ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC and Samuel Eto’o were both kept under wraps by their former team-mates as Inter Milan held Champions League holders Barcelona to a goalless draw at the San Siro last night.
The quick return of the two strikers to their old clubs dominated talk in the build-up to this Group F match, with Barca having this summer given Inter €46m plus Eto’o – valued at €20m – in exchange for Ibrahimovic.
The Swede was much more involved than his Cameroon counterpart as treble winners Barca spent large parts of the game going forward, but neither player, or anyone else for that matter, was able to find the breakthrough as defences came out on top.
In the same group, Dynamo Kiev scored three goals in the final 20 minutes as they came from behind to beat Champions League debutants Rubin Kazan.
The Russian champions stunned their hosts when they took the lead against the run of play through Alejandro Dominguez’s free-kick.
Dynamo’s frustration grew as they toiled deep into the second half in search of a reply, but once Ayiila Yussuf made the breakthrough, goals soon followed from Junior Gerson Magrao and Oleg Gusev to secure victory.
In Group G, Walter Smith felt Rangers were unlucky not to snatch a win in their at Stuttgart.
The Scottish champions drew 1-1 in Germany after Madjid Bougherra’s second-half equaliser cancelled out Pavel Pogrebnyak’s early opener.
“We’re pleased with the result,” Smith said. “I felt we started rather slowly and Stuttgart were the better side in the early part of the game.
“I’m disappointed with the goal we lost, which was a bad one from our own point of view – an unfortunate slip from Sasa Papac but one we might have cleared easily beforehand.”
He added: “I felt closer to half-time we started to come into the game a little bit and then in the second half I felt we were excellent.
“We played very well, we had three or four chances to score – scored one, hit the post. In the end I think maybe I would say we were a little bit unfortunate not to just shade the game after what was an excellent second-half performance.”
Their group rivals Sevilla won 2-0 at home to Unirea Urziceni thanks to strikes from Luis Fabiano and Renato.
Lyon made a winning start to Liverpool’s Group E with a 1-0 win over Fiorentina at the Stade Gerland but the Italians can only have themselves to blame for the defeat.
A red card for Alberto Gilardino in stoppage time of the first half allowed Lyon to impose themselves on the game in the second half and Miralem Pjanic scored the winner in the 76th minute.
A headed goal from Vassilis Torosidis got Olympiacos off to a winning start against AZ Alkmaar in Arsenal’s Group H on the night Zico was confirmed as the club’s new coach.
The former Brazil star, who has also managed in Japan and Turkey, takes the reins at the Greek champions after leaving CSKA Moscow by mutual consent five days ago and succeeds Temuri Ketsbaia.
The Georgian was sacked on Tuesday with Bozidar Bandovic placed in temporary charge for the club’s Champions League opener.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved