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Eduardo scores Arsenal winner; Inter holds Barca

TWO days after his two-game ban was overturned, Eduardo da Silva scored Arsenal's winner in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory at Standard Liege in the Champions League yesterday, while defending champion Barcelona was held to a tame 0-0 draw by Inter Milan.

Five-time champion Liverpool labored to a 1-0 victory over debutant Debrecen, while Dynamo Kiev, Lyon and Sevilla also won their first group games and Olympiakos celebrated the arrival of new coach Zico with a 1-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar.

Arsenal trailed by two goals after only five minutes in Liege. Eliaquim Mangala scored with a low shot in the second minute and Milan Jovanovic drove home a fifth-minute penalty after he had been brought down by William Gallas.

Nicklas Bendtner pulled a goal back in the final minute of the first half, Thomas Vermaelen scored a scrappy equalizer in the 78th and Eduardo scored the winner in the 81st by turning home a corner with his knee.

At the start of the week, the Croatia striker was set to miss this group game and the next one after being found guilty by a UEFA disciplinary committee of deceiving the referee by diving to get a penalty in a qualifying-round victory over Celtic. But Arsenal won its appeal on Monday and he was free to play.

"It was fantastic. He always comes up with goals at important times," Bendtner said. "It's pleasing for him and pleasing for us."

Greek champion Olympiakos appointed former Brazil star Zico as its new coach after firing Temuri Ketsbaia on Tuesday and he watched from the stands as the club captured three points in the other Group H game. Vassilis Torosidis headed the winner against AZ Alkmaar in the 79th minute.

Barcelona's first game as defending champion took it to Italian champion Inter Milan, which is now guided by former Barca assistant coach Jose Mourinho.

"We had a great chance go over the bar from (Dejan) Stankovic and then (Davide) Santon was pulled back when through on goal," Mourinho said. "If we had scored, we would have won, but we wouldn't have deserved it as Barcelona was better.

"A match against Barcelona is a great training session, against the European champions. With a bit more luck we would have won, with a bit less we would have lost."

Although the Spanish team dominated possession at San Siro, it was generally stifled by Mourinho's tactics and the two teams gained a point each.

That means both are behind Dynamo Kiev which came from behind to beat Russian champion Rubin Kazan 3-1.

Alejandro Dominguez fired the visitor ahead in the 25th minute in Kiev but Ayiila Yussuf, Gerson Magrao and Oleg Gusev turned the game around.

Liverpool struggled to overcome Hungarian champion Debrecen which was making its first visit to Anfield and its only goal came in first half injury time from Dirk Kuyt.

"We were a little bit nervous because it was only 1-0 but I thought the most important thing was to get the points," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said. "We had three or four very good chances. But credit to (Debrecen), they were very organized. It was not as easy as people expected because they showed that they are not bad."

Lyon also edged Fiorentina 1-0 with a 76th minute goal by Miralem Pjanic and that means the French and English sides share first place. Fiorentina played the entire second half with 10 men after striker Alberto Gilardino was sent off for elbowing Jeremy Toulalan in the face.

Brazilian stars Luis Fabiano and Renato scored to give Sevilla a 2-0 victory over Romanian champion Unirea Irziceni.

The Spanish side tops Group G because VfB Stuttgart and Scottish champion Rangers drew 1-1.

Pavel Pogrebniak gave Stuttgart the lead with a powerful right foot shot in the 18th minute but Madjid Bougherra equalized in the 77th.

Among Tuesday's games, four former champions began the group stage with away victories.

Nine-time winner Real Madrid started with 5-2 victory at FC Zurich with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice from free kicks. In another Group C game, seven-time champion AC Milan captured a 2-1 triumph at Marseille with strikes by Filippo Inzaghi.

Manchester United, winner three times and runner-up to Barcelona last year, won 1-0 at Besiktas although debutant Wolfsburg tops Group B on goal difference after beating CSKA Moscow 3-1.

Bayern Munich, a four-time champion but not since 2001, triumphed 3-0 at Maccabi Haifa with Group A rivals Juventus and Bordeaux drawing 1-1.

Chelsea, which has not won the title but was runner up to Manchester United in 2008, edged FC Porto at home. Apoel Nicosia marked his debut by capturing a 1-1 draw away to Atletico Madrid.


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