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 Tuesday, November 26, 2002 17:48 EST

Man U's second-half goal blitz stops Basel

[Reuters]

LONDON -- Reigning European champions Real Madrid was beaten but former titleholders Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan all won on the opening night of the second phase of the Champions League on Tuesday.

History repeated itself for Real who lost 1-0 at five-time European champions AC Milan with the Italian side maintaining its 100 per cent home record against the Spaniards in European competition going back to their first meeting in 1956.

Andriy Shevchenko scored the only goal in the outstanding Group C match at the San Siro stadium as Milan beat Real for the fifth successive time at home.

The hard part will come for AC Milan in the return leg where the club has never beaten Real in Madrid.

Meanwhile, Manchester United bounced back to win the first European tie it has ever played in Switzerland with a 3-1 victory in Basel where the home side took the lead after only 31 seconds with the sixth-quickest goal in Champions League history.

But Christian Gimenez's early strike was not enough against the two-time champions who stormed back to take the lead with two goals in 90 seconds by Ruud Van Nistelrooy just after the hour mark.

His second goal from the acutest of angles was particularly outstanding and deflated Basel so much they fell even further behind five minutes later when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored the third to ensure United would go home with all three points.

Juventus, the other former European champions in action, fought back superbly to gain a 2-2 draw at Deportivo Coruna after the home side had raced into a 2-0 lead after only 11 minutes.

Diego Tristan (9) and Roy Makaay (11) gave the Spaniards a flying start, but Juve came back with a 38th-minute goal from Alessandro Birindelli and a 57th-minute equalizer from Pavel Nedved.

Borussia Dortmund, the 1997 European champions, also came from behind to win, outclassing a weary Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 in Russia.

The home side, who clinched its domestic title for the first time in the club's 67-year history last week, started the brighter and went ahead after 31 minutes through Sergei Ignashevich.

But Dortmund was level just two minutes later when Torsten Frings equalized, and wrapped up the points two minutes before the break thanks to a well-taken goal by tall Czech striker Jan Koller who was gifted the ball by the home defense.

Second phase matches start in Groups A and B on Wednesday with Bayer Leverkusen playing Barcelona and Newcastle United meeting Inter Milan in Group A. In Group B, Roma hosts Arsenal and Valencia plays Ajax Amsterdam.


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