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Czech champions held

Plzen draw with strugglers prior to FCB task

Four days ahead of the Champions League meeting with Bayern in Munich, Viktoria Plzen were held 1-1 by second from bottom Slavia Prague in their domestic league meeting on Saturday evening. The Czech champions remain unbeaten after 11 matches, but could now slip further off the pace after dropping two more points. Leaders Sparta Prague can pull six points clear on Sunday, with third placed Teplice also potentially overtaking Viktoria on Monday.

Viktoria coach Pavel Vrba was dismayed with his team’s display, especially before half-time. “Slavia were better than us in the first half and punished our mistakes,” the  Plzen boss moaned. Slavia’s Martin Juhar opened the scoring for the visitors on the half-hour, with the champions ultimately lucky to turn around only one goal down.

“The first half was very poor. We can’t afford that kind of thing in Munich,” commented Frantisek Rajtoral, who equalised in the 59th minute as Viktoria produced a much better second-half performance. Wednesday’s opponents could even have won it at the end, but captain Pavel Horvath saw his 89th-minute penalty saved by Slavia keeper Matej Rakovan.

Viktoria Plzen line-up against Slavia:

Kozacik - Rajtoral, Cisovsky, Prochazka, Reznik - Horvath, Horava - Kolar, Pospisil (46. Petrzela), Duris (68. Kovarik) - Bakos (83. Wagner)