Europa League: Matchday Three
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|Liverpool earned their second consecutive win at home as they secured a narrow 1-0 win over Anzhi Makachkala at Anfield, courtesy of Stewart Downing's goal. (See full report here)
Udinese failed to build on their shock victory over the Reds on matchday two, as they fell to a 3-1 defeat against a resurgent Young Boys at Stade de Suisse in Bern.
The Serie A outfit fell behind after just four minutes on the clock through Raul Bobadilla, who fired past Zeljko Brkic to hand the Swiss side the lead.
Bobadilla then made it 2-0 in the second half to further the hosts' advantage in the Swiss capital, before the Italians reduced the deficit through Andrea Coda just three minutes after going further behind.
However, the hosts did manage to make the game safe, as Maurizio Domizzi - a hero in the 3-2 win a fortnight ago - gave away a penalty with a foul on Alexander Gonzalez. Bobadilla duly stepped up to notch his hat-trick.
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Atletico Madrid seized control of Group B with a comfortable 1-0 victory over Academica at the Vicente Calderon.
Despite a turgid first half, the Spaniards raced out of the blocks quickly in the second period. Koke's cross from a corner was helped on by Tiago, allowing Diego Costa to fire home and finally break Portuguese resistance.
Diego Simeone's men made it 2-0 halfway through the second period with a fantastic free-kick by Emre - his first for the Colchoneros - lifting it over the wall and past Ricardo for the three points, despite Salim Cisse's late consolation.
Viktoria Plzen came from behind to keep in touch at the top with a 2-1 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv.The Israeli side surged forward to take the lead, thanks to Hanan Maman, who powerfully headed home from Roei Gordana's good delivery from the corner.
The visitors restored parity in a fine attacking move just before half-time, as Pavel Horvath latched onto Frantisek Rajtoral's ball to fire past the goalkeeper.
Plzen turned it around in the second half, as a corner wasn't fully dealt with, allowing Radim Reznik to cross for an unmarked Rajtoral to divert the ball into the net for 2-1. Things then went from bad to worse as Iyad Khutaba was sent off for a second bookable offence.
|Olympique de Marseille suffered their first European defeat of the season as Borussia Monchengladbach bagged a 2-0 victory at Borussia-Park.
The German side may have conceded 15 goals in their last five games but were solid at the back, limiting Elie Baup's men who could not string together a serious attack.
Steve Mandanda produced a fine save from Juan Arango, before Charles Kabore was adjudged to have handled in the box - leaving captain Filip Daems to open the scoring from the penalty spot.
Marseille stepped it up in the second half, as Joey Barton and Kabore attempted efforts from range, but neither could trouble Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. Lucien Favre's troops then doubled their advantage thanks to substitute Peniel Mlapa from 20 yards out.
Mlapa soon missed a gilt-edged chance before Martin Stranzl's goal was ruled out for offside, but nevertheless the Germans did enough to reinvigorate their Europa League campaign.
Fenerbahce finally broke through a resolute AEL Limassol defence to record a 1-0 win over the Cypriot side in Nicosia and go top of the group.
After being kept at arm's length for much of the first half, the Turkish giants stepped up their efforts in the second half, with news of Marseille's scoreline against Gladbach filtering through.
Egemen Korkmaz rifled in a header from a crisp delivery from Cristian, with the midfielder rising highest to convert past the goalkeeper and hand Aykut Kocaman's side the advantage in the pool ahead of the fourth round of matches.
|Newcastle United maintained their unbeaten start to the Europa League, grinding out a narrow 1-0 win over Club Brugge at St James Park.
The Magpies needed a 48th-minute goal from Gabriel Obertan to finally see off their Belgian visitors, but did enough to stay top. (See full report here)
Bordeaux, meanwhile, threw away the lead for a second straight European matchday as they were held 1-1 by Maritimo.
Francis Gillot's men went 1-0 up after the half-hour mark thanks to a good delivery from the lively Benoit Tremoulinas, whose fine cross was finished off by Yann Gouffran.
Their lead was short-lived, though, as Maritimo took advantage of some lax defending from the Ligue 1 side. Ruben Ferreira's long-range effort slammed onto the woodwork, but Valentin Roberge poked in the rebound from close range.
Neither team could force through the winner in the second half, leaving Les Girondins further behind Newcastle in the race for top spot.
|Steaua Bucharest carried on their good form in Europa League Group E with a convincing 2-0 victory over Molde on Thursday evening.
The hosts took the lead after half an hour with an assured finish from Vlad Iuliano Chiriches, who produced an overhead kick to beat Ole Soderberg in the Norwegian goal.
An equally-brilliant goal arrived two minutes later to leave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men reeling. A long-range effort from Iasmin Latovlevici sent the home faithful into raptures.
Alexandru Chipciu was felled in the penalty box by Magne Simonsen, but Cristian Tanase wasted the perfect chance to kill off the game, seeing his penalty saved by the goalkeeper. In the end it did not matter, as Steaua stay top of the pile.
Meanwhile, in Germany, Copenhagen managed to nullify Stuttgart at the Mercedes Benz Arena, with the hosts still without a win, leaving their qualification hopes hanging in the balance.
|PSV Eindhoven shrugged off a sluggish start to earn a draw against a spirited AIK outfit at the Philips Stadion.
It took until the 61st minute for the opening goal to be scored, and it was the visitors who ploughed ahead into a surprising lead. Nils-Eric Johannson's fine pass found Kwami Karikari, with the latter supplying the finish past Polish goalkeeper Prezymyslaw Tyton.
Despite Swedish dominance, the hosts did equalise against the run of play as Dries Mertens threaded through a ball for Jermain Lens, who struck his second Europa League goal in as many games to restore parity for the Eredivisie giants, who sit second.
Meanwhile, Dnipro continued their scintillating rise in Group F, seeing off Napoli 3-1 to maintain their 100 per cent record in the competition.
The Ukrainians took the lead inside all of 120 seconds as Ruslan Rotan's free-kick into the box was not aptly dealt with, allowing Artem Fedetskiy to strike the ball high into Antonio Rosati's net.
Although the Partenopei piled on the pressure, Dnipro would double their advantage just before half-time. Fedetskiy played a further part in the build-up of the second goal, as his delivery into the box was nudged home by Matheus for 2-0.
Giuliano then put the hosts 3-0 up, before Ondrej Mazuch was adjudged to have fouled Edinson Cavani in the box, with the Uruguayan striker reducing the deficit from the spot.
Walter Mazzari's men have now lost 3-0 and 3-1 in their last two European matches, and now sit six points behind their opponents.