| Chelsea’s William Gallas lands on Trygve Nygaard of Viking F.K. Stavanger at Stamford Bridge Thursday. (AFP)
London: Celtic scored eight goals, Porto six and Lazio four as some of the Uefa Cup favourites made their class tell in the first leg of their first round games on Thursday.
Sweden striker Henrik Larsson scored a hattrick in Celtic’s 8-1 thrashing of Lithuania’s FK Suduva at Celtic Park, while Porto were 6-0 winners over Polonia Warsaw in Oporto. Lazio crushed Greek side Xanthi 4-0 in Rome.
Fulham, marked their first match in the Uefa Cup with a fine 1-0 win at Hajduk Split. Ipswich Town and Blackburn Rovers had to make do with disappointing draws at home.
Chievo also earned a useful away draw on their European debut, holding Red Star Belgrade 0-0 in Yugoslavia. Each side missed a penalty.
Parma, secured a 1-1 draw at CSKA Moscow in Russia. .
Edgaras Jankauskas and Helder Postiga each scored twice in Porto’s thumping victory over Polonia. But fellow Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon suffered a 1-3 home defeat by Partizan Belgrade.
At Stamford Bridge, a 90th-minute goal for Viking Stavanger by Englishman Ben Wright shocked Chelsea, who had to settle for a 2-1 win after goals by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Enrique De Lucas.
Leeds were denied by some inspired goalkeeping at Elland Road before Alan Smith’s 80th-minute winner secured a 1-0 victory over battling Ukrainian side Metalurg Zaporizhzhya.
There were comfortable first leg wins for Spanish sides Celta Vigo and Real Betis, while Schalke 04 of Germany eased to a fine 4-1 win at Gomel in Belarus.
Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho inspired Paris St Germain to an easy 3-0 victory over Hungary’s Ujpest in Paris. Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv, roared into action with a 4-0 away win at Austrian side Kaernten.
Another Israeli side, Maccabi Tel Aviv won impressively, 1-0 against Portuguese side Boavista in a ‘home’ leg played in Sofia for security reasons. Greek team Panathinaikos put aside dire domestic form to record a 1-0 victory at Litex Lovech in Bulgaria. Turkey’s Fenerbahce drew 3-3 with Stockholm .