UEFA cup, first round first leg

Reasonable results for the Spanish clubs in their debuts in the UEFA cup this year, although nobody really produced an outstanding result against generally poor opposition.

Barcelona were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at Matador Puchov, a side with no big name stars and who are struggling even in their own league in Slovakia this season. The Catalans were lucky not to go behind early on, but gradually took control and went in front when Kluivert ran on to Ronaldinho's through ball just after half time. But they wasted a lot of chances to extend their lead, and in the last minute of injury time Jambor punished them with a late goal.

A first goal for his new club from Ricardo Oliveira gave Valencia a 0-1 victory over Sweden's AIK Solna. The Brazilian striker ran on to an excellent pass from Juan Sánchez to drill the ball past the keeper early in the second half and give his side a useful lead for the second leg. Rafa Benítez had made several changes for this game, and reserve keeper Palop once again proved he is an able replacement for Cañizares with a string of saves to keep a clean sheet.

Mallorca should have no trouble progressing to the next round after a 1-2 win at Apoel Nicosia. Toni González headed Pacheco's side into the lead midway through the first half, and although Papandreon made it all square immediately after the restart, Bruggink connected with Nené's cross to finish things off.

Villarreal were the only Spanish side to struggle, and their 0-0 draw at home to Trabzonspor will mean a difficult return leg in Turkey in three weeks' time. The Intertoto Cup winners lined up with Sonny Anderson, José Marí, Víctor and Riquelme all in the side, but even so they could not break through a hard and efficient defence. (24.09.03)

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