Atletico Leads Perfect Trio in Europa League as Liverpool Loses

Atletico Leads Perfect Trio in Europa League as Liverpool Loses
Atletico Madrid's midfielder Koke, left, vies with Viktoria Plzen's defender Frantisek Sevinsky during their UEFA Europa League group B football match Atletico de Madrid vs Viktoria Plzen at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on October 4, 2012. Photographer: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid, Lyon and Dnipro won to maintain their perfect records in soccer’s Europa League, as Udinese rallied to beat Liverpool 3-2.

Defending champion Atletico beat Viktoria Plzen 1-0, Lyon defeated Hapoel Kiryat Shmona 4-3 and Dnipro won 3-2 at AIK last night to give each two wins to open group play in Europe’s second-tier club competition. None of the other 45 teams have won both their games.

Scores from Antonio Di Natale and Giovanni Pasquale sandwiched around an own goal from Sebastian Coates helped Udinese end Liverpool’s 13-match unbeaten run in European competition at its Anfield stadium. Liverpool completed 691 passes to 173 by the visiting team.

“It was very frustrating,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said in comments on his team’s website. “It was a game where we were much the better side but lost our concentration at the beginning of the second half.”

Newcastle and Inter Milan also won, while Tottenham tied 1-1 at Panathinaikos.

Cristian Rodriguez’s goal in second-half injury time gave Atletico, seeking its third Europa League title in four seasons, the home win in Group B. Academica and Hapoel Tel-Aviv tied 1-1 in the other group match.

Lyon won in Israel on a stoppage time goal from Gueida Fofana in Group I and Sparta Prague defeated last year’s runner-up Athletic Bilbao 3-1. Dnipro scored twice in the final 16 minutes to beat AIK and stay atop Group F, as PSV Eindhoven routed Napoli 3-0.

Three-Goal Burst

Jonjo Shelvy gave Liverpool the halftime lead in its Group A match at Anfield before Udinese scored three straight after the break. Luis Suarez got Liverpool’s final goal in the 75th minute. Udinese shares the group lead with Anzhi Makhachkala, which beat Young Boys 2-0 on a pair of second-half goals from Samuel Eto’o.

Shola Ameobi and Papiss Cisse scored as Newcastle beat Bordeaux 3-0 to take over first place in Group D, as Bruges defeated Maritimo 2-0. Lazio beat Maribor 1-0 to move atop Group J with four points, with Tottenham two points back after its draw in Greece.

In Group H, Inter won 3-1 at Neftchi and Rubin Kazan defeated Partizan Belgrade 2-0. Metalist Kharkiv beat Rapid Vienna 2-0 and Bayer Leverkusen defeated Rosenborg 1-0 to leave both tied for the lead in Group K, while Hannover’s 2-1 win against Levante left it atop Group L, as Helsingborg and FC Twente finished 2-2.

In Group G, Videoton routed Sporting Lisbon 3-0 and Genk and Basel drew 2-2. Steaua Bucharest beat Copenhagen 1-0 and Molde defeated Stuttgart 2-0 in Group E, while Marseille routed Limassol 5-1 and Fenerbahce won 4-2 at Borussia Moenchengladbach in Group C.

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 Oct. 25.

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