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Friday, Sept. 18, 2009

Eduardo keys Arsenal win

LIEGE, Belgium (AP) Eduardo da Silva capped an Arsenal comeback from an early two-goal deficit Wednesday to score the decider in a 3-2 victory over Standard Liege in the opening Group H game of the Champions League.

News photo
Scoreless battle: Inter Milan's Samuel Eto'o (left) vies for the ball with Barcelona's Carles Puyol in Champions League action on Wednesday. The match ended in a 0-0 draw. AP PHOTO

Eduardo, who only started after UEFA overturned his two-match ban for diving earlier this week, slotted the winner in the 81st minute from close range.

Arsenal's third-string goalkeeper Vito Mannone had a nightmare start when Eliaquim Mangala scored in the second minute and Milan Jovanovic wrong-footed him to convert a penalty two minutes later.

Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner slotted home from a tight angle on halftime.

Thomas Vermaelen scored in a goalmouth scramble in the 79th before Eduardo gave the Gunners victory two minutes later.

In other action, five-time champion Liverpool labored to a 1-0 victory over debutant Debrecen, while Dynamo Kiev, Lyon and Sevilla also won their first group games and Olympiakos celebrated the arrival of new coach Zico with a 1-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar.

Greek champion Olympiakos appointed former Brazil star Zico as its new coach after firing Temuri Ketsbaia on Tuesday and he watched from the stands as the club captured three points in the other Group H game.

Vassilis Torosidis headed in the winner against AZ Alkmaar in the 79th minute.

Barcelona's first game as defending champion took it to Italian champion Inter Milan, which is now guided by former Barca assistant coach Jose Mourinho.

Although the Spanish team dominated possession at San Siro, it was generally stifled by Mourinho's tactics and the two teams gained a point each.

That means both are behind Dynamo Kiev which came from behind to beat Russian champion Rubin Kazan 3-1.

Alejandro Dominguez fired the visitors ahead in the 25th minute in Kiev but Ayiila Yussuf, Gerson Magrao and Oleg Gusev turned the game around.

Liverpool struggled to overcome Hungarian champion Debrecen which was making its first visit to Anfield and its only goal came in first half injury time from Dirk Kuyt.

Lyon also edged Fiorentina 1-0 with a 76th-minute goal by Miralem Pjanic and that means the French and English sides share first place.

Fiorentina played the entire second half with 10 men after striker Alberto Gilardino was sent off for elbowing Jeremy Toulalan in the face.

Brazilian stars Luis Fabiano and Renato scored to give Sevilla a 2-0 victory over Romanian champion Unirea Irziceni.

The Spanish side tops Group G because VfB Stuttgart and Scottish champion Rangers drew 1-1.

Pavel Pogrebniak gave Stuttgart the lead with a powerful right foot shot in the 18th minute, but Madjid Bougherra equalized in the 77th.

Adebayor faces ban

MANCHESTER , England (AP) Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor is facing at least a three-match ban after accepting a charge of violent and improper conduct against former Arsenal teammate Robin van Persie in last weekend's Premier League match.

Adebayor "reluctantly accepted" the Football Association charge, City said Wednesday.

Van Persie sustained a cut on his face and claimed Adebayor had acted in a "malicious" manner during City's 4-2 victory on Saturday.

"The player strongly maintains that he did not intend to act in a violent manner," City said. "He apologized on the day to Robin van Persie personally and to the wider public for the outcome of the challenge."

Providing the Togo international's automatic ban is confirmed Thursday when the F.A.'s Disciplinary Panel meets, he will miss Sunday's derby against Manchester United, a League Cup match against Fulham and a Premier League clash with West Ham.

City manager Mark Hughes is now facing a striker crisis for Sunday's match against United, with only Craig Bellamy of his frontline forwards likely to be available.

Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz and Benjani Mwaruwari are all injured and Carlos Tevez is rated extremely doubtful to face his old club.

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