Europa League: Matchday Two
|Hungarian champions Videoton kicked off the evening in style thanks to an emphatic 3-0 success over Sporting Lisbon on Thursday.
The win was especially sweet for the hosts, as coach Paulo Sousa made a winning return to his homeland. Fifteen minutes in, Paulo Vinicius netted a rebound, before Filipe Oliveira met a cross at the far post six minutes later. A Khalid Boulahrouz backpass then gifted Nemanja Nikolic the chance to seal the points.
In other matters, Basel turned around a two-goal deficit to eventually draw 2-2 with Genk; a result that nonetheless leaves the Belgians top of the pool.
Benjamin de Ceulaer's sumptuous through ball, intended for Jelle Vossen, proved a welcome slice of luck for his side, as it made its way over the line on 10 minutes, but Vossen made no mistake about Genk's second with an assured finish on the edge of the box.
However, Marco Streller's penalty on 70 minutes put the Swiss champions on their way, after Kalidou Koulibaly was felled, before Streller again popped up at death to head for a Basel point.
|Europa League new boys Neftchi Baku fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Inter, thanks to goals from Philippe Coutinho, Joel Obi and Marko Livaja (see full report here).
Latterly, Rubin Kazan joined the Nerazzurri atop of Group H with a routine 2-0 success over Partizan Belgrade to open up a three-point gap in the section.
Roman Eremenko's weak shot fell to Karadeniz Gokdeniz, who worked his way into the box and struck the opening goal on the stroke of half-time. And just three minutes into the restart, Aleksandr Ryazantsev slotted home to round off a dominant showing in Russia.
|Israel minnows Ironi Kiryat Shmona again impressed in the Europe League and could count themselves unlucky after falling to a thrilling 4-3 defeat at the hands of Lyon.
Shimon Abuhazira gave the home side the lead just 14 minutes in with a sweeping finish from distance, but it gave the Ligue 1 visitors the impetus to click into gear. Gueida Fofana struck the equaliser three minutes later, before Luciano Monzon's delightful free-kick was too strong for the wall and goalkeeper Daniel Amos.
It was soon 3-1 to Lyon after Anthony Reveillere ran onto Lisandro Lopez's clever dummy. Four goals were already witnessed in just 31 minutes of action, and it did not stop there. Lior Levi cut inside and curled in an unstoppable drive after half-time, and Bakary Kone brought down Abuhazira for his second of the evening.
But it was ultimately former Le Havre prospect Fofana, who leapt highest to nod home the winner from Steed Malbranque's corner in the second minute of injury time.
Athletic Bilbao's miserable season showed no signs of abating on Thursday as they fell to a 3-1 reverse at Sparta Prague, who put their loss on Matchday 1 firmly behind them.
The Czechs went up through Tomas Zapotocny on 25 minutes, bending an effort past Gorka Iraizoz, before they doubled their advantage thanks to Bekim Balaj, who headed Josef Husbauer's cross home for 2-0. Husbauer then capitalised on Vaclav Kadlec's fall in the box by netting the resulting penalty.
Sparta went onto record a commanding victory over last years' runners-up, despite Angel De Marcos' late consolation.
|Lazio continued their recent improvement in form with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Maribor on Thursday.
The decisive goal came shortly after the interval, as Sergio Floccari's parried effort fell to Ederson, who fired a stinging drive past Jasmin Handanovic to make it two in two for the Brazilian and his side.
Elsewhere, Panathinaikos rescued a point in their clash with Tottenham, which finished 1-1 (see full report here).
|Metalist Kharkiv followed up their encouraging draw at Leverkusen with a deserved 2-0 victory over Rapid Vienna on Thursday.
The Ukrainians took the lead in the second half through the head of substitute Edmar, before a neat move involving William and Taison was rounded off by Cleiton Xavier late on. To rub salt in the wounds, Guido Burgstaller was then sent off for Rapid following a dangerous lunge in injury time.
Meanwhile, Leverkusen bounced back from their home disappointment a fortnight ago, albeit with a slender 1-0 advantage at Rosenborg. Stefan Kiessling's wicked deflection off Sidney Sam's strike was enough for all three points with just 15 minutes remaining.
|Hannover's momentum in clawing back two goals to draw with Twente on Matchday 1 stayed with them in a merited 2-1 win over Levante on Thursday.
In an eventful encounter in Germany, Karim Haggui's cynical foul on Theofanis Gekas in the box warranted a red card and a penalty, which Michel duly struck on 10 minutes.
However, Vicente Iborra's handball soon after allowed Szabolcs Huszti to continue his explosive start to the season from the spot, and the comeback was sealed not long after the break thanks to Didier Ya Konan's speculative attempt.
And to wrap up the week's action, Twente rescued a 2-2 draw against Helsingborg, having gone two down earlier in the evening.
Nikola Djurcic netted twice from close range prior to the half-time whistle to give the Swedes a commanding lead, but two headers from Rasmus Bengtsson and Douglas late on made it successive four-goal draws for the Tukkers in the Europa League.