Football: Simundza on top as Maribor unhinge Kiev

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The Independent Online
THE SLOVENIAN qualifiers Maribor pulled off an upset on Tuesday's opening day of the expanded Champions' League by beating last year's semi- finalists, Dynamo Kiev.

Barcelona, the Spanish champions, needed two late goals to beat the Swedish club AIK Solna 2-1, but they at least registered three points along with Marseilles, the only other big club to take maximum points as they beat Sturm Graz.

Maribor's victory in Group A came thanks to a goal from Ante Simundza in the 73rd minute. The other game in the section finished 1-1 after Bayer Leverkusen had taken an early lead against Lazio through Oliver Neuville. The Italians drew level just four minutes later with the goal coming from Sinisa Mihajlovic.

Top of Manchester United's Group D are Marseilles, who put their domestic problems behind them with a well-deserved victory over their Austrian opponents. First-half goals from Robert Pires and the former Middlesbrough striker Fabrizio Ravanelli settled the encounter to give France's best supported club a shot in the arm.