Football: Sporting blow to Porto's morale

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The Independent Online
Porto did not enjoy a confidence-boosting weekend as they prepare for Wednesday's European Cup meeting with Manchester United, when they will try to overturn a 4-0 deficit in the second leg of the quarter-final tie, writes Rupert Metcalf.

The Portuguese champions were beaten at home by Sporting Lisbon for the first time in 21 years. Sporting's 2-1 win on Saturday means they are now seven points behind Porto, who have not won any of their last three games, at the top of the league. Roberto Beto and Pedro Barbosa put Sporting 2-0 ahead before Jose Barroso pulled one back for a lacklustre Porto side.

Monaco, who entertain Newcastle in the Uefa Cup tomorrow with a 1-0 lead after the first leg, have a seven-point advantage in the French League. They won 3-0 at Rennes last Thursday while their nearest rivals, Paris St-Germain, lost 1-0 at Le Havre the following night.

In Italy, Juventus beat Roma 3-0 to stay five points ahead of Parma, who overcame Internazionale 1-0 despite a red card for Dino Baggio. Enrico Chiesa scored Parma's winner, while Christian Vieri, with two, and Nicola Amoruso were on target for Juventus.

Borussia Dortmund, likely to meet Manchester United in the semi-finals of the European Cup, were beaten 4-1 at VfB Stuttgart and now lead Germany's Bundesliga only on goal difference from Bayern Munich.

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