| Wednesday, October 2, 2002 18:24 EST
Arsenal, Valencia stay perfect
LONDON -- European champions Real Madrid
fought back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with AEK Athens on
Wednesday and maintain its unbeaten record at the halfway
stage of the first phase of the Champions League.
Although Real lost its 100 percent record in the
competition, third successive victories for Arsenal, who won 1-0
at Auxerre, and Valencia, won crushed Basel 6-2, maintained
their perfect starts and almost certainly booked their places in
the second phase.
Liverpool finally got its campaign off the ground with
the club's first win, a 5-0 hammering of Spartak Moscow, while away
victories for Olympique Lyon, 2-1 at previously unbeaten Inter
Milan, and Borussia Dortmund, 3-1 at PSV Eindhoven, kept their
hopes of progressing alive.
Inter's defeat by Lyon was its first ever at home in
Europe's premier club competition, the European Cup and
Champions League, in this the club's 34th home match since September
PSV Eindhoven scored for the first time in five matches and
466 minutes of Champions League action but still lost 3-1 at
home to Borussia Dortmund, while AS Roma revived its chances
of a place in the last 16 with a 1-0 win at Genk, whose
goalkeeper Jan Moons was sent off for deliberate handball after
AEK Athens made a great start at home against Real in its
Group C match, with Vassilis Tsartas putting the club ahead after
only six minutes with a twice-taken free kick that hit the post
the first time and the back of the net after the referee ordered
it to be re-taken.
Real was level within nine minutes thanks to Zinedine
Zidane but AEK struck twice in four minutes through Christos
Maladenis (24) and Denis Nikolaidis (28) to put the hosts 3-1
Zidane pulled the champions back in the game five minutes
before the break and AEK finally caved in when Guti scored on
the hour after Raul had rattled the crossbar.
With Roma winning 1-0 at Genk in the same group, Real has
seven points to lead the quartet, followed by Roma (four
points), AEK (three) and Genk (one).
Arsenal, who failed to win away in the competition from
February 2001 until last week at PSV Eindhoven, secured its
third straight success in Group A with a 1-0 victory at Auxerre
thanks to a 48th minute goal from Brazilian World Cup winner
Auxerre made the English champions work hard for their
victory and hit the bar late in the game, but the Gunners held
firm to top the group with nine points. Borussia Dortmund, whose
goals at PSV came from Jan Koller (21), Tomas Rosicky (69) and
Marcio Amoroso (90), have six points with Auxerre and PSV on one
Valencia also maintained its perfect start in Group B with
a sparkling 6-2 victory over Basel, who had started its first
Champions League campaign with a win and a draw.
But the Swiss side never looked like getting anything other
than a spanking in Spain as two goals from John Carew and one
each from Fabio Aurelio and Ruben Baraja put Valencia 4-0 ahead
inside 28 minutes.
Julio Rossi gave Basel a glimmer of hope soon after halftime
before further strikes by Pablo Aimar and Mista put Valencia 6-1
ahead. Hakan Yakin scored a late consolation for Basel who
started the night in second place but ended it third after
Liverpool's 5-0 rout of Spartak Moscow at Anfield.
Liverpool's first success lifted the club to four points, the
same as Basel but now with a better goal difference. Spartak
has lost all three matches.
Emile Heskey scored the first and last goals as Liverpool
dominated the entire game, Bruno Cheyrou, Sami Hyypia and Salif
Diao adding the others.
Valencia leads the group with nine points, Liverpool and
Basel have four and Spartak none.
Olympique Lyon ended one of the proudest home records in
Europe when it won 2-1 at Inter Milan who had been unbeaten in
33 previous European Cup and Champions League matches dating
back to September 1963.
Goals from Sidney Govou (21) and Sonny Anderson (58) put
Lyon 2-0 ahead and a 72nd minute goal from Fabio Cannavaro
failed to save the hosts.
With Ajax Amsterdam drawing 0-0 at Rosenborg, Lyon moved
from third to top of Group D on six points, followed by Inter
and Ajax on four and Rosenborg on two.
After three successive weeks of Champions League action,
there is now a three-week break until Matchday Four on October