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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Relief for AC Milan after win over Zurich

Relief for AC Milan after win over Zurich

September 19, 2008 09:33 IST

Seven-times European champions AC Milan eased some of the pressure on coach Carlo Ancelotti with a 3-1 UEFA Cup win at home to FC Zurich on Thursday.

Milan, who missed out on the Champions League after finishing fifth in Serie A last season and have lost their opening two league matches, gave their fans something to cheer at the San Siro in their first round, first leg game.

Czech Republic defender Marek Jankulovski netted with a deflected shot just before halftime, Brazilian teenager Alexandre Pato doubled the advantage with a free kick and substitute Marco Borriello made it 3-0.

Midfielder Dusan Djuric pulled one back for the Swiss visitors 12 minutes from time.

Serie A sides enjoyed a perfect evening with Sampdoria, Udinese and Napoli also winning.

Brazilian strikers had a big impact for former winners CSKA Moscow and Galatasaray, as well as Manchester City, where a good run in the competition is expected given their new spending power following an ongoing takeover by an Abu Dhabi-based company.

Two goals in the final 10 minutes from Vagner Love, including a game-winning penalty a minute from time, earned 2005 winners CSKA a 2-1 victory in Croatia against Slaven Koprivnica.

Brazilian playmaker Lincoln hit a stoppage-time winner for Galatasaray to seal a thrilling 4-3 win over Bellinzona in Switzerland.


Former Liverpool team mates Harry Kewell and Milan Baros, part of the Anfield club's memorable 2005 Champions League winning side, were both on target for Galatasaray, the 2000 UEFA Cup winners. Czech striker Baros netted his second nine minutes from time to put the Istanbul club ahead 3-2.

Iacopo La Rocca levelled in the final minute but Lincoln grabbed a winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

City's recent big-money signing Robinho was overshadowed by Brazilian compatriot Jo, who netted twice as the Manchester side came from a goal down to win 2-1 against Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus.

City trailed to an early second-half goal and had struck the woodwork three times before former CSKA Moscow striker Jo levelled on the hour. He netted the winner on 72 minutes after chesting down and firing home.

Sevilla, the 2006 and 2007 UEFA Cup winners, made a successful return to the competition after their Champions League debut last season, winning 2-0 at home to Salzburg.

Former European champions Ajax Amsterdam coasted to a 4-1 win in Belgrade over Serbia's FK Borac, handing former Netherlands coach Marco van Basten victory on his European debut as a club coach.

Serbian international Miralem Sulejmani and Luiz Suarez, with a delightful lob, got first-half goals and Klaas Jan Huntelaar added a brace after the break.

"I am happy that we won our first game in Europe this season," Van Basten told reporters.

"The opening goal gave us the confidence to control the game and come away with an emphatic victory."

Twice winners Feyenoord, beset by injuries, were left with work to do after Swedish championship leaders Kalmar inflicted a 1-0 home defeat on the Dutch side at the De Kuip stadium.

A 71st-minute goal from Viktor Elm secured victory for Kalmar, who are in pole position to win a first top-flight Swedish title in their 98-year history.

An early Fernando Morientes goal was enough to secure 2004 winners Valencia a 1-0 win away at Maritimo, while Aston Villa, the 1982 European champions, came from a goal down to win 3-1 away at Litex Lovech.

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