Udinese 2 – Tottenham 0 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) As has been common practice in recent weeks, Spurs shot themselves in the foot in the 26th minute when Heurelho Gomes had a nightmare dealing with a simple backpass, eventually hauling down Fabio Quagliarella for a penalty and Antonio Di Natale rolled home the spot-kick. It got worse for Spurs when Jamie O’Hara received his marching orders after picking up two bookings in a minute. Pepe wrapped up the points in the closing stages, finishing off a breakaway goal after Di Natale had cut in from the left.
Braga 3 – Portsmouth 0 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) Luis Aguiar gave Braga a dream start at home to Portsmouth when he cracked in a 30-yard free-kick which left David James for dead. Within sixty seconds of the restart it was two, Cuesta turning on the edge of the box before scoring. Alan made it three three minutes from time, collecting a rebound after Campbell’s interception hit the post.
Aston Villa 2 – Ajax 1 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) Villa made a strong start to the game and were rewarded after eight minutes as Martin Laursen rose to head Ashley Young’s corner. The Dutch came back into the game 22 minutes in as Emanuelson’s corner from the right was met by Vermaelen, who powered his header past Friedel. On the stroke of halftime Villa regained their lead, Ashley Young got away down the left and his pull-back eventually reached Gareth Barry, who calmly sidefooted home from 15 yards out.
CSKA Moscow 3 – Deportivo La Coruna 0 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) Alan Dzagoev scored twice in three early first half minutes against Deportivo, burying a sweet free-kick after 9 minutes before converting Vagner Love’s cutback after 12 minutes. Just after the hour mark Vagner Love sealed the convincing win by turning home the third.
Schalke 3 – PSG 1 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) Mabiala inadvertently turned home Kobiashvili’s cross to give Schalke the lead. In the 39th minute Kevin Kuranyi doubled the hosts’ advantage, firing home from outside the box. After the break Altintop added a fine third after exchanging passes with Kuranyi, leaving PSG to savour Chantome’s late consolation goal.
Hertha Berlin 1 – Benfica 1 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) In the 50th minute Benfica caught out Hertha’s high defensive line, and Di Maria ran clear to score the opener. But the Germans hit back with a pearler from Marko Pantelic, firing a beauty into the top corner.
Heerenveen 1 – AC Milan 3 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) AC Milan moved ahead in Heerenveen with a hugely controversial goal, Inzaghi fell with a defender in the box as a Kaka cross was floated in, and the Italian predator managed to turn the ball home even though he was grounded. After that the Rossoneri took control, and the second was scored by Rene Gattuso after being teed up by Kaka. The third goal arrived 20 minutes from time, Gattuso threaded a perfect pass to Pipo Inzaghi and the marksmen netted his second of the night with a class finish. Daniel Pranjic scored a late penalty.
FC Copenhagen 1 – St. Etienne 3 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) St. Etienne’s prized-striker Bafetimbi Gomis hit the target after two minutes in Copenhagen, steering a fine header in the far post. The Frenchmen doubled their lead when Gomis played in Perrin to fire home the second. On the hour mark Santin pulled a goal back for the hosts from the spot, but any hopes of a revival were seemingly snuffed out minutes later by Payet’s third goal for the visitors.
Nancy 3 – Feyenoord 0 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) After holding out for 45, Feyenoord’s woeful recent form came home to roost as Monsef Zerka raced through a porous defence to slot in the opener. And it got worse for Gertjan Verbeek’s side when Julien Feret turned in the second. Helder completed the win with a fine solo goal.
Dinamo Zagreb 3 – NEC Nijmegen 2 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) Mario Mandzukic gave Dinamo the lead after just three minutes, but a Carlos own goal evened things up midway through the first half. Theo Janssen struck to put NEC ahead with 12 minutes remaining, before goals from substitute Bosko Balaban and Ivica Vrdoljak sealed the points for the Croatians.
Partizan Belgrade 1 – Sampdoria 2 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) Partizan’s Lamine Diarra had cancelled out Emiliano Bonazzoli’s opener for Samp, but Daniele Dessena’s second-half strike gave the visitors a vital win.
MSK Zilina 1 – Hamburg 2 (UEFA Cup, October 23, 2008) Martin Jol’s side continue to impress. Goals from Mladen Petric and Ivica Olic secured the victory. (Hamburg goals here.) Emil Rilke pulled one back.