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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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
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