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UEFA Cup - Round of 32 - Review

Some major upsets in the UEFA Cup this week. With FC Twente, Metalist, and Ajax all running away with a 1-0 away win against stronger opposition in the first leg of the round-of-32. Lets take a look back at how things unfolded on Match Day 6 of the UEFA Cup.

Dynamo Kyiv 1-1 Valencia
A goal in the 8th minute by Silva gave Valencia a slight advantage is their first leg tie against Dynamo Kyiv. Kyiv started the match strongly, and were unlucky to go behind after just 8 minutes. Pablo Hernandez played a beautiful through-ball behind the Kyiv defense into the box to Mata. Mata cut the ball inside towards the rushing Silva whose near-post finish gave Valencia the lead. Dynamo kept bombarding Valencia's goal but it wasn't before the hour-mark when they get a goal back. Dynamo won a free kick on the edge of the Valencia box. Florin Cernat struck a hard shot which seemed to be going out of play, but Artem Milevskiy was in the 'right place at the right time', and the shot struck Milevskiy's body and flew into the goal. No chance Valencia's keeper Cesar could have done anything. In the next minute, hero turned villain, when Milevskiy was shown his second yellow card of the match. Morientes threatened to give Valencia the win in the dying moments, but his shot from a difficult angle went just wide.

FC Zenit St. Petersburg 2-1 Stuttgart
UEFA cup holders Zenit St. Peterburg kept their hopes of regaining of the UEFA cup once again alive be beating German giants, Stuttgart in their first leg encounter. The pitch wasn't in the best conditions, and temperatures in Russia reached -10C, but this didn't stop Zenit from taking an early lead. Jens Lehmann was only able to parry Igor Semshov's volley into the path of Szabolcs Huszti who hit a left-foot shot into the back of the net, with just 2 minutes on the clock. Zenit looked to press on the home advantage, but a mistake by Roman Shirkov allowed German forward, Mario Gomez to cut-in from the right and score left-footed inside the near post. Both teams had an equal number of chances after that, and it looked like both teams would head into the dressing rooms level at half-time, only for Zenit to take the lead right at the death. Bayern Munich's latest signing, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, who is to move to the German giants in the summer, unleased a spectacular volley into the back of the net after a cut-back from his Russian team-mate Aleksandr Anyukov. Both teams continued to create chances, and Pavel Pogrebnyak did put the ball in the back of the net, only to be rules offside. Zenit will miss their match winner Tymoshchuk in the second leg, as he was shown a yellow card in stoppage time.

Olympiacos 1-3 St. Etienne
Olmpiacos's splenind home record went down in the drain when they lost by 2 goals against French powerhouse St. Etienne. The game didn't start off as badly for Olympiacos. They had a goal ruled offside just after 4 minutes. Despite dominating early goings Olmypiacos suffered a set-back after 12 minutes, due to a defensive blunder. Didier Domi gave away possession cheaply to Paulo Machado, who passed the ball to his strike partner Ilan. Ilan slotted the ball home to give St. Etienne the lead. Ilan missed the chance to double the lead, missing from an acute angle, after Antonis Nikopolidis parried Dernis's drive into Ilan's path. Chances started to flow and Predrag Djordjević head the ball over the bar, after a beautfil cross from Luciano Galletti on the right wing. St. Etienne adopted the 'you miss, we hit' policy, and Didier Domi's night went from bad to worse, as his block flew to the feet of Dernis, who put the ball past Nikopolidis, just before half-time. It seemed Olympiacos still had a chance after Djordjević scored a penalty, after Christos Patsatzoglou took a tumble in the penalty area. With just 7 minutes left, Olympiacos had a chance, only for Dudu to head the ball just inches over the bar. St. Etienne's opening goalscorer of the night, Ilan, had to be taken off due to injury, but his replacement, Bafétimbi Gomis took things in his own hands as his long-range effort deflected off Domi (once again!!) into the corner of the Olympiacos net.

Aston Villa 1-1 CSKA Moscow
It seemed the gods weren't with Villa in the attacking third when they drew with Russian heavyweights CSKA Moscow. Villa dominated the match, but it was Moscow who took the lead after 14 minutes. Vagner Love gave the Russians the lead with a moment of brilliance. Love scored his 9th goal of the campaign, by getting past his marker with ease, playing a one-two with Alan Dzagoev, and coolly finishing past Villa keeper, Brad Guzan. Villa continued to pressurise Moscow, and Agbonlahor and Carew both messed up easy chances. Villa continued to miss chance after chance, and it seemed that the Villains couldn't hit the backside of a cow with a banjo if they wanted to. CSKA could have made it 2-0 but Aleksei Berezutski showed why he's preferred in defence after failing to finish after a clever lay-off by Love. Minutes later, Carew threw Villa a life-line finishing from closeby giving Igor Akinfeev no chance. Villa will have to take their chances if they want to have any chance of making it through to the next round, next time these two meet.

