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.