Atletico triumph; Inter draw

A review of Thursday night's Europa League action not involving English clubs, including a win for Atletico Madrid.

Last Updated: 20/09/12 at 22:48 Post Comment

Atletico Madrid celebrate in Israel

Atletico Madrid celebrate in Israel

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A review of Thursday night's Europa League action not involving English clubs, including a win for Atletico Madrid and a draw for Inter Milan.

Europa League holders Atletico Madrid got the defence of their title up and running in fine style with a 3-0 Group B victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel.

Atletico, unbeaten so far in the Spanish Primera Division, took a 37th-minute lead through Cristian Rodriguez and Diego Costa added a second before the break. Raul Garcia notched the third in the 63rd minute.

In the other match in Group B, Czech Liga leaders Viktoria Plzen came from behind to beat Portuguese side Academica 3-1. Wilson Eduardo put Academica in front before Pavel Horvath, Michal Duris and Frantisek Rajtoral replied.

In Group H, Japanese defender Yuto Nagatomo came to Inter Milan's rescue with an injury time equaliser to deny Rubin Kazan a famous win in the San Siro.

The Russians led first through Alexander Ryazantsev's early strike, and despite Marko Livaja's equaliser, the visitors must have thought they had won it when Salomon Rondon scored their second six minutes from time.

But Nagatomo pounced two minutes into added time to secure a face-saving 2-2 draw for the hosts in a group which also saw a goalless opening game between Partizan and Neftchi in Belgrade.

Last year's runners-up Athletic Bilbao also had a lucky escape in their Group I opener against Israelis Ironi Kiryat Shmona at the Estadio San Mames.

Adrian Rochet put the little-known visitors in front after 14 minutes and it took a 40th minute equaliser from Markel Susaeta to salvage a 1-1 draw.

Also in Group I, Lyon edged Sparta Prague 2-1 with second-half goals from Bafetimbi Gomis and Lisandro Lopez, with Ladislav Krejci replying late for the Czechs.

In Group J, Slovenians Maribor had better fortune as they beat Panathinaikos 3-0 with goals from Robert Beric, Agim Ibraimi and a Marcos Tavares penalty.

Sporting Lisbon held on for a goalless home draw against Basel in Group G despite having Brazilian Xandao sent off after 40 minutes, while Genk eased to a 3-0 home win over Videoton.

Hannover hit back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw away to FC Twente in Group L, while a 40th-minute goal from Juanfran gave Levante a 1-0 win at home to Helsingborg.

Group K saw a 2-1 win for Rosenborg at Rapid Vienna and a goalless draw between Bayer Leverkusen and Ukrainians Metalist Kharkiv in Germany.

In Group A, Udinese snatched a 1-1 draw at home to in-form Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala, Antonio Di Natale equalising in injury time after Lacina Traora put the Russians ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Napoli, currently second in Serie A, claimed an emphatic 4-0 win over AIK in Group F with a hat-trick from Eduardo Vargas and a fourth from Blerim Dzemaili in injury time.

But experienced European campaigners PSV Eindhoven were surprised by a 2-0 defeat to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine, with Matheus Nascimento and an Atiba Hutchinson own goal doing the damage.

Bordeaux matched Napoli's margin of victory with a 4-0 win over Club Brugge in Group D, the goals coming from Ludovic Sane, Yoan Gouffran, Jussie and an own goal from Bjorn Engels.

Group C opened with a pair of draws, Marseille coming back from 2-0 down to grab a 2-2 draw away to Fenerbahce, and AEL and Borussia Moenchengladbach battling out a goalless stalemate in Cyprus.

There was another draw in Group E, where Stuttgart and Steaua Bucharest shared a 2-2 tie in Germany, while Copenhagen edged past Molde 2-1 in Denmark thanks to a 74th-minute winner from Andreas Cornelius.

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Readers' Comments

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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