Werder Bremen 1-1 AC Milan
Brazilian wonderkid Diego showed his class as he scored a late goal allowing Werder Bremen to share the spoils again AC Milan at the Weserstadion in Bremen. Milan were playing a weakened side with Gattuso, Kaka, and Nesta all out of the starting line-up. It showed as Bremen created a number of chances throughout the course of the match. Hugo Almeida and Clemens Fritz had early shots saved by Dida. Tim Wiese was also kept busy on the other end by Clarenece Seedorf and Mathieu Flamini. Without Kaka, Flamini seemed to be the creator in Milan midfield as he picked out Pipo Inzaghi, who finished, giving Milan an important lead. Bremen seemed to be revitalized, and pushed forward and had many chances. Diego and Almeida both missed their chances to get Bremen back into the game. Milan continued to play like the away team, threatening on the counter attack. Inzaghi looked to double their lead, but his shot came back off the crossbar. Bremen gave it one last burst to get something out of the game. Almeida and Diego had been casuing Milan all sorts of problems throughout the match and the Milan defence finally gave in. Almeida flicked the ball on to Diego, who showed good technique bringing the ball down on his chest and shooting the ball past Dida into the net. Bremen seemed to have a rush of adrenaline, and kept the pressure on Milan. It almost worked, as Ambrosini hit the ball against the crossbar. Bremen have it all to do in the return leg one week from now.

Sampdoria 0-1 Metalist
Ukrainian side Metalist scored a vital away win against Sampdoria. Both teams began on the back-foot, and both teams closed out each other in midfield. Metalist seemed to start off the stronger with Jaja having a few long-range efforts. None of them seemed to trouble Sampdoria keeper Luca Castellazzi. Valentyn Sliusar also had a chance, but his shot went flying over the cross-bar from just six metres out. Metalist continued to pressurise and it paid off. Olexandr Rykun crossed in from the left wing and Denys Oliynyk headed home to give Metalist a deserved lead going into half-time. Sampdoria started the second half on the front foot, and were determined to pull a goal back. Metalist parked a bus infront of their goal to make sure their lead would stay intact to take back home to Ukraine. Claudio Bellucci and Andrea Raggi came close to scoring for Sampdoria. Oliynyk's headers, on the other end, were causing problems for Castellazzi, who had to pull off a great save to keep Sampdoria in the game. Sampdoria bought Paolo Sammarco, and his first few touches brought a shot which scraped the top off the crossbar. Sampdoria will look to make ammends when they travel to Ukraine for the return leg.

NEC Nijmegen 0-3 Hamburg SV
If NEC fans thought they had a slim chance of going through before their match, the 3-0 scoreline killed any chance at all. Hamburg dominated possession throughout the match, and created most of the chances. German midfield maestro Piotr Trochowski was pulling the strings in the midfield for Hamburg with his exquisite passing and dangerous set-piece delivery. NEC held on for some time, but just before half-time Trochowski's free kick hit the back of the net giving Hamburg a well-deserved lead. Minutes later, Alex Silva applied a simple finish from a cross by Mladen Petric to double Hamburg's lead going into half-time. The half-time team talk had no effect on NEC, and Hamburg continued to create chances. Ivicia Olic, who had been causing problems thoughout the match, finally got a goal. Olic smashed the ball past Gabor Babos, Petric again the provider from the right wing.

Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Wolfsburg
PSG won their home leg against Wolfsburg by 2-0, and it could and should have been by a far greater margin. Wolfsburg did have a good first half, with Sascha Riether, Josué and Sebastian Schindzielorz all trying to give Wolfsburg the lead. But that was about all that Wolfsburg did throughout the match. PSG pulled back in the game, with Péguy Luyindula, Fabrice Pancratea and Guillaume Hoarau all failing to put the ball in the back of the net. The match restarted, and PSG continued where they had left off from. Clément Chantôme had a good shot on goal, only to be denied by Diego Benaglio. Wolfsburg threatened on the counter but weren't able to create any chances. With 10 minutes, PSG finally got into the lead. Jérôme Rothen crossed the ball from the left, and Hoarau used all of his 1.92 meters to give the Paris club the lead. 1-0 soon became 2-0, as Hoarau, once again, using his aerial prowess, to head past Benaglio from a Chantome corner. PSG will be disappointed they didn't score more, but will still be confident with this score line going back to Germany.

