The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Milan fall to Brugge at home
- CHAMPIONS LEAGUE l Lazio go down at Chelsea; United, Real record easy victories

London: European champions AC Milan crashed to a shock 0-1 home defeat by Club Brugge of Belgium on a miserable night for Italian clubs in the Champions League on Wednesday.

With Lazio losing 1-2 at Chelsea, and following Inter Milanís 0-3 loss at Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday, only Juventus of Serie A emerged unscathed at the halfway stage of the group phase.

In contrast it was a good night for England following Arsenalís 1-2 defeat at Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday.

Manchester United won the all-British duel against Scottish champions Rangers 1-0 at Ibrox while Chelsea impressed with an excellent second-half display against Lazio.

With three matches played and three to go, Real Madrid, 1-0 winners over Partizan Belgrade and Juventus, who beat Real Sociedad 4-2 on Tuesday, are the only clubs with a maximum haul of nine points from their games.

Only Olympiakos, beaten 0-1 at Galatasaray on Tuesday, have lost all their matches. Most of the groups are evenly poised as the group phase moves into its second stage in two weeks time.

Milan were sent reeling at the San Siro by a sizzling first-half goal scored by Bruggeís Peruvian forward Andres Mendoza to throw Group H wide open.

Ajax beat Celta Vigo 1-0 with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring early in the second half. Ajax top the group with six points, followed by Brugge (4), Milan (4) and Celta Vigo (2).

Lazio went down 1-2 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after taking the lead in the first half of their Group G match through Simone Inzaghi.

But Chelsea, coached by Italian Claudio Ranieri, deservedly won with goals from Frank Lampard and Adrian Mutu midway through the second half.

Sparta Prague beat Besiktas of Turkey 2-1 in the other match putting Chelsea two points clear at the top on six points. Sparta have four, Lazio four and Besiktas three.

Manchester United gave their Scottish manager Alex Ferguson three welcome points with a win over his old club Rangers in Glasgow in Group E. Defender Phil Neville was the unlikely match-winner with a superb solo goal after only five minutes.

With VfB Stuttgart beating Panathinaikos 2-0 in the same group, Stuttgart and United now have six points, followed by Rangers on four and Panathianikos on one.

Real perfect

Real Madrid, favourites to lift the European Cup for the 10th time in their history, maintained their perfect start in Group F with an easy win over Partizan Belgrade in Madrid with Raul scoring in the first half.

At first the goal was awarded to Luis Figo, but his goalbound header was helped on its way by the gentlest flicked header from Raul, who has now scored 45 goals in Europe, just four behind the all-time record of 49 established by Alfredo Di Stefano for Real in the 1950s and 1960s.

David Beckham aggravated a troublesome hamstring and has only one chance in a hundred of playing in the Primera Liga match against Racing Santander this weekend, club doctor Alfonso del Corral said on Thursday.

Porto won a thriller 3-2 in Marseille to move into second place on four points in the same group. Marseille have three and Partizan one point, but Porto, Uefa Cup winners last year, look capable of making the last 16 in this competition.


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