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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Swiss Side Outclasses Rudderless Spartak 2-0

ReutersBasel striker Hakan Yakin attempting an overhead kick as Spartak defender Maxim Kalinichenko looks on during their Champions League match in Basel on Tuesday.
BASEL, Switzerland -- Hakan Yakin's goal in the 50th minute put FC Basel on its way to a 2-0 victory over Spartak Moscow while Real Madrid began its assault on an unprecedented 10th European Cup title with a convincing opening-night win at Roma on Tuesday.

In the Swiss club's debut in the Champions League group stage, Julio Hernan Rossi added the insurance goal in the 55th minute, dribbling around the Spartak defense to get a clear shot past keeper Alexander Cherchesov.

With the Muscovites missing their injured captain, Yegor Titov, Basel dominated much of the match with ball control and a number of near misses.

"I wasn't surprised by Basel, but I was by us in the negative sense," said Cherchesov. "Nothing went right for us."

Rossi gave Spartak its first scare in the 15th minute with a header that went into the net past Cherchesov, but the Argentine player was called offsides by centimeters.

Murat Yakin headed a corner onto the post in the 23rd minute. Thirty seconds later his younger brother, Hakan, had his first opportunity, heading the ball just outside the goal.

Hakan was back with a bicycle kick in the 43rd minute, but Cherchesov caught it.

And Rossi barely missed with a header that bounced off the crossbar in the 70th minute.

Spartak was having to cope with news that Titov, its talented 26-year-old midfielder, faces between one and four months more on the sidelines with a renewed injury to the ligaments in his left knee.

A sellout crowd of 29,500 watched the match in Basel's St. Jakob Park.

Hakan Yakin said the victory showed that the Swiss upstarts, who reached the group stage by ousting Celtic, were able to compete at an international level.

Real beat Roma 3-0 with Guti scoring twice and Raul once, taking his all-time high scoring record in the Champions League to 35 goals.

The victory is a good omen for Real, which won 2-1 at Roma on the opening night last season and went on to win the competition eight months later.

Playing without new signing Ronaldo, who is not yet fully fit, Real was almost dismissive of one of the strongest sides in Serie A, although it took almost until the break to go in front in its Group C match with Guti scoring after 41 minutes.

Raul doubled the lead after 56 minutes before Guti wrapped up the points with the third after leaving two defenders in his wake.

Genk and AEK finished scoreless Arsenal had to wait until an excellent Dennis Bergkamp goal after 62 minutes to break through a resilient Dortmund defense at Highbury, where it has now won 15 of its last 18 home Champions League matches.

But the Germans were very disappointing in the Group A game and hardly had a shot on target.

Their defense was ripped to shreds when Freddie Ljungberg, playing for the first time this season after injury, shot into an empty net to make it 2-0 after 78 minutes.

Arsenal had broken from one end of the field to the other in a move timed at just 13 seconds.

Valencia, European Cup finalist in both 2000 and 2001 and Spanish champion last season for the first time in 31 years, showed poise, control and played superbly to deservedly beat Liverpool 2-0 in Group B.

Ruben Baraja wrapped up the game with a superbly worked second goal after 39 minutes following Pablo Aimar's opening 20th-minute strike.

A disappointing night for Liverpool got worse when German midfielder Dietmar Hamann was sent off for a second yellow card 13 minutes from the end.

Auxerre and PSV Eindhoven drew 0-0 in the other match in the group.

The two games in Group D produced seven goals and two sendings off. Dutch champion Ajax Amsterdam marked its return to the Champions League after a three-year absence with a 2-1 home win over Olympique Lyon, but Inter Milan's campaign got off to a stuttering start with a 2-2 draw at Rosenborg Trondheim in Norway.

Inter new boy Crespo made his mark as Ronaldo's replacement, scoring both his side's goals after 33 and 78 minutes, while Azar Karadas scored twice for Rosenborg.

While it was ultimately pleased to take a point after trailing 2-1 at one stage, Inter's performance was marred by the late dismissal of defender Fabio Cannavaro. (AP, Reuters)