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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

United, Barcelona Lead Night of Draws

MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United and Barcelona drew 2-2 in a thrilling European Champions League Group A match which both teams could have won, although a defeat for either one of them would have been an injustice.


United, never beaten at home in 52 previous European matches stretching back to 1956, saved its record Wednesday with a brilliant individual goal by Lee Sharpe 10 minutes from time.


The late goal -- a side-footed flick on the run with his trailing leg -- leveled the score after Brazilian Romario (34th) and Jose Maria Bakero (50th) had put Barcelona in the driving seat.


United struck first blood when Mark Hughes scored against his old team with a powerful 18th-minute header after a pin-point cross from Sharpe, playing in the place of injured Ryan Giggs.


The result leaves United on top of the group with four points from three games, followed by Sweden's IFK Gotheburg, 1-0 winners over Galatasaray of Turkey, also on four points but second on goal difference. Barcelona has three points and the Turkish side one.


A relieved United manager Alex Ferguson, who gambled with his selection by leaving out his skipper and commanding center-back Steve Bruce said afterwards: "It was a fabulous game -- a great display of positive football from both teams. We gave away two bad goals but I was delighted with the way we kept coming forward."


The teams meet again in Barcelona on Nov. 2 but United will be without defender David May, who picked up his second yellow card of the competition, while Barcelona will be without Miguel Nadal, also booked for the second time in the competition. Barcelona also had Abelardo Fernandez booked. Barcelona has not won away against a British club in 34 years and 15 attempts.


In other games Wednesday:


Group A


Gothenburg 1, Galatasaray 0 In Gothenburg, Sweden, the home side was rewarded for relentless pressure with a late winner against Galatasaray.


The Turkish visitors, seemingly dazed by near-freezing temperatures, were pinned in their own half for the entire match, waking up for a half-hearted rally only after Magnus Erlingmark scored with a 76th-minute header.


Gothenburg could have scored a hatful of goals but were thwarted by their own poor finishing and desperate Turkish tackling.


With time running out, Gothenburg substitute Erik Wahlstedt played a deft cross with almost his first kick of the match to find Erlingmark, who skillfully headed the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, out of the reach of goalkeeper Gintaras Stauce.


Swedish international Mikael Nilsson missed a golden opportunity to put Gothenburg 2-0 up when he broke out of defense and, with just the goalkeeper to beat, shot tamely into Stauce's hands with the last kick of the match.


Group B


Paris St. Germain 2, Dinamo Kiev 1 In Kiev, George Weah sealed a 2-1 victory for Paris St. Germain over Dinamo Kiev to make the French club the only team with a 100 percent record in the European Champions' League.


Weah headed home a Paul Le Guen corner in the 76th minute to make it three wins in three games for the Paris side, which dominated most of the game.


Vincent Guerin exploited a momentary lapse in the Dinamo defense to give PSG a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute, but the advantage was shortlived. Six minutes later Viktor Leonenko blasted a penalty past Bernard Lama for Dinamo's equalizer.


But Dinamo, which had opened the match with a series of determined attacks, wilted in the second half as Paris St. Germain bore down repeatedly on the home goal to the consternation of 90,000 fans in Republican Stadium.


Spartak Moscow 1, Bayern Munich 1 Spartak Moscow's 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich virtually eliminated any Spartak hopes of advancing in the competition. The Moscow side now has two losses and a draw in three games, while Bayern earlier beat Dynamo Kiev and lost to Paris St. Germain. A last-minute goal by Markus Babbel for Munich canceled Nikolai Pisarev's 78th-minute score.


Group C


Benfica Portugal 2, Steaua Bucharest 1 In Lisbon, Benfica scored a 2-1 win over 10-man Steaua Bucharest and took a big stride towards the quarter-finals of the European Cup.


Steaua, without suspended striker Marius Lacatus, had defender Anton Dobos sent off in the 58th minute for a second bookable offense when his side were already 1-0 down.


Benfica opened the scoring a minute before the interval when Argentine World Cup striker Claudio Caniggia converted a penalty after winger Ilie Stan had handled in the area.


Three minutes after Dobos had been given his marching orders, Joao Pinto made it 2-0 from inside the box off a pass from captain Vitor Paneira. Steaua's consolation goal, their first in the Champions' League series, came from striker Damian Militaru in injury time.


Hajduk Split 2, RSC Anderlecht 1 In Zagreb, Hajduk Split got goals from Nenad Pralija and Davor Butorovic, and then withstood a last-minute rally to defeat RSC Anderlecht 2-1.


After several near misses, Pralija scored in the 34th minute, surprising Anderlecht's goalkeeper Filip De Wilde with a shot from almost 26 meters.


The game stayed 1-0 until the final two minutes when two more goals were scored. Hajduk's Davor Butorovic made it 2-0 in the 88th minute. Anderlecht's Josip Weber, a Croat and former Hajduk player, won a goal against Hajduk's Tonci Gabric and scored 2-1 in the final minute.


The Croatian team dominated the game, but missed some good chances to score. Tomislav Erceg shot wide of the goal in the 4th minute and Anderlecht's goalkeeper defended his attempt in the 23rd. During quick and thrilling play in 72nd minute, Hajduk's Goran Vucevic and Sasa Person both missed the goal.


For Anderlecht, Josip Weber hit the goalpost in 42nd minute. Hajduk's goalkeeper Gabric defended Johnny Bosman's shot in 73rd minute.


The victory gives Hajduk a record of two wins and a draw in Group C. Anderlecht has one tie and two losses.


Group D


Austria Salzburg 0, Ajax Amsterdam 0 In Vienna, Austria Salzburg held group D leaders Ajax Amsterdam to a 0-0 draw, depriving the Dutch side of their 100 percent points record.


But Ajax remains top of the group, three points clear of AEK Athens and Salzburg. Milan are bottom with one point following the deduction of their previous two points against Salzburg because of crowd violence.


Finnish striker Jari Litmanen hit the post in the Dutch side's best chance from a corner kick in the 34th minute. Salzburg, finalists in last season's UEFA Cup, responded two minutes later with a shot by Croatian international striker Nikola Jurcevic, a deflection from an Ajax boot forcing 'keeper Erwin van der Sar into a full-stretch save.


Three-time European Cup winners Ajax, who beat Milan at home in their opening Group D match, failed to show the sparkle that has given them an unbeaten run in the Dutch league with five wins in six games. Swift attacking in the first half gave way to a lack of pace in the second, interrupted by an occasional flourish by both sides at Vienna's Ernst Happel stadium.


AC Milan 0, AEK Athens 0 In Athens, a disappointing AC Milan was held to a 0-0 draw in a match it desperately needed to win.


The defending champions remain bottom of Group D and face an uphill battle to qualify for the quarterfinals.


Milan has only one point after losing their first match to Ajax 2-0 and then having two points deducted because of crowd trouble in their 3-0 win over Austria Salzburg.


In a nervous midfield encounter, Milan came close to scoring only once when, in the 79th minute, Croat Zvonibir Boban put Roberto Donadoni through with only AEK goalkeeper Ilias Atmatsides to beat, but he shot wide.


"We played better than in our last games in Italy and Europe, but it wasn't enough," said Milan's coach Fabio Capello. (Reuters, AP)