Atletico Madrid Beats Celtic in Europa League; Premier League Teams Draw

Atletico Madrid beat Celtic 2-0 on the opening night of group-stage play in soccer’s Europa League, as all three English Premier League teams tied.

Radamel Falcao and Diego scored the goals for Atletico, which won Europe’s second-tier club competition in 2010, in a Group I game last night in Spain. Falcao joined Atletico after scoring a competition record 17 goals last season to help Porto to the Europa League title.

Ognjen Vukojevic’s goal in stoppage time gave Dynamo Kiev a 1-1 home draw Stoke in Group E. Fulham also tied 1-1 with FC Twente in Group K, while Tottenham and PAOK Salonika finished scoreless in Group A. Lino missed a penalty kick for PAOK after being made to retake it because a teammate was in the penalty area. He scored with his first attempt.

Rubin Kazan beat Shamrock Rovers, the first Irish club to reach the group stage of a major European club competition, 3-0 in the other Group A match.

The fourth English team in the tournament, second-division Birmingham was a 3-1 home loser to Braga, last season’s runner- up to Porto, in Group H.

Hugo Almeida scored twice as Besiktas beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv 5-1 in Group E, while Matias Suarez’s had a hat trick as Anderlecht defeated AEK Athens 4-1 in Group L. AZ Alkmaar, PSV Eindhoven, Paris Saint-Germain, Udinese and Copenhagen also opened with victories, as Lazio drew 2-2 at home with Vaslui.

The top two teams in each of the 12 groups advance to the round of 32 alongside the eight third-place finishers from the elite Champions League group stage.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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