Atletico Beats Celtic in Europa League; Premier League Teams Tie

Atletico Beats Celtic in Europa League
Atletico Madrid's Diego Rivas da Cunha, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Europa League football match Atletico Madrid vs Celtic at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid. Photographer: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

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.

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