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Wednesday, 1 March, 2000, 22:22 GMT
Fiorentina maintain group lead

Fiorentina's Rui Costa battles for midfield control
Wednesday night's Champions League action saw a Group B win for Fiorentina over Valencia thanks to a single first half goal.

In Group A Barcelona got the better of another six-goal thriller in Spain, coming out on top 4-2 over Porto.

Meanwhile Hertha Berlin were denied a win by a late equaliser from Sparta Prague and their game ended 1-1.




Fiorentina 1-0 Valencia

A 20th minute penalty from former Valencia striker Predrag Mijatovic was all the Italian club needed to hang on to their Group B lead.

Fiorentina have seven points from three matches in the second phase of the tournament.

Mijatovic, who scored the winner for Real Madrid against Juventus in the 1998 European Cup Final, earned himself the penalty following contact in the area with defender Luis Milla.

The Yugoslav tucked his spot-kick into the bottom left-hand corner.

Late in the first half Valencia's Romanian striker Adrian stretched Italian goalkeeper Francesco Toldo with the Spanish side's best chance of the opening period.

Fiorentina skipper Gabriel Batistuta missed a gaping goal from point-blank range in the second half.

And the home side were left thanking Toldo for some more saves towards the end as Valencia enjoyed most of the second-half possession.




Barcelona 4-2 Porto

Barcelona recovered from their 3-0 domestic mauling by Real Madrid and a disastrous start in this game to better their great Spanish rivals in the week's Champions League action.

Real lost 4-2 on Tuesday but Barca got the better in their six-goal thriller to take the group lead from the Portuguese side.

A fifth-minute opener from the Portuguese outfit's prolific Brazilian striker Mario Jardel stunned the Nou Camp.

But first-half goals from Rivaldo, Frank De Boer and Patrick Kluivert saw Barcelona seize the initiative by half-time.

Jardel pulled one back with 10 minutes to go to make him the tournament's highest scorer with eight, but Rivaldo restored the two-goal lead in the final minute.




Hertha Berlin 1-1 Sparta Prague

Barcelona and Porto both look set to qualify for the quarter-finals after neither of the chasers took the chance to close up on the Portuguese team.

Hertha have just two points and Sparta only one after three games each, compared with Porto's six and Barca's seven.

The German side took the lead through midfielder Sixten Veit just before the half-time break.

The Czech side rallied to grab their first point of the second phase with an 84th-minute reply from Horst Siegl that took a deflection off defender Eyjolfur Sverrisson.

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Links to other Champions League stories are at the foot of the page.