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  • Hamburg 3-1 Anderlecht: Van Nisterlooy first European goal

    Hamburg grabbed a comfortable advantage in their Europa League last-16 tie aided by two goals from unlikely sources.

    Defender Joris Mathijsen gave Hamburg the lead in the 23rd minute with his first goal in the competition and Ruud van Nistelrooy tallied his first European goal for Hamburg in the 40th minute to make it 2-0.

    Jonathan Legear struck for the sixth time in the Europa League to trim the margin to 2-1 in the 45th minute but David Jarolim, back from suspension, also scored his first in the competition to give his side a 3-1 cushion after 76 minutes.

    Anderlecht allowed the hosts, with striker Van Nistelrooy in the starting line-up for the first time under boss Bruno Labbadia, to control the midfield in the early stages.

    The Belgians relied on counter-attacking through 16-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku, who caused plenty of problems for the Hamburg defence and Mathijsen in particular.

    Hamburg could hardly string passes together but grabbed the lead after 23 minutes courtesy of a mistake by the Anderlecht backline. Dennis Aogo's long shot caused panic and an attempted clearance bounced into the path of Mathijsen, who sent a first-time right-foot shot into the bottom left corner past keeper Sylvio Proto from near the penalty spot.

    Van Nistelrooy doubled the advantage five minutes before the break. Mladen Petric's header went to the left side of Proto's goal and Eljero Elia chipped the ball over to fellow Dutchman Van Nistelrooy, whose left-foot shot beat Proto before glancing off the near post and into the far side netting.

    The Belgians halved the deficit just before the interval with a glorious free-kick by Legear, who curled his 25-yard shot over the wall and into the top corner.

    Van Nistelrooy had another goal ruled out for offside in the 56th minute before Proto was forced to make a fine save from Mladen Petric's blast and Hamburg keeper Frank Rost stopped Lucas Biglia's strike from 20 yards a minute thereafter.

    Hamburg regained their two-goal lead with 14 minutes remaining after another poor clearance attempt by the Belgian backline, as Guillaume Gillet's header landed at the feet of Jarolim, who blasted home from 16 yards.

    Neither team could score again despite excellent chances over the final quarter-hour.



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