Atletico Madrid Among Perfect Europa League Trio; Liverpool Wins
Atletico Madrid, Lyon and Dnipro maintained their perfect records in soccer’s Europa League, as Liverpool won to join Newcastle as a group leader.
Defending champion Atletico beat Academica 2-1, Lyon defeated Athletic Bilbao 2-1 and Dnipro beat Napoli 3-1 last night. No other teams have won all three of their games midway through the group stage of Europe’s second-tier club competition.
Newcastle defeated Bruges 1-0 to increase its lead in Group D and Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Anzhi Makhachkala moved it to the top of Group A. Tottenham, the other English Premier League team in the competition, drew its third straight game.
Diego Costa and Emre Belozoglu scored as Atletico, seeking its third Europa League title in four seasons, moved to nine points in Group B. Viktoria Plzen is three points behind after a 2-1 win at Hapoel Tel-Aviv.
Lyon tops Group I after beating Athletic Bilbao, last season’s runner-up, on Jimmy Briand’s 86th-minute goal. Sparta Prague defeated Hapoel Kiryat Shmona 3-1 to stay second.
Dnipro’s win against Napoli extended its lead to five points in Group F over PSV Eindhoven, which tied 1-1 with AIK.
Stewart Downing’s goal in the 53rd minute moved Liverpool to the group lead with six points, two more than Anzhi and Udinese, which lost 3-1 to Young Boys.
Newcastle now tops Group D by three points after Gabriel Obertan’s first goal of the season beat Bruges. Second-place Bordeaux drew 1-1 at Maritimo.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goal in the 58th minute gave Tottenham a 1-1 draw with Maribor in Slovenia. Spurs are third in Group J, two points behind leader Lazio, which tied Panathinaikos 1-1, and one back of Maribor.
Inter Milan beat Partizan Belgrade 1-0 and Rubin Kazan defeated Neftchi 1-0 to leave both tied atop Group H, while Genk beat Sporting Lisbon 2-1 to retain a one-point lead in Group G over Videoton, which topped Basel by the same score.
Bayern Leverkusen won 4-0 at Rapid Vienna to share the Group K lead with Metalist Kharkiv, which was a 2-1 winner at Rosenborg.
Hannover tops Group L after Didier Ya Konan’s injury-time goal gave it a 2-1 win at Helsingborg, while Levante beat FC Twente 3-0. Fenerbahce won 1-0 at AEL Limassol to stay atop Group C as Borussia Monchengladbach beat Marseille 2-0. Steaua Bucharest leads Group E after a 2-0 win over Molde, while Stuttgart and Copenhagen tied 0-0.
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. The next round of games will be played Nov. 8.
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