Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Liverpool, Inter Milan and Athletic Bilbao started their Europa League soccer campaigns with victories in the opening games of the third-qualifying round.
Stewart Downing’s long-range strike in the second half gave Liverpool a 1-0 win at Gomel of Belarus last night in Brendan Rodgers’s first competitive match as manager.
Also playing under new coaches, Marseille began Elie Baup’s tenure with a 1-1 draw at Turkey’s Eskisehirspor, while Guus Hiddink’s Anzhi Makhachkala beat Vitesse Arnhem 2-0 in Russia.
Inter won 3-0 at Hajduk Split on goals by Wesley Sneijder, Yuto Nagatomo and Philippe Coutinho. Athletic Bilbao, the runner-up in last season’s all-Spanish final against Atletico Madrid, defeated NK Slaven Koprivnica 3-1 at home.
The return matches will be played Aug. 9, with the winners of the two-game series advancing to the playoffs for a place in the group stage of Europe’s second-tier club competition.
THURSDAY’S EUOPA LEAGUE THIRD-QUALIFYING ROUND RESULTS ====================================================== Anzhi Makhachkala 2-0 Vitesse KuPS Kuopio 1-0 Bursaspor Arsenal Kiev 3-0 Mura Dila Gori 0-1 Anorthosis Famagusta Bnei Yehuda 0-2 PAOK Ruch Chorzow 0-2 Viktoria Plzen APOEL 2-1 Aalesunds Tromso 1-1 Metalurg Donetsk Kalmar 1-0 Young Boys Berne AIK Solna 3-0 Lech Poznan Ried 2-1 Legia Warsaw Heerenveen 4-0 Rapid Bucharest Twente 2-0 Mlada Boleslav Steaua Bucharest 0-1 Spartak Trnava Servette 1-1 Rosenborg Asteras Tripolis 1-1 Maritimo Gomel 0-1 Liverpool Genk 2-1 Aktobe Horsens 1-1 Elfsborg Hajduk Split 0-3 Inter Milan Red Star Belgrade 0-0 Omonia Videoton 1-0 Ghent Dundee United 2-2 Dynamo Moscou Eskisehirspor 1-1 Marseille St Patrick’s 0-3 Hanover Athletic Bilbao 3-1 Slaven Koprivnica FK Vojvodina 2-1 Rapid Vienna FK Sarajevo 2-1 Zeta Admira Wacker 0-0 Sparta Prague
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