Sparta Prague played some of the best football they've produced in a very long time on Wednesday night, when they took on Lazio in Rome in the Champions League. On 27 minutes Sparta captain Karel Poborsky - in brilliant form of late - sent a great pass to Libor Sionko, who put the ball+ past the Lazio keeper from close range. Less than ten minutes later Poborsky himself scored against his old club to make it 2:0 and put Sparta within reach of a sensational upset. Alas, it wasn't to be: Lazio scored immediately from the second-half kick-off through Simone Inzhagi, and when the same player went down theatrically in the box after a soft challenge from Petr Johana, he himself converted the penalty. The final score then: Lazio 2 Sparta 2. Sparta coach Jiri Kotrba said he would have gladly taken one point before the game, but in the end he was left feeling disappointed, a sentiment which will have been echoed by football fans around the Czech Republic.
In other Champions League action, Czech national captain Pavel Nedved was inspirational once again for his club Juventus, scoring twice - including one from a free kick - as Juve came from behind to beat Olympiakos on Tuesday. The Czech press have once again been talking up Nedved's chances of being named European Player of the Year.
Other Czechs abroad have not been doing so well: Vaclav Drobny of Strasbourg has protested his innocence after traces of morphine were found in his blood. Meanwhile, Leverkusen's Jan Simak, who is on loan at Hannover, is being treated for nervous exhaustion. Simak, who is 24, went missing last week and reportedly said he planned to quit the game.
In the Czech league, after a poor run Slavia took a big step in the right direction on Monday, when they beat Brno 4:1 in Prague. Miroslav Beranek's men never looked back after Brazilian striker Aduato scored the opener after only two minutes.
Sparta Prague are now only one point behind Pardubice in the ice hockey Extraliga. On Tuesday Sparta beat Liberec 4:3, while Parbubice lost 3:2 in overtime to Vsetin. Meanwhile, after a very slow start to the season, last season's champions Slavia beat Karlovy Vary 3:1, their second win in a row. And Jan Neliba has stepped down as coach of Ceske Budejovice, after they lost all of their first seven games of the season, the worst start in the club's history.
Czech tennis number one Jiri Novak has been knocked out of the Japan Open in Tokyo. The fourth seed fell in the third round to Cyril Saulnier of France, who beat Novak 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday.