Group H: Selim Benachour's solitary strike ensured Vitória SC were the only side to go into the final games in the section on the back of a win.
Vitória SC were the only side to claim maximum points from the weekend's action as all three of their UEFA Cup Group H rivals who were in action squandered leads. Bolton Wanderers FC conceded late on to finish with a point, while Sevilla FC and Beşiktaş JK both led before falling to defeats.
Bolton Wanderers FC 1-1 Aston Villa FC
Bolton's eight-game winning streak at the Reebok Stadium in all competitions came to an end after the Lancashire side finished all-square with Aston Villa. With only Henrik Pedersen (achilles) absent, Sam Allardyce kept faith with the side that had defeated Arsenal FC a week before and, after dominating proceedings, his team looked to be heading for a deserved win when El Hadji Diouf struck with eight minutes remaining.
However, Bolton failed to hold on to a lead for the first time at home this season, as substitute Juan Pablo Angel prodded in his first goal of the season to rescue a point for the visitors in the 88th minute. "We always knew our home run would come to an end at some stage but I am disappointed to drop two points to Villa," said Allardyce. "It was the manner of their goal that annoyed me. No one picked up Angel. We only played at 80 per cent of our capacity. But I still feel we did enough to win. I don't think Villa offered much."
FC Barcelona 2-1 Sevilla FC
Sevilla lost a one-goal lead to become the eleventh consecutive side to suffer defeat at the hands of Spanish champions Barcelona. Frédéric Kanouté had given the visitors a 62nd-minute lead but only minutes later Barcelona equalised through Samuel Eto'o before conceding again with 13 minutes remaining, when Ronaldinho beat Andrés Palop from just inside the penalty area.
Pablo Ruiz (knee) was Sevilla's only injury casualty ahead of the match, though Daniel Alves also had to sit out the fixture through suspension. Enzo Maresca, however, was given permission to play after having his own ban rescinded. "We're a bit sad because we lost, though the team worked hard and deserved more than they got," said coach Juande Ramos. "We controlled the game in the way we wanted and if Barcelona had not scored so soon after our goal, then I think it would have been a different match altogether. The difference was that Barcelona made the most of their chances better than we did."
FC Penafiel 0-1 Vitória SC
Guimarães recorded only their fourth Portuguese Liga victory of the season with a crucial win at bottom side Penafiel, Selim Benachour providing a dramatic conclusion to the game with the only goal in the 89th minute. The Tunisian midfield player collected Targino's pass and earned his side victory with a right-foot shot. The strike was reward for an all-action display from Benachour, who caused the Penafiel defence no end of problems. In the first game since Jaime Pacheco's departure as coach of the Guimarães side, the away team were guided by former players Neno and Basílio, who were already at the club.
"This moment is for the players and for the supporters," said Neno. "I want to dedicate this win to former coach Pacheco and to all the coaching staff who left the club." Benachour, meanwhile, added: "If I played well I have to say thanks to all the players. I want to dedicate this goal to Pacheco; the fight goes on and we will wait for another coach. The Beşiktaş game will be very important for us."
Galatasaray SK 3-2 Beşiktaş JK
Beşiktaş lost to Istanbul rivals Galatasaray SK on Saturday, suffering their second derby defeat of the season despite leading twice through İbrahim Toraman goals. Despite the result, Beşiktaş remained in fourth in the Turkish Super League. "Our team played a successful first half but although we decided keep things tight in our own half and not press forward too much, Galatasaray's influential pressing forced us to do so in the second half," said Beşiktaş coach Jean Tigana. "We should have been more influential in the attack. Everything was decided within five minutes."
Tigana was dealt a big blow with the news that Mustafa Doğan will be out of action for two weeks due to a broken hand, while İbrahim Akın will miss a similar period of time due to calf injury. Mustafa underwent a hand operation on Sunday but both players will miss both the UEFA Cup match against Guimarães and the league game against Trabzonspor on Sunday.
FC Zenit St. Petersburg
Zenit, like their Russian counterparts FC Lokomotiv Moskva, did enough from their four group games to have already assured qualification to the Round of 32 from Group H. Despite the club leading the section going into Matchday 5 Zenit cannot finish top, with that position going to either Sevilla or Bolton, depending on the result between the teams when they meet on Wednesday.
The club have received a boost with key Russian internationals Andrei Arshavin and Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who were both expected to move in the winter break, committing themselves to new contracts. Zenit fans can expect more good news soon with coach Vlastimil Petržela promising "major, shocking changes" over the winter break.