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Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010

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In control: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, right, challenges Auxerre's Dariusz Dudka for the ball during their Champions League match on Tuesday in Auxerre, France. Real won 1-0. AP PHOTO

Real, Bayern make it two wins out of two in group stage

LONDON (AP) Nine-time winner Real Madrid took control of its Champions League group with a 1-0 victory over Auxerre on Tuesday as AC Milan was held to a 1-1 draw at Ajax.

Substitute Angel Di Maria scored in the 81st minute to clinch Madrid's second straight win in Group G.

"We knew it would be a very hard game, I prepared it well tactically," Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said. "Six points is very important in a hard group."

The Spanish side has a two-point lead over seven-time champion Milan, which relied on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's goal against former club Ajax to salvage a point.

Chelsea's 2-0 victory over Marseille kept the London club top of Group F ahead of Spartak Moscow, which also has six points after beating Zilina 3-0.

Arsenal beat 10-man Partizan Belgrade 3-1 to stay top of Group H on goal difference after Shakhtar Donetsk won 3-0 at Braga.

Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Basel 2-1 thanks to Bastian Schweinsteiger's second-half double, making it two wins out of two in Group E. AS Roma bounced back after its opening defeat to Bayern to defeat Cluj 2-1 to join its Romanian opponent on three points.

Mourinho, who led Inter Milan to last season's title, saw his new Madrid side waste a string of chances in Auxerre despite dominating possession.

Pepe almost scored an own goal with 10 minutes left by heading Kamel Chafni's cross against the post. But a minute later, defender Alvaro crossed from the right and Di Maria controlled it with his chest before beating goalkeeper Olivier Sorin with a powerful shot.

In Amsterdam, Ajax captain Luis Suarez gave the host the lead in the 23rd minute, darting past Alessandro Nesta after playing a one-two with Urby Emanuelson on the left flank before providing a cross for Mounir El Hamdaoui, who slotted in from close range. But former Ajax stars Clarence Seedorf and Ibrahimovic marked their return to the Amsterdam Arena by combining to snatch an equalizer in the 37th.

At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea hit back after consecutive domestic losses with two goals inside 28 minutes to see off Marseille. Captain John Terry flicked in Gael Kakuta's corner at the near post and Nicolas Anelka scored a penalty kick after Stephane Mbia was adjudged to have handled Michael Essien's cross.

Hiroshima triumphs

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) Tadanari Lee scored one goal and set up another as Sanfrecce Hiroshima edged Shimizu S-Pulse 2-1 in the first leg of their Nabisco Cup semifinal on Wednesday night.

Lee opened the scoring on 55 minutes before turning provider for Yojiro Takahagi, but Takuma Edamura kept Shimizu in the hunt for a place in the final with a precious away goal 14 minutes from time.

"Yojiro's pass had a bouquet of flowers attached to it," joked Lee. "Today wasn't about me though, it was a team effort and I am grateful to my teammates."

A grinning Takahagi was quick to return the compliment.

"Lee's pass came with a bunch of flowers and it was just a case of me putting it away."

Last year's beaten finalists Kawasaki Frontale put destiny in their own hands ahead of the Oct. 10 return leg thanks to a 1-0 win away at Jubilo Iwata.

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