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Leagues: Champions League

Roma hold Porto, Monaco win at Villarreal

Paris (AFP) – Ten-man Roma held on to draw 1-1 at Porto in the first leg of their Champions League play-off on Wednesday, while Bernardo Silva gave Monaco a 2-1 victory over Villarreal in Spain.

Luciano Spalletti’s Roma are looking to reach the group stages for the third time in a row, and they took a 21st-minute lead at the Estadio Dragao when Porto defender Felipe put through his own net.

But the momentum swung four minutes before half-time when Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen, making his debut following a loan move from Barcelona, was sent off for a second yellow card.

The hosts still struggled to break their Italian opponents down, but were awarded a penalty when Emerson handled in the area.

Striker Andre Silva, 20, smashed the spot-kick home to draw Porto level, but Roma held on to a draw to leave the 2004 champions with plenty to do in the second leg next Tuesday at the Stadio Olimpico.

Monaco took control of their clash with Villarreal, as they looked to bounce back from losing at this stage to Valencia a year ago.

Brazilian full-back Fabinho put the Ligue 1 side ahead with a third-minute penalty, only for Alexandre Pato to equalise nine minutes before half-time on his Villarreal debut.

Portuguese winger Silva came off the bench at the weekend to score the equaliser in Monaco’s Ligue 1 opening draw with Guingamp, and he restored their advantage at El Madrigal on Wednesday.

Leonardo Jardim’s away side closed out the victory despite having Benjamin Mendy sent off late on.

Tom Rogic, Leigh Griffiths (twice), Moussa Dembele and Scott Brown were all among the goals as Celtic put in their best performance since Brendan Rodgers took over as manager with a 5-2 thrashing of Israel’s Hapoel Beer Sheva at Parkhead.

Elsewhere, Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad saw off Viktoria Plzen 2-0 with goals from Cosmin Moti and Virgil Misidjan, while Irish side Dundalk will need a famous win in Poland next week if their dream run is to continue after a 2-0 home defeat to Legia Warsaw.

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