Friday, 16 February 2007

UEFA Cup: Round of 32

Wednesday 14 February
Round of 32, First Leg: Livorno 1-2 Espanyol
Espanyol will take a one-goal advantage back to Spain after a convincing display although Livorno kept alive their hopes of reaching the Round of 16 with a late goal at the Stadio Armando Picchi. Livorno seemed to suffer in the early stages as they adapted to playing without the support of their home crowd. Espanyol made the breakthrough in the 28th minute. The referee awarded a penalty to the Barcelona club when Jesus Maria Lacruz was bundled over by Cristiano Lucarelli following a corner. Walter Pandiani scored from the spot to notch his eighth goal in the UEFA Cup this season. The visitor's nearly doubled their lead on 54 minutes when Daniel Jarque nodded against a post, yet Livorno's respite was short-lived. Five minutes later, Jarque's long pass released El Yaagoubi and the midfielder coolly beat Marco Amelia. Daniele Arrigoni's men appeared down and out but Fabio Galante headed home with nine minutes left to give the hosts a glimmer of hope ahead of the second leg in Catalonia next Thursday.

Thursday 15 February
Round of 32, First Leg: Braga 1-0 Parma
A late goal from Ze Carlos gave Braga the advantage in their UEFA Cup Round of 32 tie against Parma. The Serie A strugglers looked to be putting themselves in a strong position to reach the last 16, having kept a clean sheet for 81 minutes in Portugal, but the late strike leaves Claudio Ranieri's men needing to score at least once in the return leg next week. Ranieri's side gave a display of the defensive arts on his debut as Parma coach, as the home team pushed the visitors back in search of the breakthrough. Parma will have to produce a more emphatic response if they are to turn the tie around next Thursday.

This Week's Other Results:
Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Blackburn Rovers, Happoel Tel-Aviv 2-1 Glasgow Rangers, Fenerbahce 3-3 AZ Alkmaar, Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Nancy, Bordeaux 0-0 Osasuna, Werder Bremen 3-0 Ajax, CSKA Moscow 0-0 Macaabi Haifa, Benfica 1-0 Dinamo Bucharest, AEK Athens 0-2 PSG, Steaua Bucharest 0-2 Sevilla, Spartak Moscow 1-1 Celta Vigo, Zulte Wregem 1-3 Newcastle United, Lens 3-1 Panathinaikos & Feyenoord P-P* Tottenham Hotspur.

* Tottenham Hotspur get bye into the Round of 16 following Feyenoord being thrown out of the tournament for crowd trouble in the Group Stage.

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