Alkmaar preserved their unbeaten home record in European competition but it was Werder Bremen who will consider themselves slight favourites to reach the UEFA Cup semi-finals after this first-leg draw. It was ironic that, on a night full of goals, the game that had promised the most should end in stalemate.
Sevilla FC striker Frédéric Kanouté scored against his old club but the holders will have to protect a slender 2-1 lead in London next Thursday after Robbie Keane conjured a vital away goal for Tottenham Hotspur FC in their UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg.
hat had become a stop-start affair briefly livened up when Berbatov broke free down the left, only for his touch to let him down at the crucial moment. Both protagonists increasingly appeared content with the scoreline, though that did not stop Kanouté feeling he had missed a glorious opportunity when he deflected a header past the post from a great position. Tottenham's Didier Zakora and substitute Steed Malbranque both squandered chances to equalise late on, suggesting Jol's team must work on their finishing before next week.
CA Osasuna took a major step towards the UEFA Cup semi-finals after recording a famous 3-0 win at Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Playing in their first European quarter-final, the Spanish team claimed a first-minute lead through Javier Cuéllar and after containing their hosts, then killed them off with two goals in quick succession from David López and substitute Pierre Webó in the closing stages.
SL Benfica came back from three goals down to maintain their hopes of reaching this season's UEFA Cup final as they lost 3-2 to RCD Espanyol in the first leg of their quarter-final. Raúl Tamudo, Albert Riera and Walter Pandiani looked to have given the Barcelona club an unassailable lead but two strikes in the space of three second-half minutes from Nuno Gomes and captain Simão gave the visitors two priceless away goals going into next week's return in Lisbon.