An injury-hit Tottenham squad held on to a 2-2 draw in their first Champions League outing. [GALLO/GETTY] 

Group A

Former Liverpool boss, Rafael Benitez saw his side, Inter Milan opened the defence of their Champions League title with a 2-2 draw with Dutch newcomer FC Twente.

Wesley Sneijder, who starred for the Netherlands at the World Cup, opened the scoring for Inter but the Dutch were quick to reply with a curling free kick by Theo Janssen in the 20th minute. And just ten minutes later, an own goal by Inter’s Diego Milito put Twente ahead.

Samuel Eto'o 41st minute goal rescued Inter, which is struggling for form in the early part of the campaign after winning an unprecedented treble Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup last season.

Michel Preud'homme, Twente coach said: “A draw against Inter is a good result for us, we could have won the match.”

In the other match of the group, Tottenham in their first Champions league outing, drew 2-2 against Werder Bremen. Spurs got off to a good start with a Petri Pasanen own goal and a header by Peter Crouch. But their German opponents equalised as Hugo Almeida and Marko Marin scored a goal each.

Group B

In Group B, Michel Bastos of Lyon scored an opportunist 21st-minute goal helping them to a 1-0 win against 10-man Schalke.

Schalke centre half, Benedikt Hoewedes, was sent off 13 minutes into the game for a high tackle on Lyon forward Jimmy Briand.

In the group’s other game, Benfica secured a 2-0 win as Luisao and Oscar Cardozo scored against Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Group C

In Group C, Manchester United were frustrated by the Scottish Champions, Rangers as the home side was held to a goalless draw at Old Trafford.

An almost second-string United, featuring recalled England striker Wayne Rooney and nine other players who did not start in their 3-3 draw at Everton on Saturday, failed to break down a stubborn Rangers defence.

United winger Antonio Valencia sustained a serious looking injury in the second-half of the game and had to be stretchered off.

Valencia got to the top of Group C as they thrashed newcomer Bursaspor 4-0 away

Tino Costa scored the opener for Valencia in the 16th minute with a 35-yard shot and striker Aduriz headed in the second. Pablo Hernandez and Roberto Soldado added more goals in the second half for the Spanish team.

Group D

Barcelona started group play with a convincing 5-1 home victory against Panathinaikos

Sidney Govou of Panathinaikos gave his side the lead in the 20th minute. But Argentina forward Messi equalised for Barcelona with a well-taken finish. He later added a third goal after off-season signing Villa had made it 2-1.

Messi took his tally for the season to six goals in five games and missed a hat trick in the 54th minute.

Pedro and Alves of Barcelona later piled on the agony for the visitors from Greece.

In the other Group D match,  Dame N'Doye's late winner handed FC Copenhagen a 1-0 victory against Rubin Kazan.





Source: AP