Winner will probably be CSKA, Sporting, Newcastle or AZ. Let's hope for AZ who have already put down an amazing achievement this season, especially in their European matches. One of the lowest budgets but definitely one of the most spectacular and lethal sides in the tournament from the beginning.
It was all about Bawyer being left out and comeing on for Dyer. Souness is a clever man, I tell you.
With eight minutes played, Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi's studs caught Sporting goalkeeper Ricardo on the face in a 50-50 challenge and the Portuguese international needed treatment on a cheekbone injury. Ricardo eventually decided to continue, but looked groggy.
On 34 minutes Shearer had the ball in the net as he latched on to a Laurent Robert free-kick from the left. The goal was disallowed, however, as the Frenchman had taken the set-piece too quickly for last season's semi-finalists.
The visiting back line did not heed this warning though as, just three minutes later, Newcastle's veteran captain gave Graeme Souness's side the lead. Shearer peeled into space and was picked out again by Robert, again from the left, again from a free-kick, and headed firmly past Ricardo
There were few clear chances in the early stages with Sporting frustrated by Newcastle's packed defence. Liedson, Sporting's prolific striker, did not help by getting booked for a challenge on Aaron Hughes.
The come back kings to do it again. I DON'T THINK SO! A battering in Moscow left the French sorry asses dazed and confused.
Yuri Zhirkov was a particular menace for the Auxerre defence, rampaging down the left, and it was from that flank that CSKA took the lead. The visitors failed to clear as the ball worked its way from the left to the right of the penalty area where Nigerian defender Odiah arrived to fire past Cool, with the help of a deflection off Lionel Mathis
CSKA were awarded a penalty for a foul on Vágner Love as he burst into the box. Ignashevich blasted straight down the middle to double the home team's lead.
Eight minutes later it was 3-0. Zhirkov used his pace to get into the penalty area and deliver a perfect left-wing cross which Vágner Love diverted past Cool.
The winger was really enjoying himself and was again the creator for CSKA's fourth, going past players with ease before supplying Gusev, who scored arriving late after only just coming on as a substitute.
It was a tentative opening to the second half from both sides but the first chance fell to the visitors. Eleven minutes after the restart Benjani Mwaruwari found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat but rushed his effort, blasting well wide.
The French side enjoyed their best spell of possession in the closing minutes of the half, coming closest when Younes Kaboul headed just wide from a corner.
Polish international Mila was Austria's greatest threat and it was his cross that set up the first chance after only two minutes. He picked out Štepán Vachoušek in the centre but the Czech headed over.
Mila, making his first UEFA Cup start since his January move from Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski, worked another opening for Vachoušek six minutes later, but this time he could not find the target with a rising shot
After Parma had scored, Bucci palmed away Saša Papac's shot as Parma were pressed back deeper but the equaliser was not long in coming. Vachoušek's low cross from the left was touched on by substitute Tosin Dosunmu on 61 minutes and fell to Mila whose angled shot flashed past Bucci. Austria sensed victory and pressed to the end, but Parma held out and will feel they have the edge next week.
Parma offered little in attack, restricting their energies to the odd foray on the break, and Austria seemed in control until Pisanu struck with 34 minutes gone. The ball broke fortuitously to the striker and his driven shot took a deflection that left Szabolcs Safar no chance in the Austria goal.
Luciano Figueroa, playing instead of the cup-tied Diego Forlán, who made the biggest impact in the opening stages for the sole surviving UEFA Intertoto Cup winners. He could have broken the deadlock after less than four minutes but, five metres out, directed Rodolfo Arruabarrena's cross wide.
AZ scored first but the advantage lasted less than two minutes, however, before Riquelme scored an almost carbon-copy goal after a swift one-two with Lucho.
Villarreal had begun brightly but were soon a goal behind when Landzaat struck from the edge of the box after Nelisse's lay-off for the first UEFA Cup goal Villarreal had ever conceded at home.
Henk Timmer was agile to keep out Riquelme's penalty on 27 minutes, saving at full stretch after Kromkamp had impeded Lucho.
Alkmaar offered little in return before Nelisse's late strike gave them a crucial advantage - not least as they have never lost a home European game.
Sporting Clube de Portugal coach José Peseiro insists his side have the strength in depth to overcome the absence of top scorer Liedson as they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the second-leg of their UEFA Cup quarter-final against Newcastle United FC.
