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Eto'o hat trick inspires Inter
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 30 - 09 - 2010


Barcelona held
Man United wins
LONDON – Samuel Eto'o kick-started Inter Milan's defense of its Champions League title with a hat trick in the 4-0 thrashing of Werder Bremen Wednesday and Rubin Kazan again frustrated Barcelona by holding the Spanish giant to a 1-1 draw in Russia.
Eto'o, who scored Inter's equalizer in the 2-2 draw at FC Twente in its opening Group A match, began the rout against Werder with a couple of well-taken first-half finishes before adding his third in the 81st minute. Wesley Sneijder scored the other goal as the Italians went top of the group on goal difference.
Barcelona dropped five points to Rubin in last season's group stages and fell behind to the Russian champion again before David Villa equalized from the spot in the 60th.
Elsewhere, Manchester United beat Valencia 1-0 away in Group C thanks to Javier Hernandez's late strike and Tottenham joined Inter on four points with a 4-1 victory over Twente, with Spurs midfielder Rafael van der Vaart scoring a goal, missing a penalty and then getting sent off.
Eto'o is the joint top scorer in Italy this season with five goals and he is already on four in the Champions League after just two games.
Van der Vaart was central to proceedings at White Hart Lane as Tottenham claimed its first ever Champions League group stage victory in an incident-filled match that featured three penalties, five goals and a red card.
The Netherlands midfielder put Tottenham ahead two minutes after halftime before getting a second yellow card in the 61st minute for a high challenge on Roberto Rosales.
Roman Pavlyuchenko clinched victory over the Dutch champion with two more penalties, scoring either side of a 56th-minute goal by Nacer Chadli. Gareth Bale completed the win with five minutes left.
Barcelona could easily have lost against Rubin, with substitute Obafemi Martins heading against the post from close range with three minutes left. The host went ahead through Christian Noboa's penalty after Daniel Alves brought down Vitali Kaleshin in the box, only for Villa to beat Giedrius Arlauskis from the spot following defender Lasha Salukvadze's foul on Andres Iniesta.
Lionel Messi came on as a substitute midway through the second half after being out injured for nine days but could not inspire the team to victory.
FC Copenhagen tops the group on a maximum of six points after beating Panathinaikos 2-0 in the other match, with Dame Ndoye and Martin Vingaard getting the goals in the first half.
In Group C, Hernandez came off the bench to score his first competitive goal for United, driving in a left-footed finish in the 85th minute of a tight game of few chances at the Mestalla.
Rangers is level on four points at the top of the group thanks to a 1-0 win over Bursaspor courtesy of Steven Naismith's well-taken 18th-minute strike.
Lyon left its domestic troubles behind and maintained its perfect start in Group B with a 3-1 win at Hapoel Tel Aviv as Michel Bastos scored twice - including one from the spot - and Miralem Pjanic added a third in second-half stoppage time.
Schalke joined Benfica on three points by beating the Portuguese team. Jefferson Farfan opened the scoring in the 73rd and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar wrapped things up when he poked home a finish following a left


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