UEFA Cup round-up: AC Milan, Schalke off to flying start | inside World Soccer


UEFA Cup round-up: AC Milan, Schalke off to flying start

Friday, October 24, 2008

AC Milan made a winning start to their UEFA Cup group stage campaign while Schalke, Udinese and Sevilla also kicked-off with victories.

Serie A giants Milan, which failed to qualify for the Champions League this season, won 3-1 at Dutch outfit Heerenveen.

The Rossoneri scored twice within four minutes in the first-half through on an own goal by Heerenveen defender Calvin Jong-a-Ping and then a close-range shot by Gennaro Gattuso.

The Italians stretched their advantage on 69 minutes as Filippo Inzaghi fired his 64th goal in all UEFA club competitions, making him the all-time record goalscorer in Europe.

Heerenveen then scored a late consolation when Danijel Pranjić converted a penalty after Paulo Henrique was fouled in the area by Giuseppe Favalli.

Schalke got their UEFA Cup campaign off to a winning start with a 3-1 home success over Paris Saint Germain.

The 1997 winners opened the scoring after 12 minutes when Larrys Mabiala inadvertently diverted a Jefferson Farfán cross past his keeper Mickaël Landreau.

Kevin Kurányi then doubled the lead six minutes before the break, smashing home another Farfán's cross into the top corner.

Turkish international Halil Altintop ended the contest with a third in the 69th minute before Clément Chantôme netted a late consolation for PSG.

Premier League strugglers Tottenham again tasted defeat as they went down 2-0 at Udinese to heap the pressure on under-fire boss Juande Ramos.

Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes made a horrendous error to gift the hosts their opener as he miscontrolled a backpass before brought down Fabio Quagliarella after 24 minutes.

Antonio Di Natale put away the resulting penalty kick low to Gomes’ right.

Things got worse in the second half when midfielder Jamie O’Hara got himself stupidly dismissed for two bookable offences in the space of 52 seconds.

Darren Bent squandered a great chance to equalise before Simone Pepe made it 2-0 with a shot off the post.

While Sevilla, whom Spurs coach Ramos twice led to the trophy in 2006 and 2007, cruised to a 2-0 win over VfB Stuttgart.

Ndri Romaric knocked a left-footed free-kick into the top corner on 15 minutes before Renato converted a header just a minute later.

Also off to a flying start were Turkish giants Galatasaray, who saw off Olympiakos 1-0 with former Leeds and Liverpool man Harry Kewell netting the only goal of the match on 25 minutes.

Bundesliga leaders Hamburg edged out MŠK Žilina 2-1 in Group F thanks to goals from Croatian duo Mladen Petrić and Ivica Olić.

In the same group, Aston Villa beat Ajax 2-1 in a meeting of former European champions with Gareth Barry scoring the winner.

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