Hamburg off to winning start as pressure builds on Ramos

Hamburg - Bundesliga leaders SV Hamburg enjoyed a 2-1 away to Slovak side Zilina Thursday in their opening group match Thursday in the UEFA Cup while under-fire Tottenham Hotspur boss Juande Ramos saw his side go down to Udinese.

First half goals from Croatian internationals Mladen Petric and Ivica Olic put the German side in control in the Group F game against the Slovak league leaders who pulled one goal back 21 minutes from time through Emil Rilke.

Benjamin Raich hoping for unplanned success in World Cup

Hamburg - Austrian Benjamin Raich goes into the new alpine season - which starts on the weekend in the Austrian town of Soelden - looking for a second overall World Cup title.

Barcelona trounce Basel, Sporting win in Donetsk

Hamburg - Barcelona showed why they are one of the favourites to lift the Champions League title this season with a resounding 5-0 victory against Basel in a Group C match played in Switzerland on Wednesday.

There were also good victories for PSV Eindhoven, who won 2-0 through two Danny Koevermans goals, and Bordeaux, who beat Romanian first-timers CFR Cluj 1-0.

Comfortable wins for top clubs in Champions League

Hamburg - Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Arsenal all celebrated comfortable wins Tuesday to move closer to qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League while Juventus overcame Real Madrid to go top of their group.

A goal in either half from Dimatar Berbatov as well as a Wayne Rooney strike 14 minutes from time secured a fully deserved 3-0 win for defending champions United against Scottish champions Celtic at Old Trafford.

Rafael Nadal to finish 2008 at the top of the tennis rankings

Hamburg - Rafael Nadal's run to the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters at the weekend ensures the Spaniard will remain top of the ATP tennis rankings until the end of 2008.

The French Open and Wimbledon champion Nadal has 7,100 points in the new rankings issued Monday, to sit ahead of former number one Roger Federer of Switzerland (5,805) and Serb Novak Djokovic (4,575).

France's Gilles Simon moves into the top 10 after his run to the final in Madrid, where he was beaten by Andy Murray.


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