United stay perfect

Manchester United secure top spot, while Barca are held by Lyon.

Charles Adam of Rangers is a forlorn figure as Rangers blow their chance, but they have
one life remaining [GALLO/GETTY]

Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a free kick in injury time to keep Manchester United’s perfect record intact in the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon.

The English champion already had qualified for the second round, but the win guarantees it first place in Group F with one game to go.

Carlos Tevez also scored for United, sidefooting in a pass from Ronaldo in the 62nd minute.

Tevez had entered as a substitute at the start of the second half, along with Ryan Giggs.

Sporting Lisbon striker Fernando Abel scored against the run of play in the 22nd minute with a low, long-range goal from outside the box that went under diving goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

Liedson nearly made it 2-0 five minutes later, but the goal was voided for being offside.

With Tevez spearheading a more attacking formation in the second half, United was a greater threat.

Ronaldo had a powerful shot blocked by Patricio in the 68th, and in the 74th, headed a cross from Tevez wide.

Roma on fire

In Rome, Mirko Vucinic scored twice and AS Roma beat Dynamo Kiev 4-1 to advance to the second round of the Champions League.

Vucinic scored Roma’s third and fourth goals from the edge of the area in the 36th and 78th minutes.

Christian Panucci scored first for Roma in the fourth minute by whipping in a ball from the right flank which beat Dynamo goalkeeper Olexandr Rybka.

Ludovic Giuly made it 2-0 in the 32nd after Roma stole possession on the halfway line, but Ismael Bangoura pulled a goal back for Dynamo in the 63rd.

In Group F, Manchester United has 15 points, Roma is next with 10, six ahead of Sporting. Dynamo is last with zero points.

In their final group games on Dec. 12, Roma hosts United, while Dynamo travels to Sporting.

Lyon share spoils with Barca

In Group E, Juninho scored two goals, including a late penalty, to help Lyon draw 2-2 with FC Barcelona on Tuesday in the Champions League.

The Brazilian scored from the spot in the 79th minute to give the French champions one point.

Roberto Hilbert of Stuttgart defies gravity

He also scored with a free kick in the first half.

Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi scored for Barcelona.

Barcelona took the lead in the third minute when Messi passed down the right to Krcic, whose pass across the face of goal was curled into the bottom corner by Iniesta.

Lyon needed only four minutes to hit back when Juninho’s free kick from 40 metres bounced in front of goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who appeared to lose sight of the ball, and into the net.

In the 58th, Lyon defender Sebastien Squillaci fouled Messi in the penalty area and the Argentina forward converted the spot kick to put Barcelona 2-1 ahead.

After Messi’s goal, Juninho curled a free kick just wide. Eidur Gudjohnsen sent a shot just over the crossbar, and had Lyon goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre save another effort in the 66th.

In the 79th, Lyon substitute Kader Keita burst into the penalty area and was tripped by Eric Abidal.

Juninho hit the spot kick into the roof of the net to secure the draw.

Stuttgart break through for maiden points

Meanwhile in Stuttgart, Ciprian Marica scored in the 85th minute to give Stuttgart a 3-2 win over Glasgow Rangers and its first points in the Champions League and give Rangers a job to do in the final match of the group.

Marica flicked in a cross from Ludovic Magnin as the Bundesliga champion scored its first win after four straight defeats in Group E.

Rangers remained on seven points, while Stuttgart now has three.

Charles Adam, who had come on for the injured Lee McCulloch only a minute earlier, opened the scoring in the 27th after a corner by DaMarcus Beasley was headed down by Carlos Cuellar.

Stuttgart pulled level in first-half injury time through Cacau and Pavel Pardo put the home side ahead after 62 minutes.

Rangers Captain Barry Ferguson made it 2-2, before Marica notched the winner.

Source: News Agencies

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