LONDON: Inter Milan and Barcelona each won in the Champions League on Wednesday to take control of their first-round groups, while Raul Gonzalez equaled a 33-year-old scoring record.
Defending champion Inter survived a second-half comeback to beat 10-man Tottenham 4-3 and take sole possession of first place in Group A, while Lionel Messi hit his ninth and 10th goals of the season to give Barcelona a 2-0 win over FC Copenhagen.
Manchester United put the furor surrounding Wayne Rooney’s future to one side to beat Bursaspor 1-0 and Lyon racked up its third tournament win with a 2-0 victory over Benfica.
Raul scored twice to lead Schalke to a 3-1 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv and match Gerd Mueller’s total of 69 European club goals.
Inter was already 1-0 ahead through Javier Zanetti when Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was sent off in the eighth minute for bringing down Jonathan Biabiany in the area.
Samuel Eto’o beat replacement keeper Carlo Cudicini with the resulting penalty before Dejan Stankovic put Inter 3-0 ahead in the 14th with a shot into the bottom corner. Eto’o then scored his 14th goal of the season and sixth in the Champions League with a 35th-minute finish with the outside of his boot.
“In the first half we played really well, but in the second half we were a bit too relaxed,” Inter coach Rafa Benitez said.
“They played well on the counterattack and we paid for this. We left too much space on the flanks.”
Inter appeared to be on course for the biggest win by any side so far in this season’s tournament but in the 52nd minute Wales winger Gareth Bale burst from inside his own half, beat two defenders down the left and scored with a fierce shot across goalkeeper Julio Cesar and into the far corner.
Bale did the same in the 90th and completed an unlikely hat trick in injury time with a third left-foot shot, this time after good approach work by fellow winger Aaron Lennon.
“We knew we could do better than in the first half,” Bale said. “We started off sloppily.”
Tottenham kept second place with four points three fewer than Inter after Werder Bremen and FC Twente drew 1-1 in the other Group A match.
“It was a difficult match because no team wanted to suffer the first goal,” Bremen forward Hugo Almeida said.
“One point was not enough for us today, and it was our aim to win. Now we have to win the next match.”
Bremen hosts Twente on November 2, when Tottenham hosts Inter.
Barcelona endured a nervous second half and led Copenhagen by just a single goal until injury time, when Messi got his fourth tournament goal of the season.
Messi put Barcelona ahead in the 19th, working himself space just outside the area to launch a shot past goalkeeper Johan Wiland into the top corner. But Wiland saved from Messi, David Villa and Daniel Alves to keep the Danish champions in the match at Camp Nou.
Copenhagen striker Cesar Martin wasted several chances and Dame N’Doye rattled a shot off the crossbar.
Barcelona overtook Copenhagen to lead Group D with seven points, one more than the Danish champions.
Also in Group D, last-place Panathinaikos held Rubin Kazan to a 0-0 draw.
Manchester United’s Rooney was already sidelined with an ankle injury before releasing a statement hours before the game detailing his dissatisfaction with the club’s inability to afford top players.
United manager Alex Ferguson still opted to rest several players but winger Nani put United made the most of United’s early superiority in the ninth minute with a curling shot to the far post.
The three-time European champions have seven points in Group C, two more than Rangers.
American midfielder Maurice Edu managed to score a header for both sides as Rangers kept up its unbeaten start to Champions League play with a 1-1 draw against Valencia.
France striker Jimmy Briand scored his first goal in the Champions League and Lisandro Lopez added another to help Lyon maintain its perfect start to Group B, but Schalke is just three points back after Raul’s double.
The former Spain striker, who scored 66 Champions League and one Super Cup goal for Real Madrid before moving to Germany for this season, scored in the third minute and doubled Schalke’s lead in the 58th.
Former Germany great Mueller scored his 69 goals in 77 games in all European club competitions between 1966 and ‘79