UEFA Cup first round, first leg

Some problems for Spanish sides in the UEFA Cup tonight, even though three of the four won in the end. Deportivo were the first to kick off, and they lost 2-0 to Brann. A Bjarnasson penalty and a strike from Solli in the first half gave the Norwegian side the edge for the return match, although they could have won by a bigger margin in the end.

Sevilla returned to the competition they won two years in a row with a 2-0 victory over Salzburg. Capel's early goal gave them hope of a comfortable scoreline, although it was not until the second minute of injury time that Adriano added the second on a quick breakaway.

Racing Santander have been waiting 95 years to participate in Europe, and they celebrated with a 1-0 win over the wonderfully named Honka Espoo. Coach Juan Ramón Muñiz made nine changes to his side, but they struggled to beat the Finnish side, and only did so thanks to a strike at the start of the second half by Jonathan Pereira. Racing and Sevilla both have to play the away legs on artificial pitches.

Later in the evening Valencia beat Marítimo 0-1 to virtually wrap up their tie. Morientes got the only goal in what was curiously his first appearance in the UEFA Cup, but the Portuguese team rattled the woodwork twice after the break. (18.09.08)