Manchester City 0 - 0 Paris S.G.

Paris Saint-Germain FC were left with just a point to show for their attacking endeavour in the Rainy City as Manchester City FC were lucky to escape with a goalless draw in their final Group A home fixture.

With City already sure of a last-32 place before kick-off, PSG ended the game pouring forward in search of a winner to leave them in a position where a victory at home to FC Twente on Matchday 5 would guarantee them qualification. However, the ball refused to fall for the Ligue 1 side, and they now need Mark Hughes's men to do them a favour at Real Racing Club if they are to move on.

Without Robinho for the second UEFA Cup match in succession, City roared into the tie and might have been ahead within five minutes as Daniel Sturridge forced a save out of Mickaël Landreau, who got back on his feet to deny Elano Blumer from the loose ball. Darius Vassell then pulled a shot wide when well-placed and was almost relieved to see a flag raised for offside.

PSG regained their composure and began to give City more to worry about as the half wore on, and while Jô and Pablo Zabaleta both had chances as the clock ticked towards half-time, Paul Le Guen's team came closest to an opener. Tal Ben Haim did brilliantly to block at the feet of Mateja Kežman after Péguy Luyindula's ball seemed to have left him with only Joe Hart to beat.

The second half saw pulses race a little faster, but little improvement in terms of finishing. Sturridge, Vassell and Vincent Kompany all saw shots just miss the target, but PSG looked the more dangerous side as the final whistle approached. Hart had to dash off his line to frustrate Luyindula, substitute Guillaume Hoarau nudged the ball narrowly wide, and Jerôme Rothen also had a dangerous long drive kept out.

Sevilla 3 - 0 Partizan Belgrade

Luis Fabiano made up for his and Sevilla FC's weekend disappointment with two goals as the Spanish side beat FK Partizan 3-0 at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán to move into second place in Group C.

The Brazilian striker was dismissed on Saturday as Sevilla were swept aside 3-0 at home by FC Barcelona but he quickly set about making amends against Partizan. After three defeats the Serbian visitors' UEFA Cup ambitions were already over and Luis Fabiano put them on course for a fourth loss when he converted from the penalty spot soon after the half-hour. He struck his ninth goal in six games midway through the second period, by which time it was 2-0 thanks to an effort from compatriot Renato.

In truth, Partizan were in trouble from the start. Not long after kick-off Portuguese midfielder Almani Moreira collapsed and was taken off on a stretcher as both sets of players looked on with concern. When the match restarted it was the hosts who took the initiative. They had already tried their luck on a number of occasions before Ivan Stevanović brought down Jesús Navas inside the penalty area on 32 minutes and Luis Fabiano drilled his conversion into the bottom corner.

Within 60 seconds of the second half it was 2-0, as Renato rifled in from outside the box, and another long-range attempt sealed the win 17 minutes from time, as Luis Fabiano notched his second. It delivered the victory that coach Manolo Jiménez had demanded in the wake of the 1-0 defeat by R. Standard de Liège last time out, and left the 2006 and 2007 UEFA Cup winners on six points. A draw against UC Sampdoria in a fortnight will seal progress. For Partizan, the focus switches to domestic competition.

Udinese 2 - 1 Dinamo Zagreb

A 2-1 win against NK Dinamo Zagreb sealed Udinese Calcio's passage to the UEFA Cup Round of 32, but the campaign is all but over for the visitors. Fabio Quagliarella struck in the fifth minute at the Friuli Stadium before Christian Obodo put the game beyond the opposition's reach with eleven minutes remaining to book Udinese's progress from Group D. Igor Bišćan reduced the deficit in added time but it was too little too late for Dinamo.

Udinese could not have asked for a better start with Quagliarella latching on to Antonio Di Natale's cross and firing a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Tomislav Butina. The goal inspired the Italian hosts who almost doubled their lead soon after, Butina making an acrobatic save from Obodo's long-range effort. The Croatian side, playing their final group match, did threaten ten minutes in when Mihael Mikić forced goalkeeper Samir Handanovič to stretch to clear his powerful strike from distance. An unmarked Di Natale should have made it 2-0 shortly afterwards but failed to beat Butina in a one-on-one, his attempt being parried away by the No1.

On the half-hour mark, Dinamo almost pulled level but Mirko Hrgović's stinging drive went centimetres wide of the far post, and the same player tried his luck again after the interval to similar effect. However, Simone Pepe set up Obodo to extend Udinese's advantage and while Bišćan headed a belated reply following confusion in the home area, the die was cast.

Nine points mean that Udinese are sure to qualify, and they will be guaranteed top spot with a draw or better in their final fixture at NEC Nijmegen. Dinamo have completed their Group D programme, but three points could still see them through if NEC and FC Spartak Moskva lose by substantial margins on Matchday 5. UEFA

Other results;

Group A
FC Twente Enschede 2 - 1 Schalke
Manchester City 0 - 0 Paris S.G.

Group B
Hertha BSC 0 - 1 Galatasaray
Metalist Kharkiv 1 - 0 Olympiakos Piraeus

Group C
Sevilla 3 - 0 Partizan Belgrade
Standard Liege 3 - 0 Sampdoria

Group D
Spartak Moscow 1 - 2 NEC Nijmegen
Udinese 2 - 1 Dinamo Zagreb

Group E
SC Heerenveen 1 - 2 Braga
Wolfsburg 3 - 2 Portsmouth

Group F
Aston Villa 1 - 2 Zilina
Slavia Prague 0 - 2 Hamburger SV

Group G
FC Copenhagen 1 - 1 Rosenborg
Valencia 1 - 1 Club Brugge

Group H
Lech Poznan 1 - 1 Deportivo La Coruna
Nancy 3 - 4 CSKA Moscow

1 comments

  1. Juan y Fer  

    December 4, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    Hello,
    If Robinho does not play, City is not the same team
    Regards,
    http://saqueneutral.blogspot.com/
    (a blog about sport in English and Español)

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