Michael Owen scored his first goal for Real
Madrid on a Tuesday night of changing fortunes right across the
While Owen was enjoying his first appearance in the competition for Real
with the winner as they beat Dynamo Kiev 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu
stadium, the lead changed hands in all four groups being contested.
AS Monaco, who beat Olympiakos Piraeus 2-1, displaced the Greek side at
the top of Group A while Liverpool and Deportivo Coruna drew 0-0 in the
other match in the section.
Bayer Leverkusen, with a better head-to-head record, replaced Dynamo
Kiev at the top of Group B after a 3-1 home win over AS Roma.
Leverkusen have six points, the same as Kiev and Real, while Roma -- who
finished the match with nine men -- are last with no points.
Juventus replaced Bayern Munich at the top of Group C after a 1-0
victory in front of another paltry crowd of just 18,000 fans in Turin.
Juve ended Bayern's 100 per cent start and maintained their own as a
second-half winner from Pavel Nedved gave them nine points from three
games after three successive 1-0 wins.
Ajax Amsterdam beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 3-0 in the other match in the group
for their first points. But that did not prevent Louis van Gaal
resigning as technical director afterwards because of tensions with Ajax
coach Ronald Koeman.
Manchester United lost the lead in Group D after drawing 0-0 at Sparta
Prague, slipping to second place on five points behind new leaders
Olympique Lyon who won their second successive away match, 3-1 at
The Turkish champions have three points and Sparta Prague one.
For once it was all smiles in Madrid where Real have made a tepid start
to the season at home and in Europe.
Dynamo Kiev came to Madrid as group leaders after winning their opening
two games but, despite creating chances and giving Real some worrying
moments, they failed to score.
Owen managed to find the net, though, after 35 minutes when he took a
pass from Ronaldo and scored from close range.
"Ronaldo knocked in a good ball and I was trying to get on the blind
side of the defender and managed to get my toe in," said Owen, making
his seventh appearance since his 8.0 million pounds ($14.41 million)
close-season move from Liverpool.
"That's what Ronaldo would have done if he had been in my position."
Owen added that the goal -- plus his winning header for England in
Azerbaijan last week -- was making him feel a whole lot better than he
has done at his new club.
"The first few months have been difficult in Madrid but it's all
starting to come together. I just have to accept the challenge and I
knew I wouldn't be in the team straight away."
There were also beaming smiles in Turin where Juventus beat Bayern 1-0
in the first competitive match between two clubs who have played in more
than 600 European matches since the 1950s.
Both teams kicked off with perfect records but Juve emerged victorious
thanks to a superbly executed goal.
It began with a long ball from Lilian Thuram, headed down into the path
of Nedved by Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the European Footballer of the Year
to confidently slot home.
But there was no joy for Juve's Italian rivals AS Roma whose Champions
League campaign has gone from bad to worse.
Forfeiting their first match 3-0 to Dynamo Kiev after referee Anders
Frisk was felled by an object thrown from the stands resulting in a
halftime abandonment, Roma then lost 4-2 to Real after leading 2-0.
Tuesday they led Leverkusen 1-0 after an early own goal by Dimitar
Berbatov but collapsed in the second half, losing 3-1 and having
Christian Panucci and Daniele De Rossi sent off.
Frisk, meanwhile, returned to Champions League action in charge of
Liverpool's game with Deportivo Coruna at Anfield, a wholly less
dramatic affair than his last game in Rome, with a scoreless draw
frustrating the 40,000 crowd.