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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spartak Slips to Defeat at Inter

APInter striker Adriano, left, and Spartak defender Geder competing for the ball at the game in Milan on Wednesday.
MILAN, Italy -- Spartak succumbed to a determined Inter Milan in Milan on Wedensday. The 2-1 defeat left the Moscow team bottom of Champions League Group B having picked up just 1 point in 3 games.

Argentine Julio Ricardo Cruz struck twice in the first 10 minutes for Inter Milan to pick up its first points of the campaign.

Cruz was selected ahead of Brazilian Adriano and Inter coach Roberto Mancini's decision paid off handsomely as the forward put his side ahead with a first-time strike in the second minute and then added a second with a header seven minutes later.

Spartak pulled a goal back in the 54th minute through Roman Pavlyuchenko and went close to a late equalizer but Inter's Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar did well to keep out a shot from the impressive Boyarintsev. That ensured victory after the Italian champion had lost its opening two games to Sporting Lisbon and Bayern Munich.

"I think we played very well in first half, we just lacked the third goal to finish the game off," Mancini said.

Spartak coach Vladimir Fedotov rued his team's lack of concentration in the opening stages.

"I told them to be very careful in the first few minutes because Inter are always aggressive and dangerous early on. That was shown straight away when we gave the ball away twice and they punished us both times," he said.

"It was much more balanced after the break, we got a goal and we could even have got a draw."

Spartak had struggled to get a grip in midfield in the early stages, and Inter was good value for its two goal lead. But Spartak could have pulled one back in the 21st minute when Boyarintsev was allowed to break free on goal but floated his shot harmlessly over the bar.

But the visitors re-opened the contest moments later when, after good work from half-time substitute Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, Pavlyuchenko slotted home a low cross from Denis Boyarintsev.

With a minute of normal time remaining Owusu-Abeyie burst down the left flank, outpacing Ivan Cordoba and slipping the ball into the path of Boyarintsev, whose side-foot shot forced Julio Cesar into a diving save -- much to the relief of the San Siro crowd.

Chelsea handed European champion Barcelona a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in Group A where Didier Drogba scored an outstanding individual goal after 47 minutes.

The Stamford Bridge result was Barcelona's first defeat in 16 matches in the competition since losing to Chelsea in March 2005, and although they should still advance, they have only four points from their opening three games, the same as Werder Bremen after the Germans beat Levski Sofia 2-0.

Liverpool, the 2005 European champions, stayed top of Group C with a 1-0 win in Bordeaux where Peter Crouch scored the only goal to take their tally to seven points, the same as second-placed PSV Eindhoven, who won 2-1 at Galatasaray.

In other Champions League games it was: Olympiakos 0, Roma 1; Sporting 0, Bayern Munich 1; Valencia 2, Shakhtar Donetsk 0; and Werder Bremen 2, Levski Sofia 0.