Real Madrid, Arsenal stumble

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Defending champion Real Madrid will have to wait another week to clinch its place in the Champions League second round. So will Spanish rival Valencia and Engla

updated: February 25, 2007 09:28 IST
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Defending champion Real Madrid will have to wait another week to clinch its place in the Champions League second round. So will Spanish rival Valencia and England's Arsenal, as they joined Real Madrid in failing to pick up a victory on Tuesday to secure a passage to the round of 16 in Europe's premier club tournament. Favourites to win a record 10th title, Real Madrid got two early goals from English midfielder Steve McManaman, but AEK Athens rallied with two late strikes for a 2-2 draw. Valencia, the losing finalist in the competition two of the last three years, also blew a lead and drew 2-2 at Swiss side Basel. Arsenal was down 2-0 after just 27 minutes and fell 2-1 to France's Auxerre - Arsenal's second loss in four days and the first in the Champions League this season after three shutout wins. Liverpool got the most impressive victory as the four-time European champions won 3-1 at Spartak Moscow on Michael Owen's hat trick. In London, Auxerre handed the English champions their second loss in four days. Olivier Kapo (8th) and Khalilou Fadiga (27th) gave Auxerre the lead with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger losing on his 53rd birthday. Nwankwo Kanu scored for Arsenal (53rd). It was Arsenal's first loss in the group after three wins with Auxerre picking up its first victory in four. Arsenal leads the group with nine points. Auxerre has four. Arsenal could still clinch a spot in the second round in next week's match against Borussia Dortmund. At Dortmund, Germany, Arnold Bruggink's half-volley lifted PSV Eindhoven to a 1-1 draw. Bruggink's goal (47th) turned the momentum in a match dominated until then by the Germans. Czech striker Jan Koller scored in the 10th for Dortmund. Dortmund has seven points and PSV 2. In Basel, Switzerland, a 90th-minute goal for Ivan Ergic earned Basel the draw. Valencia improved to 10 points with Basel on five. Meanwhile, defending champions Spain took a 2-0 lead on goals by Englishman Steve McManaman (24th and 43rd). But AEK bounced back with Kostas Katsouranis scoring in the 74th and Walter Centeno getting the equalizer in the 86th. Real leads the groups with eight points and AEK has four. In Rome, fighting for a spot in the next phase of the Champions League, AS Roma did little to improve its status with draw against Racing Genk. Taking into account Real Madrid's 2-2 draw with AEK Athens, Roma maintained second place with five points. Genk has two. In Amsterdam, a young defender's handball cost Ajax two points as Dagfinn Enerly's resulting late penalty on the play salvaged a point for the Norwegian champions. Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave Ajax a 1-0 lead in the 41st with Enerly's penalty equalizing in the 85th. Ajax has five points and Rosenborg three. Hernan Crespo and Sonny Anderson scored two goals as Inter Milan and Lyon drew. Group leader Lyon has seven points and Inter Milan has five. Anderson gave Lyon a 1-0 lead (21st) with Milan equalizing on a Claudio Cacapa own-goal in the 31st. Eric Carriere (44th) put Lyon ahead again with Crespo equalizing in the 56th. Crespo scored again in the 65th with Anderson equalizing in the 74th. (AP)