UEFA Cup, third round first leg
Good results for Spanish sides in the UEFA cup. Betis beating AZ Alkmaar with late strikes from Tardelli and Robert, and a Jordi header giving their city rivals Sevilla victory at Lokomotiv Moscow. Espanyol were also in the lead against Schalke '04 after Luis García opened the scoring before the break, but two goals later in the second half turned the scoreline around.
Betis got off to a confident start in their first match in the UEFA cup, a 2-0 victory over Van Gaal's Alkmaar leaving them with a good chance of qualifying for the last 16. The Andalusians were on top early on, but they had to wait until twenty minutes from the end before Tardelli controlled a through ball from Joaquín to volley home his first goal for the club just a few minutes after coming on as substitute. The winter's other new signing Robert got the second a few minutes later after a hesitant defence let him in, and it could have been three had Israel not missed another chance late on.
Betis's city neighbours Sevilla overcame a freezing night and a potato field of a pitch to beat Lokomotiv Moscow 0-1 and take a big advantage in to the second leg. Despite temperatures 15 degrees below zero, Juande Ramos's side settled quickly, and they could have taken the lead had Kanouté chosen to pass to Adriano rather than try a shot himself. Luis Fabiano failed to find the target with a header early in the second half, and Adriano hit the post after a good team move soon afterwards before Jordi finally forced home the winner from Martí's corner a quarter of an hour from the end.
The tie between Espanyol and Schalke '04 is in the balance after a 2-1 result, although the Spaniards felt themselves unlucky not to have the advantage after going ahead in the first half. Gorka had to be at his best though to make a string of top class saves from the German side in the first 45 minutes, but Luis García collected a pass from Ito and rounded Rost to score shortly before the break. Zabaleta had a penalty appeal turned down after the restart, but midway through the second half Bordon headed home Lincoln's free kick to equalise, and Ernst struck home the winner just two minutes from the end. (15.02.06)