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October 22, 2009

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Barca, Liverpool shocked at home

HOLDER Barcelona suffered a stunning 1-2 home defeat by Russia's Rubin Kazan while Liverpool lost by the same score to Olympique Lyon at Anfield on a night of high drama and late goals in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Inter Milan was held to a 2-2 home draw by Dynamo Kiev while Fiorentina won 4-3 at Debrecen, where six goals came in the first 37 minutes.

Sevilla made it three wins in a row with a 3-1 success at VfB Stuttgart but Arsenal was denied its third successive win by a last-minute equalizer for AZ Alkmaar in a 1-1 draw.

Barcelona fell behind after two minutes at the Nou Camp when Aleksandr Ryazantsev scored from long range.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized in the 48th minute but Gokdeniz Karadeniz restored the visitors' lead 20 minutes from time and, despite a series of late attacks, Barcelona could not prevent its first defeat in the competition in 10 games.

"These things happen. It's not the first time and I doubt it will be the last," Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. "I didn't feel like we played a bad match."

Inter's dire Champions League run continued as it failed to win for the eighth game in a row and was somewhat lucky to escape with a point having twice come from behind.

Taras Mikhalik (5th) and a Lucio own goal (35) twice had Dynamo ahead while Dejan Stankovic and Walter Samuel replying.

The results leave Group F too close to call with Barcelona, Kiev and Rubin all on four points and Inter on three.

An injury-time goal by Cesar Delgado put Lyon in control of Group E and left Liverpool's hopes hanging by a thread.

Five-time European champion Liverpool, already struggling without injured striker Fernando Torres, lost injured captain Steven Gerrard after 24 minutes but went ahead through Yossi Benayoun late in the first half. Lyon substitute Maxime Gonalons headed a deserved equalizer after 72 minutes.

Lyon is well placed with a maximum nine points ahead of second-placed Fiorentina on six after its goalfest at Hungary's Debrecen, which is pointless after three defeats.

Sevilla is also on nine points after two goals from defender Sebastien Squillaci and one for Jesus Nava gave it an impressive Group G success in Germany.

Romanian champion Unirea Urziceni is the unlikely second-placed side on four points. It secured a first European win by embarrassing Rangers 4-1 in Glasgow - helped by two own goals and a missed penalty from the generous hosts.

Stuttgart has two points and Rangers, which was booed off at Ibrox, one.

Arsenal also looked on course for a third successive win until David Mendes da Silva grabbed a stoppage time equalizer to earn AZ Alkmaar a point. Cesc Fabregas had put Arsenal ahead in the 36th minute but it paid the price for sitting on its lead.

Arsenal remains top of Group H on seven points with Olympiakos second on six after it also scored in added time to beat Standard Liege 2-1.


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