| Wednesday, November 27, 2002 21:02 EST
Inter Milan routs 10-man Newcastle
LONDON -- Barcelona made it nine out of
nine and Thierry Henry three out of three, while Inter Milan's
11 were too strong for Newcastle United's 10 in the Champions
League on Wednesday.
Barcelona opened its second phase campaign with a 2-1 win
at Bayer Leverkusen and Inter won 4-1 at Newcastle United in the
night's other game in Group A.
Arsenal is the early leader in Group B after winning 3-1
at AS Roma, while Valencia drew 1-1 with Ajax Amsterdam in the
group's other match on a miserable night for home teams.
Barca's win at Leverkusen was the club's ninth successive
European victory this season and came courtesy of an 88th minute
goal from Dutch substitute Marc Overmars.
Dimitar Berbatov had given Leverkusen a 39th minute lead,
but Javier Saviola equalized early in the second half before
Overmars sealed the points.
After two wins in the qualifying phase, Barcelona won all
six matches in the opening group stage and Wednesday's victory
made it nine out of nine.
Inter Milan scored early in its match at
St James' Park, but unlike Roma the club held onto its
lead and went on to beat Newcastle 4-1 on a night to forget for
the home side, who had Craig Bellamy dismissed after five
Newcastle was already trailing to a goal scored by Domenico
Morfeo after just 65 seconds when Bellamy was sent off for an
off-the-ball punch on Marco Materazzi.
Bellamy, who missed three first-phase matches for a
head-butt when Newcastle played Dynamo Kiev, was the hero with
two goals against Feyenoord two weeks ago -- but now is cast in
the role as villain again and faces another ban.
His red card severely affected Newcastle who was out of it
by halftime as Matias Almeyda (35) and Hernan Crespo (45) put
Inter 3-0 ahead.
Unsettled Peruvian Nolberto Solano gave Newcastle a slight
chance with a 72nd minute goal, but Alvaro Recoba settled
matters with Inter's fourth after 81 minutes -- 20 seconds after
coming on as a substitute.
In contrast to the quick goals at Newcastle and Rome, the
scoring came in the last few minutes in Valencia where Ajax took
the lead after 88 minutes through substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic
and the home side levelled when Miguel Angel Angulo scored in
Valencia, European Cup runner-up in 2000 and 2001 and
tipped by many to do well again this season, dominated much of
the match but appeared to be heading for defeat when Ibrahimovic
stole into the box to convert a pass from Rafael van der Vaart.
But Angulo saved a point for the Spaniards when he finally
beat Ajax goalkeeper Joey Didulica, who had been the outstanding
player on the pitch.
The competition continues in two weeks' time.