Arsenal equals league’s record win

Arsenal and Manchester United moved closer to a place in the next round of the Champions League on Tuesday with big wins that extended the English duo’s perfect starts.

Arsenal beat visiting Slavia Prague 7-0 to equal the competition’s biggest win, while English champion United won at Dynamo Kiev 4-2.

”You could never predict that in the Champions League you would score so many goals,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

Also, Walter Samuel scored with 10 minutes left to give Inter Milan a 2-1 win at CSKA Moscow, two-time champion FC Barcelona drew 0-0 at Rangers, and AS Roma won at Sporting Lisbon 2-1.

Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas each scored two goals at Emirates Stadium as Arsenal dominated Slavia Prague and matched Juventus’ 2003 win over Olympiakos.

”We know we have to keep our feet on the ground and if we do that we have a lot of chances to win something this year,” Fabregas said.

With Walcott and Aleksandr Hleb combining well throughout, Arsenal never looked like surrendering its unbeaten start to the season and took the lead in the fifth minute.

Hleb beat three defenders with a pass from the left and Fabregas curled a right-foot shot around goalkeeper Martin Vaniak to take his tally this season to eight goals in 14 games.

David Hubacek deflected a shot by Hleb into his own net in the 24th before Walcott became the first Englishman to score in the Champions League for Arsenal since Sol Campbell in the 2006 final loss to FC Barcelona.

”That’s some brilliant football,” Walcott said.

Vaniak mis-hit a strong back pass in the 41st straight to Walcott, who was starting just his second Champions League match. The 18-year-old striker dodged a defender and the recovering keeper to hit a powerful shot into the net.

Hleb scored in the 51st, set up Walcott for his second goal four minutes later, and was then involved in a move that ended with Fabregas making it 6-0 with a low shot in the 58th.

Substitute Nicklas Bendtner rounded off the scoring in the 89th with a close-range finish.

The Gunners, enjoying a 10th straight season in the group stage, lead Group H with nine points, three more than Sevilla, which beat last-place Steaua Bucharest 2-1 through goals by Frederic Kanoute and Luis Fabiano.

Wayne Rooney scored his seventh goal in six games and Cristiano Ronaldo scored one in each half to lead 1999 champion United in Ukraine.

Rio Ferdinand gave United the lead in the 10th by heading in a free kick from Ryan Giggs and Rooney tapped in a pass from Wes Brown in the 18th to make it 2-0.

Diego Rincon got a goal back for Dynamo in the 34th when he headed in a corner from Carlos Correa, but Ronaldo made it 3-1 when he headed into the net from a cross by Ryan Giggs.

Ronaldo’s second goal came from the penalty spot in the 68th after defender Goran Gavrancic blocked a cross by Carlos Tevez with his arm.

Although Kiev got a late goal back from Ismael Bangoura, it stayed at the bottom of Group F without a point from three games.

United, which leads with nine points, has now scored 12 goals in its last three matches and has conceded only six goals in 14 games this season. AS Roma is in second place with six points after a 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon.

Inter took the Group E lead from Fenerbahce, which drew 0-0 at PSV Eindhoven.

Inter had already lost one of its two opening games and its task to advance looked even tougher when it went down 1-0 in the 32nd at Lokomotiv Stadium after Brazilian striker Jo twisted past two defenders before curling a high shot over goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

But Hernan Crespo equalised in the 52nd with a shot off the outside of his boot and Samuel headed in the winning goal in the 80th off a free kick by Luis Figo, who followed Raul Gonzalez, Roberto Carlos, David Beckham, Paolo Maldini and Oliver Kahn as the sixth player to make 100 appearances in the Champions League.

Rangers and Barcelona both maintained their unbeaten starts to Group E at Ibrox, although the Spanish team was frustrated by Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor and had 17 shots on goal to three for the hosts.

The pair have seven points from three games, four more than Lyon, which got its first points with a 2-0 win at German champion Stuttgart.

”We expected a different outcome,” Stuttgart captain Fernando Meira said. ”We are in a very difficult situation.” – Sapa-AP

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