Italian season kicked off at San Siro but Milan were slow out of the blocks as they fell two goals behind against S.S. Lazio. The titleholders wasted no time responding, however, with Zlatan Ibrahimović (29) and Antonio Cassano (33) levelling, though the Rossoneri could not prise a winner. FC BATE Borisov were also held, though their goalless draw at second-placed FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk kept them nine points clear in Belarus.

Oţelul were the only one of the nine UEFA Champions League sides to lose with a 4-0 reverse at home by CFR 1907 Cluj – their third defeat in six league games this term – less than ideal preparation for their trip to FC Basle 1893 on Wednesday.

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