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Cluj pull off shock win in Rome
Romanian debutants Cluj beat Roma in the pick of the action from CL Groups A and B.
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2008 22:28 GMT

AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti marches away from the Cluj celebrations [AFP]
CFR Cluj and Anorthosis Famagusta produced shock results on ther Champions League debuts, while Chelsea and Inter Milan registered comfortable wins in Groups A and B.

Romanian newcomers Cluj beat AS Roma 2-0 in Rome as Cypriot side Famagusta held Werder Bremen to a 0-0 draw in Germany.

Chelsea put four goals past Bordeaux in London, and Inter Milan secured a 2-0 win at Greek side Panathinaikos.

Culio raps Roma

Juan Culio scored twice as CFR Cluj came from behind to beat AS Roma 2-1 and make a stunning Champions League debut in their Group A opener at the Stadio
Olimpico on Tuesday.

Christian Panucci had headed the Serie A side in front in the 17th minute after Daniele De Rossi stole the ball near the corner flag and whipped a cross to the near post.

Argentine forward Culio levelled in the 27th with a diagonal strike from outside the area set up by a sweet lay-off from Eugen Trica.

He then volleyed home a loose header from Marco Cassetti four minutes after the break to give the Romanian champions a night to remember in Rome.

After a cagey start, the hosts began to exert pressure and Mirko Vucinic hit one shot narrowly wide and struck the post with another shortly before Panucci's goal.

But the Romans failed to build on the advantage, and Cluj midfielder Dani tested Roma keeper Doni with a long-distance shot five minutes before the break as whistles of frustration came from the home crowd.

Panucci hobbled off at the start of the second half before Culio's second, and Roma coach Luciano Spalletti tried to boost his side by bringing on captain Francesco Totti, who is not 100 per cent fit after a knee injury.

But the visitors were well organized at the back and dangerous on the counter-attack, with midfielder Sixto Peralta nearly adding a third when he hit the crossbar with a header.

Famagusta hold fast

Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf can't believe the scoreline [GALLO/GETTY] 
Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta made a great start to life in the Champions League when they held wasteful Werder Bremen to a 0-0 draw in Group B.

Anorthosis, the first team from Cyprus to qualify for the Champions League, hardly created a chance in their group phase debut but clinched a point thanks to Werder's woeful finishing.

Claudio Pizarro missed a series of chances in the first half and substitute Boubacar Sanogo shot wide from close range when he seemed certain to score late in the game.

Brazilian midfielder Diego kept trying to conjure something up but Werder's evening was summed up when Hugo Almeida raced through late on only to blast a shot high and wide.

"We kept looking for a goal until the final minute but we didn't put enough pressure on to force them into mistakes," Werder defender Per Mertesacker told Premiere TV.

Anorthosis, known as the 'Big Lady' of Cypriot football, had a couple of shots on target in the second half but Tim Wiese's goal was never in real danger.

Chelsea cruise

Last season's beaten finalists Chelsea began their new campaign with a 4-0 victory over Bordeaux in their Group A match at Stamford Bridge.

Headers by Frank Lampard and Joe Cole, in his 50th European match for the club, put Chelsea in control after 30 minutes and only wayward shooting from Lampard and Nicolas Anelka before the break prevented the London side winning by a bigger margin.

The goals in the final 10 minutes from Florent Malouda and Anelka gave the scoreline a far more realistic look as Chelsea dominated the game from the first kick to the last.

France striker Anelka slotted in his first Champions League goal for Chelsea from point blank range with the last kick of the match after a 30-metre shot from substitute Juliano Belletti was palmed on to the bar by Bordeaux

Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, taking charge of a team in the Champions League for the first time, only had to wait 14 minutes to see his first goal when the unmarked Lampard headed in a simple chance from Jose Bosingwa's cross from the right.

Cole then reacted first to Lampard's inswinging corner from the left before Chelsea dominated for long passages of play.

Malouda brightened things up in the 82nd minute when he made it 3-0 following fine approach work by Jon Obi Mikel and a Lampard backheel that set up the French winger, before Anelka rounded off a comfortable night.

Tragedy for Greeks

A goal in each half from Mancini and Adriano gave Inter Milan a 2-0 win over Panathinaikos in Group B.

Mancini struck in the 27th minute when Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic held off two defenders to slide the ball through to him on the left-hand side of the box.

Inter did not have it all their own way as Bryce Moon hit Julio Cesar's crossbar and the Greeks missed several other opportunities to level at the Olympic Stadium in Athens.

Five minutes from time substitute Adriano latched on to a through ball from Ibrahimovic and lashed the ball past Panathinaikos goalkeeper Mario Galinovic.

Inter had the best of the first half with Patrick Vieiraedging Gilberto Silva in the midfield battle between two ex-Arsenal team mates.

After the break the Italian champions went off the boil as Gilberto Silva took control of the midfield.

Inter turned to their substitutes bench bringing on Luis Figo, Sulley Muntari and Adriano, Panathinaikos began to wilt and Adriano finished things off in the 85th minute.

 

Source:
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