Thursday, 23 October 2008

UC - MD1: Trio make winning start

Udinese 2-0 Tottenham HotspurAll three of Italy's contenders made a winning start to the first matchday in the group stage of the UEFA Cup.

Udinese made the best possible start for Serie A after securing an impressive 2-0 win at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

Both AC Milan and Sampdoria then picked up victories away at Heerenveen and Partizan Belgrade respectively, as the Italian trio make a positive start in their hope to qualify for the knockout stages.

Goals from Antonio Di Natale and Simone Pepe helped Udinese secure a 2-0 win over ten-man Tottenham Hotspur in Group D. An error from visiting goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes at the Stadio Friuli, failing to control a ball and then pulling down Fabio Quagliarella, led to Di Natale tucking away the opening goal from the penalty spot after 24 minutes. Jamie O'Hara then collected his second caution in the space of 52 seconds as substitute Pepe added a late second four minutes from time to guarentee the three points for Pasquale Marino's side.

Heerenveen 1-3 MilanHEERENVEEN 1-3 MILAN
AC Milan made a winning start to Group E on a night when Filippo Inzaghi reclaimed the outright title of all-time leading scorer in European club competition. Inzaghi helped create the opener when Heerenveen midfielder Calvin Jong-A-Pin turned a ball from Ricardo Kaka in under pressure from the forward and Gennaro Gattuso soon added a second. With 21 minutes left Inzaghi made it three to take his personal tally in UEFA competitions to 64, one more than Real Madrid's Raul Gonzalez, prior to a Danijel Pranjic consolation from the penalty spot.

Partizan Belgrade 1-2 SampdoriaPARTIZAN BELGRADE 1-2 SAMPDORIA
Daniele Dessena's second-half strike gave Sampdoria a welcome win after Partizan Belgrade's Lamine Diarra had cancelled out Emiliano Bonazzoli's opener for the visitors in Group C. Dessena scored what proved to be the winner ten minutes after the interval as Samp put their unhappy record in Serie A behind them for the night. With just four points from their first seven league games, Walter Mazzarri's side were lifted as Bonazzoli gave them a 20th-minute lead, but Serbian league leaders Partizan were back on terms by the interval.

Group Stage, Matchday 1
Thursday 23 October
Group A:
Schalke 3-1 PSG
Twente 1-0 Racing Santander

Group B:
Galatasaray 1-0 Olympiakos
Hertha Berlin 1-1 Benfica

Group C:
Partizan Belgrade 1-2 Sampdoria
Sevilla 2-0 Stuttgart

Group D:
Dinamo Zagreb 3-2 NEC Nijmegen
Udinese 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Group E:
Braga 3-0 Portsmouth
Heerenveen 1-3 Milan

Group F:
Aston Villa 2-1 Ajax
MSK Zilina 1-2 Hamburg

Group G:
Copenhagen 1-3 St Etienne
Rosenborg 0-0 Club Brugge

Group H:
CSKA Moscow 3-0 Deportivo La Coruna
Nancy 3-0 Feyenoord

Source: UEFA

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