Borussia in ominously good form

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The Independent Online
The size of Arsenal's task in the second leg of their Uefa Cup tie in Cologne on Wednesday, was put in perspective on Saturday when their opponents, Borussia Monchengladbach, thrashed the German champions 5-1 in the Bundesliga, although Borussia Dortmund were seriously weakened by injury.

Stefan Effenberg, who dominated the first leg of the Highbury tie which Arsenal lost 3-2, was on target again. Last week he became Germany's highest- paid player when he signed a new contract. "We certainly let them play their game," the Dortmund coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, said. "We were missing any kind of spirit or aggressiveness."

Alexander Zickler's first-half goal was enough to give Bayern Munich a 1-0 win over Karslruhe and top spot in the table. Previous leaders VfB Stuttgart crashed to their first defeat of the season, losing 2-0 to Dusseldorf. Bayern are now the only unbeaten side in the division with 17 points from seven games, a point ahead of Stuttgart.

Milan and Juventus both came back from having a player sent off to win difficult away matches, 2-1, yesterday.

Michele Padovano and Alessandro Del Piero scored late goals as the European champions Juventus recovered from the dismissal of French midfielder Zinedine Zidane for their first-ever win at Perugia.

At Bologna, a red card for Dutchman Edgar Davids failed to stop Milan bringing the home team's 100 per cent start to a halt with second-half goals from Marco Simone and Liberian George Weah.

Juve join Parma and Internazionale at the top of Serie A with seven points from three matches. Parma, 3-2 winners over Reggiana in a match played on Saturday, lead the trio. Inter drew 1-1 with Lazio.

Fiorentina recovered from their poor start with a convincing 2-0 home win over bottom of the table Verona. Unfancied Vicenza moved into fourth spot, leading a cluster of six teams with six points on goal difference, thanks to a 4-1 home victory over Atalanta.

Cagliari's Uruguayan Fabian O'Neill scored with a first-time shot from 30 yards, but was later sent off for a second bookable offence as the Sardinians went down 2-1 at home to Udinese. The winner was scored by Germany's Euro 96 hero Oliver Bierhoff, whom Blackburn Rovers are interested in signing.

The defending champions, Ajax, were held to a 1-1 draw at home to De Graafschap Doetinchem in the Dutch First Division and trail leaders Feyenoord by eight points. Feyenoord scored a 1-0 away win over Sparta Rotterdam to extend their lead to three points over PSV Eindhoven, who could manage no more than a goalless draw at home to Vitesse Arnhem.

Ajax have 11 points from seven matches and are seventh in the table. Strikers Jari Litmanen and Nordin Wooter were the only Ajax players who showed any form ahead of Wednesday's Champions' League match against Grasshopper Zurich.