Bordeaux 0-0 Galatasaray
The only goal-less draw on this UEFA Cup Match day came in France. Both keepers had a good game, and kept the strikers the bay, despite a good number of chances created by both teams. Boredaux, being the home team, dominated most of the possession, and had the early chances. Frenchman, Yoann Gourcuff, shot the ball just wide of the target. Bordeaux, and more precisely, Marouane Chamakh, went close to scoring. Chamakh, first head the ball against the crossbar, and then, tested Morgan De Sanctis, with a long-range shot. Just like a game of ping pong match, it was now Galatasaray's turn to test Bordeaux's goal.Harry Kewell released Milan Baroš into the box, but the Czech could do no more than blaze over. Then, Galatasaray, had their best chance of the match. Ayhan Akman crossed in from the left wing toward Kewell. but Ulrich Ramé pulled of a great save to deny Galatasaray the lead. After these opening exchanges, both teams started to play a very tight game, and not many chances were created. The match ended, without the deadlock being broken. The advantage slightly lies in Galatasaray's favour, as Turkey isn't the easiest place to go and get a win.

Aalborg BK 3-0 Deportivo La Coruña
Magnus Pehrsson started his career, as manager of Aalborg, with a conivncing win over Deportivo La Coruña. Aalborg started the match very strongly, and almost took the lead in two minutes, only for Caca to miss with the goal at his mercy following a pin-point cross from the left-wing. Even though, Deportivo had most of the possession, they were hardly doing anything with it. Michael Jakobsen came close to giving the Swedes the lead, following an Anders Due free-kick. After half-time, Aalborg took the game by the scruff of the neck. Eight minutes in, Due collected a cross, cut-in and whacked the ball towards the net. The shot took a slight deflection off Alberto Lopo, and into the net, past Daniel Aranzubia. Deportivo, then had their best chance of the match, as Mista's overhead kick from a corner came back off the underside of the crossbar. Aalborg were back on the attack, and Due slotted into an empty net, to double his sides advantage. Deportivo didn't do theymselves any favours when keeper Aranzubia fouled Jeppe Curth in the penalty area, allowing Jakobsen to cooly fire home his penalty, giving Aalborg a 3 goal lead to take back to Spain.

Braga 3-0 Standard Liège
Braga were the third team to win by a 3-0 margin against their opponents on this match day. Their victory came at the expense of Belgian club Standard Liège. It looked like luck wasn't on Standard's side, as their influential midfielder, Steven Defour, had to be taken off after an ankle injury after just eleven minutes. Things just went from bad to worse from there on. After just seventeen minutes, Renteria found the back of the net from almost 30-metres out. Just before the half-four mark Braga made it 2-0. Standard failed to clear Luis Aguiar's cross. The ball ended up at Andre Leone's feet and he put the ball in the back of the net. Standard did have a good chance to pull one back, from a Marcos Camozzato from the right wing, Eliaquim Mangal, got his head to the ball, but there was no Standard player to finish off the move. Braga took their foot off the pedal, and chances after then were few and far between. Standard did have a few chances but Benjamin Nicaise's shot was blocked and Mbokani put the ball over the bar. Braga did have one go in the last ten minutes, Renteria's shot was saved by Rorys Aragón, but Alan set up Aguiar to give Braga a comfortable 3-0 win.

Lech Poznań 2-2 Udinese
Polish side Lech gave Udinese a fight for their lives and came back to draw the game 2-2 against their Italian opponents. It was a cagey opening in the first half, and both teams found it hard to create opportunities to give their team the lead. The most notable opportunities fell to Udinese, but Lech keeper, Ivan Turina, kept Gökhan Inler and Fabio Quagliarella at bay with fine saves. After half-time, both teams stepped into gear. 5 minutes after restart, Gaetano D'Agostino sent in a beautiful free-kick into the box, which Quagliarella put into the back of the net. 5 minytes later, Turina parried Inler's strike, but it bounced off Lech defender Manuel Arboleda, who was helpless as it bounced in. The hosts, determined as ever, fought back in the last minutes of the match. First, Semir Stilić was denied by the post before team-mate Robert Lewandowski struck the crossbar. But, nine minutes before time, Lech finally got the goal. Lewandowski found Peruvian striker Rengifo, who slot the ball in the back of the net. The pressure seemed to get to Udinese, and after not being able to clear a corner, Arboleda made up for his own goal by heading the ball into the back of the net, and giving Lech a glimmer of hope to qualify in their return leg.

Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Shakhtar Donetsk hit two late goals to give the Ukrainian side a well-deserved win over Tottenham Hotspurs. Both teams played a very defensive line-up, and that showed, as there were hardly any shots in the first half. Tottenham played a line-up which had many changes following their draw with Arsenal. Shakhtar outplayed Tottenham in the first half, and the Spurs were unable to test Andriy Pyatov in the first 45 minutes. Gomes, on the other end, was having a good game. He turned away Jadson's effort on the volley, while Razvan Rat skied over from a narrow angle. Slowly, but surely, Shakhtar stamped their authority, with Srna sending up some beautiful crosses into the Spurs box. Shakhtar pushed on, and finally got the breakthrough. Yevgen Seleznov, had just come for Olexandr Gladkiy, and brought the game to life. He made an incredible leap, to flick the ball past Gomes, and give Shakhtar the lead. The on-rushing keeper injured himself in the process, but was able to continue. Nine minutes later, Jadson skipped past 3 players, and hit a beautiful shot past Gomes, to give Shakhtar a decisive lead going to White Hart Lane.

FC København 2-2 Manchester City
FC København scored a late goal to leave Manchester City frustarted and take, only a draw back to Manchester. City were the stronger side throughout the match, but they were sitll not able to finish their chances. København had the first chance of the game, when Shay Given spilled a William Kvist corner but Pablo Zabaleta was on hand to clear. København keeper, Jesper Christiansen, was caught out just before the half-hour, as he allowed Nedum Onuoha's weak shot from just inside the area to go through his hands. Zabaleta missed the opportunity to make it 2-0 as he dragged the shot wide, from a tight angle. København seemed to trouble City with corner, and it paid off for the Danish. Kvist's corner (again!) was headed home by Ailton Almeida, to bring the home side on level terms. But, that wasn’t for long, as Shaun Wright-Phillips crossed in from the right, and Stephen Ireland finished from 12 meters giving City the lead. City tried to make it three goals, but Christiansen kept the home side in the game. It worked out, as København hit back in stoppage time. København's substitutes combined to bring both teams back on level terms. Dame Ndoye crossed in from the right, and Martin Vingaard rose superbly to head the ball (again!) past Shay Given.

Olympique de Marseille 0-1 FC Twente
Steve McLaren's Dutch side FC Twente scored a shocking 1-0 win over French giants Marseille. The Dutch side had a dreadful away record in the recent past, having lost their last 8 away games in Europe. The visitors started off strongly, with Marko Arnautovic forcing a save out of Marseille keeper, Steve Mandanda, following a pass from Kenneth Perez. On the other end, the home side started an attack of their own. Mamadou Niang struck a beautiful header, only to be denied by a super one-handed save by Sander Boschker. Arnautovic gave Twente the lead, after tapping in a cross from team-mate Blaise Nkufo on the right wing. Going into the dressing room at half-time, Twente looked strong and in-command of their lead. Happy with the lead, Twente sat back, allowing Marseille to create a few chances. Bakari Koné came closest. First, forcing a save from Boschker, and then firing a rising shot well over the bar. Twente looked comfortable, and took care of Marseille's attacks. They almost made it 2-0, when first goal provider, Nkufo, headed against the post with jsut ten minutes remaining.

AFC Fiorentina 0-1 Ajax Amsterdam
Probably the third upset of the round, along with Twente and Metalist. All these three away teams scoring 1-0 away wins against three big teams. Fiorentina created chance after chance in the match but were still not able to score a goal. Adrian Mutu and Alberto Gilardino proved to be a handful, and broke through the defence on numnerous occasions but were not able to finish. Riccardo Montolivo went round Maarten Stekelenburg, but fired over the bar from a tight angle. Just before the half-hour mark Franco Semioli picked out Mutu, who hit a weak shot straight at Stekelenburg with the whole goal to aim at. Despite Fiorentina dominating, Sébastien Frey had to be alert to punch away a curling attempt from Luis Suarez just before half-time. Soon after half-time, Fiorentina sufferred a setback. At the hour mark, the Viola defence failed to clear a Suarez cross. The ball fell to Kennedy Bakircioglü who struck a beautiful unstoppable shot into the back of the net from the edge of the penalty area. Fiorentine kept looking for an equaliser, but didn't find it, despite Gilardino and Zdravko Kuzmanović having one-on- one opportunities. Fiorentina's poor finishing meant they lost a match they clearly dominated.

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