Brazilian striker Mota, who joined Sporting in January, is likely to replace Liedson after starting his first match for the Lisbon club in Sunday's 1-0 victory against SC Beira-Mar. Hugo, Tiago and Joseph Enakarhire are all injured while defender Pedro Barbosa faces a late fitness test.
Goalkeeper Shay Given has a hip problem so Steve Harper stands by, while defender Titus Bramble returns after a hernia operation and could come in for the suspended Aaron Hughes. Kieron Dyer should start after missing the Tottenham match
A forgone conclusion. CSKA are saying that they are taking nothing for granted! :howler:
Younes Kaboul (France Under-19 duty), René Bolf (thigh strain) and Bacary Sagna (broken rib) and all - together with Jean-Pascal Mignot, who is suspended after being dismissed in the first leg - are out of today's game, Stéphane Grichting also missed the Ajaccio match with a broken hand but should play against CSKA, while left-back Johan Radet, who returned on Sunday after six months out with a cruciate injury, will also feature again. Benoît Cheyrou (achilles), Arnaud Gonzalez (knee) and David Vandenbossche (calf) are also sidelined, although attacking trio Bonaventure Kalou, Kanga Alkalé and Benjani Mwaruwari are all fit.
No news. Everybody's fit. However Aleksei Berezoutski, is suspended for the trip to France.
Some players got injured during the Ajax game but Jan Kromkamp (ankle), Tim de Cler (concussion), Barry Opdam (muscle strain) and Joris Mathijsen (inflamed tendon) are all fit to play.
Right-back Javi Venta, who had looked destined to miss the match after suffering a groin strain, as well as centre-half Quique Álvarez (knee). Gonzalo Rodrígo could play alongside the latter after serving a suspension.
Sporting gave away what could be a crucial away goal which could prove to be...er....crucial . Alkmaar scored first and then Sporting scored the other two
Custódio created the first opening. The midfield player rose unmarked to meet Fabio Rochemback's left-wing corner but failed to keep his header down.
Although AZ went in front, Sporting were level inside a minute. Vlaar was helpless as a hopeful long-range shot bounced off his legs and into the path of Duoala, and the Cameroonian duly levelled.
Sporting soon wrested back the initiative, although it required Pinilla's stunning strike to find a way through. The youngster could have doubled the advantage in added time after a one-two with Liedson but could not get his shot away.
Jaliens was highly composed on 37 mins, as he advanced down the right wing before supplying a cross to Landzaat, who neatly guided the ball inside Ricardo's near post to put Alkmaar in front.
So Sporting will take a one-goal lead to the Alkmaarderhout next week – where the Dutch side have never lost a European match.
Amazingly a Parma reserve side kept out what could be the strongest team in the competition...God is on their side I tell you. Forza Parma!
Vignaroli picked out a charging Tonino Sorrentino just after the hour. The striker split two CSKA defenders and nearly got a touch on the ball only to be thwarted by Igor Akinfeev, who punched clear.
With 20 minutes remaining fatigue set in for the visitors after Parma's defence had done well to close down the middle and push CSKA to the wings. Seeing an opportunity to exploit this weakness, the home side enjoyed their best attacking spell of the match. Indeed, Vignaroli must have been frustrated after a fine effort unleashed from 20 metres was ably pushed away from goal by Akinfeev in the dying minutes.
The Russian team appeared more lively in the opening 15 minutes as they attempted to unlock their opponents' well organised trio of defenders, lead by an impressive performance from Cesare Bovo. CSKA's Brazilian midfield player Daniel Carvalho orchestrated most of the attacks the visitors mounted but Parma goalkeeper Luca Bucci was hardly threatened all evening as his defence held firm.
CSKA could have gone into half-time with a vital away goal. In the final minute of the half, Milos Krasic dribbled past two Parma defenders to set up Deividas Semberas but the Lithuanian could not apply the finish, badly scuffing his effort high over Bucci's goal.
CSKA dominated possession in the second half introducing Vágner Love to their attack shortly after the restart. The Brazilian's pace and link-up play with his compatriot Carvalho gave the Moscow team more fluidity in the final third of the pitch.
Carvalho then had a clear chance in front of goal when CSKA's Chidi Odiah sought him out with a well-placed cross. But again poor finishing from the Russian team was the result as the midfield player's right-foot shot was struck weakly.