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Napoli draw as Leverkusen play out thriller

Athletic Bilbao will have the upper hand back at San Mames after holding Napoli to a 1-1 Champions League play-off draw on Tuesday night.

The Primera Division and Serie A giants were pitted against each other in a battle to reach the group stages and Athletic took the initiative with Iker Muniain scoring four minutes before the break in Naples.

Napoli hit back after the interval as former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain fired a leveller on 68 minutes but the Basque outfit will fancy their chances of winning the second leg and progressing to the next stage.

There were five goals in the first half of action in the Danish capital as Bayer Leverkusen claimed a 3-2 win at FC Copenhagen.

Stefan Kiessling (five) and Zanka (nine) exchanged goals before Daniel Amartey nudged FCK ahead in the 13th minute.

Bayer equalised through Karim Bellarabi on 31 minutes and, three minutes before the break, Son Heung-min grabbed what proved to be the winner for the Bundesliga giants.

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Julio Cesar joins Benfica

Cesar
Cesar has joined the Portuguese champions. Credit: PA

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar has joined Benfica after being released by QPR.

The Portuguese giants confirmed on their website on Tuesday evening that the 34-year-old had signed a two-year deal.

Julio Cesar, who arrived at Loftus Road on a free transfer in August 2012, had been under contract for another two years with the Barclays Premier League newcomers.

A statement on www.qpr.co.uk earlier in the evening read: "QPR have agreed to release goalkeeper Julio Cesar, with the player set to sign for Portuguese side Benfica.

"The Brazilian, who was contracted until June 2016, has left Loftus Road by mutual consent with immediate effect."

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