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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Arsenal Loses Grip on Cup

LONDON -- Arsenal's grip on the European Cup Winners' Cup was prized open at a wintery Highbury as they were held to a 1-1 draw by French side Auxerre in the first leg of their quarter-final.

On a night virtually devoid of goals, Feynoord beat Real Zaragoza of Spain 1-0 in Rotterdam and FC Porto beat Sampdoria 1-0 in Italy.

With Club Brugge having beaten Chelsea 1-0 in a first leg match played Tuesday, all four Cup Winners' Cup ties are delicately balanced ahead of the second legs in two weeks.

Arsenal went into the match with Auxerre, boosted by two recent league wins under new caretaker manager Stewart Houston and with a proud cup record to protect. Arsenal had dominated the match from the start but could not unlock Auxerre's stubborn defense.

Dutchman Frank Verlaat headed an equalizer in the 62nd minute to give Auxerre an invaluable away goal in a 1-1 draw. The French team's defender nipped in ahead of the Arsenal defense to glance a header past England 'keeper David Seaman from a free kick to the near post.

England striker Ian Wright, back from a four-match suspension, put the English side in front with a well-taken penalty, his 21st goal of the season, just three minutes earlier after Nigerian Taribo West tripped Danish midfielder John Jensen.

Feyenoord beat Real Zaragoza 1-0 in a hard-fought European Cup Winners Cup quarter-final first leg Thursday. Swedish international Henke Larsson scored the only goal in the 61st minute with a powerful drive for his seventh goal in this season's competition.

But Feyenoord ended the night with only 10 men after Dutch international Rob Witschge was sent off four minutes from time for hitting Real Zaragoza's substitute, Nayim, the former Tottenham player. Zaragoza dominated much of the match but they failed to take their chances as Dutch World Cup keeper Ed de Goey pulled off a number of saves, including important ones from Juan Esnaider and Gustavo Poyet.

Sergei Yuran's second half goal secured a crucial 1-0 away win for Porto over Sampdoria in their Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final first leg clash.

The Russian international striker combined neatly with Portuguese international Rui Barros in a 64th-minute break before sweetly side-footing the ball into the roof of Walter Zenga's net.

The goal was no more than Porto deserved after consistently troubling Sampdoria's defense with swift counter-attacking moves, masterminded by playmaker Barros and the tireless running of fellow striker Moises Emerson.

An inspired goalkeeping display by Lars Hogh allowed Danish part-timers Odense to restrict Parma to a 1-0 win in an ill-tempered UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg.

Hogh was beaten only by Gianfranco Zola's 49th-minute penalty after defender Steen Nedergaard brought down Colombian Faustino Asprilla inside the area.

Last year's beaten Cup Winners' Cup finalists laid siege to the Danish goal for almost the entire 90 minutes but a series of superb saves from the 36-year-old Hogh defied one of Italy's most prolific attacks.