Germans go gunning for Arsenal

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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 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 had a convincing 2-0 home win over bottom-of-the-table Verona.

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.

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.

Ronaldo, whom Barcelona signed from PSV in the summer, celebrated his 20th birthday with two goals in his club's 3-2 win against Real Sociedad in a match played in a rain-storm which caused a power cut.

The Catalan club, with 10 points from four games, are second on goal difference behind Real Betis, 2-0 winners at Celta Vigo, in the Spanish league. Another Brazilian, the incomparable Romario, returned to the Valencia side in a 2-1 win against Tenerife, but injured himself and will miss the return leg of the Uefa Cup tie against Bayern Munich.

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