Group B: Brøndby IF were the only winners and FC Lokomotiv Moskva's poor run continued in a disappointing weekend for the teams in Group B.
FC Lokomotiv Moskva
Lokomotiv stretched their run without a Russian Premier-Liga victory to five matches as FC Shinnik Yaroslavl ground out a goalless draw in the Russian capital, a result which allowed PFC CSKA Moskva to move level with Lokomotiv on 50 points at the top of the table. Marat Izmailov shot just wide in the 75th minute but Vladimir Eshtrekov's team largely struggled to turn possession into clear opportunities. "We should have a look at ourselves," said Eshtrekov. "If we have problems, we have to find reserves from within. Now we have to forget about this match and get ready to play Espanyol."
Lokomotiv had a number of players in international action last week, with Izmailov, Dmitri Loskov, Dmitri Sennikov and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov all featuring in Russia's concluding FIFA World Cup qualifier in Slovakia . Goalkeeper Sergei Ovchinnikov was an unused substitute in that game, and Dmitri Kruglov appeared in Estonia's 2-0 win in Luxembourg.
Espanyol suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home by Cádiz CF and finished with ten men after right-back Armando Sá was sent off. Miguel Ángel Lotina's side now lie 17th in the Primera División with just two wins from seven games, and have lost three of their last four matches. The Espanyol coach decided to rest Argentinian midfielder Pablo Zabaleta who returned tired from international duty. Both Cádiz goals came from the wings, Jonathan Sesma creating the first for Matías Pavón to poke in on 64 minutes before Sesma tapped in the second 15 minutes later.
Lotina, who has left Armando Sá out of his squad for the trip to Moscow for tactical reasons, was dismayed at the team's third home defeat, saying: "We made two bad mistakes in defence and there is no way that you can win playing like we did - at best, you could hope for a goalless draw. It was a fair result, perhaps we should return to playing three centre-backs."
Maccabi Petach-Tikva FC
Maccabi came from behind to get a 1-1 draw away to Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC at Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday. Dutch striker Emile Mbamba headed the equaliser in the 70th minute and Maccabi were denied victory three minutes from time when Omer Golan had an effort disallowed. The draw leaves them sixth in the Israeli First Division.
Golan was the only player in the Maccabi squad involved in international duty with Israel, coming on as a substitute in their 2-1 victory against the Faroe Islands. Goalkeeper Ohad Cohen was an unused substitute, whilst Salim Toema was forced to pull out of the squad after breaking his leg. Coach Guy Luzon said: "We have dropped points so far through no fault of our own. I don't think my players were concentrating on the Palermo match, we came out here to win."
US Città di Palermo
An added-time goal by Andrea Caracciolo earned Palermo a hard-fought 2-2 draw against AC Chievo Verona. The home side had taken the lead thanks to a 15th-minute Eugenio Corini penalty but two Amauri goals turned the match in Chievo's favour and Palermo finished the match with ten men after defender Giuseppe Biava was sent off late on, although Caracciolo's goal at least earned a draw. Argentinian right-winger Alberto Santana started despite returning late in the week from international duty, while goalkeeper Matteo Guardalben and defender Andrea Barzagli were both ruled out by injuries.
"We play attacking football and we always score goals, but Chievo have the same mentality and we knew they were in good form," said Palermo coach Luigi Del Neri. "We did not play brilliantly but we always tried to score until the final whistle. It means we're in a good physical condition and I'm sure that we will improve and that we are on the right path."
Brøndby remained within four points of Danish Superleague leaders FC København with a 2-1 win at bottom side SønderjyskE, only their third away league victory of the season. Captain Per Nielsen had been on duty for Denmark in their two last FIFA World Cup qualifiers, but the Brøndby defence was far from convincing and allowed the home team several first-half opportunities. It was Brøndby who struck first, however, Norwegian international defender Trond Andersen heading in a 42nd-minute corner, and eleven minutes into the second half it was two as Thomas Rasmussen tapped in after Martin Retov's shot had rebounded off a post. The home team pulled a goal back through Jacob Stolberg with 14 minutes remaining, however, and created several great chances in the closing stages, but the champions held firm for a win that kept them in touch at the top.
"At half-time we agreed to hold on to the ball better than we had managed in the first half, and I think we succeeded in doing that until they scored," said Brøndby midfielder Kim Daugaard. "After that I really do not know what went wrong."