European Football: Shocks in Spain as Mallorca go top

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The Independent Online
ON A night of upsets in Spain's Primera Division, there were damaging defeats on Saturday for two sides who face English opposition in European competition this week.

Celta Vigo, who entertain Liverpool in the Uefa Cup tomorrow, surrendered the last remaining unbeaten record in the top flight when they went down 2-0 at unfancied Alaves. Barcelona, who take on Manchester United in the Champions' League the following evening, fared just as poorly, losing 1-0 at home to Mallorca.

Barcelona dominated the game but could not find a way past Argentina's World Cup goalkeeper, Carlos Roa. At the other end, an unfortunate own goal from Sergi gave Mallorca their winner.

Mallorca's success took them two points clear at the top of the league. Real Madrid were also beaten, 3-1 at Valencia, for whom Roa's international team-mate, Claudio Lopez, scored twice.

In Italy's Serie A, the champions, Juventus, were held 0-0 by Empoli and slipped three points behind the league leaders, Fiorentina, who beat Internazionale 3-1. Juve have now failed to win in five matches.

Fiorentina conceded a thirdminute penalty, which was converted by Youri Djorkaeff, but were ahead by the 16th minute, thanks to goals from Pasquale Padalino and Gabriel Batistuta. The German wing-back, Jorg Heinrich, scored the third in the second half.

In Portugal, bad defensive errors by Benfica helped the champions, Porto, to a comfortable 3-1 home victory over the Lisbon team on Saturday.

Benfica's coach, the former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness, dismissed suggestions that the defeat might prompt his resignation. "I shall continue to train the team," he said. Among his tactical novelties on Saturday was the selection of the Czech winger, Karel Poborsky, in defence.

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