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Champions League round-up

Despite the BBC and Guardian’s inexplicable lack of interest in last night’s Champions league qualifying round deciders, your people at Excite very much were tune in, and we were rewarded with some truly incredible games of football, particularly the two in Genoa and Seville.

Sampdoria’s match with Werder Bremen was the pick of the bunch, packed full of drama, goals and a boiling hot atmosphere. Samp raced into a two-goal lead thanks to two cracking goals from Giampaolo Pazzini, the first a back post header from a looping Antonio Cassano cross after only eight minutes, and the other a frankly outrageous volley from a floated free-kick five minutes later. The match and tie looked to be over when Cassano scored the third with only five minutes to go, but the Germans didn’t give up, and after scoring in injury time to take the match to extra time, scored another through Pizarro to go through to the group stages.

Elsewhere, Portuguese minnows Braga humbled Sevilla on their own patch, beating them 4-3 in a thrilling display of counter-attacking football, and going through 5-3 on aggregate, while Partizan Belgrade beat Anderlecht 3-2 on penalties, Hapoel Tel-Aviv drew with RB Salzburg 1-1 to ease their way through and Basel walloped Sheriff 3-0.

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