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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

MONACO

Monaco humble Arsenal in Champions League

French side Monaco pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Champions League history on Wednesday, when they beat Arsenal 3-1 in the first leg of their last-16 tie in London. Monaco's striker Dimitar Berbatov warned the tie was not over though.

Monaco humble Arsenal in Champions League
Monaco striker Dimitar Berbatov celebrates after scoring against Arsenal in their Champions League tie on Wednesday.

Former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov rolled back the years to score as Monaco pulled off a memorable 3-1 victory over Arsenal in their Champions League last 16 first leg match on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old — who played for Tottenham from 2006-08 — struck the French side's second goal as the visitors made it an extremely unhappy reunion for former coach Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

It meant that none of the three English sides left in the competition have won their first leg games — Chelsea having been held 1-1 by defending French champions Paris Saint Germain last week.

The Gunners — who had not conceded a goal in three previous visits from French sides in the competition — face a huge challenge when they travel to Monaco next month if they are to reach the last eight for the first time since 2010.

"We are confident in our ability so honestly we deserved to win," Berbatov, who is Monaco's leading scorer this season with eight goals, told Sky Sports.

"We scored our chances and in the end it's a great win for us. It's not over, we have one more game in Monaco and Arsenal are a great team."

The night's other match was an ill-tempered affair which saw one player sent off and eight other players booked.

However, German side Bayer Leverkusen gave themselves a glimmer of hope of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time as they beat last season's finalists Atletico Madrid 1-0.

Hakan Calhanoglu scored the only goal and become the first player to score against Atletico in the Champions League since Kostas Mitroglou did for Olympiakos on September 16.

"I think we were clearly the better team and therefore we deserved the win," said Calhanoglu.

"I gave it all I had for the goal, but we have to play just as well in the return leg as we did today and then we have a good chance."

The visitors ended the game with 10 men when Tiago was sent off for a second bookable offence.

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MONACO

Billionaire owner of Monaco football club taken into custody

The Russian billionaire owner of Monaco football club was in custody Tuesday, his lawyer confirmed, the latest twist in his legal battle with a Swiss art dealer who he claims cheated him of up to one billion dollars and Sotheby's auctioneers.

Billionaire owner of Monaco football club taken into custody
Dmitry Rybolovlev. Photo: AFP

The Russian billionaire owner of Monaco football club was in custody Tuesday, his lawyer confirmed, the latest twist in his legal battle with a Swiss art dealer who he claims cheated him of up to one billion dollars and Sotheby's auctioneers.

Police officers also carried out a search Tuesday morning of Dmitry Rybolovlev's luxury penthouse apartment in the principality, said a source close to the case.

Rybolovlev's lawyer Herve Temine confirmed the latest developments, while stressing the principle of the presumption of innocence.

Temine's colleague Thomas Giaccardi said the latest move came after the seizure and analysis of a mobile phone belonging to one of Rybolovlev's lawyers, Tetiana Bersheda.

Since 2015, Rybolovlev has been locked in a legal battle with Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, who he accuses of having swindled him out of up to a billion dollars, by charging inflated fees.

When Rybolovlev's lawyer Bersheda produced an audio recording from her mobile phone that she said supported his case, the investigating magistrate in the case ordered text messages from the same phone to be extracted.

That led to Monaco prosecutors opening a corruption investigation against Rybolovlev in 2017.

His legal team has repeatedly argued that this analysis of the phone was a violation of the lawyer-client confidentiality. That issue is still being fought out in court, but some of the compromising text messages have already been leaked to the French press.

On October 2 this year, Rybolovlev opened a new front in his legal battle, launching a $380-million (333-million-euros) lawsuit against Sotheby's auction house through the New York courts.

In it, he accused the auction house of having helped Bouvier, their art advisor, carry out “the largest art fraud in history” — at his expense.

Rybolovlev says Bouvier tricked him over the acquisition of 38 works of art he bought from him over a decade for more than $2.1 billion.

“He repeatedly and blatantly misrepresented the acquisition prices for the paintings,” pocketing the difference himself, says the lawsuit.

Sotheby's has dismissed the lawsuit as “entirely without merit”.

In November 2017, it filed its own lawsuit against Rybolovlev in Switzerland and is seeking to have the action in New York dismissed.

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