Europa League Round Up: Everton off to a winning start

UEFA Europa League

Last week, the big shock of the tournament was Galatasaray getting knocked out, this time around it was PSV getting beaten 1-0 at home by Osijek, with Borna Barisic scoring from the spot.

The two teams from the home nations, Aberdeen and Everton, won at home in their first leg ties. Everton overcame Ruzomberok 1-0 with a goal from Leighton Baines. Aberdeen won 2-1 against Apollon Limassol as Ryan Christie scored after four minutes and Graeme Shinnie scored late on to cancel out a goal from Jander.

There were five 0-0 draws, including Utrecht vs Lech Poznan, Brondby vs Hajduk Split and Austria Vienna vs AEL Limassol. There were also for 1-1 draws including Dinamo Bucuresti vs Athletic Bilbao which featured a brilliant strike from Rivaldinho, son of Rivaldo. With all these draws there is going to be everything to play for when it comes to the second leg last week.

AC Milan’s summer spending has been well documented and it was one of their signings, Ricardo Rodriguez who scored the goal in their 1-0 win over CS Universitatea Craiova. Fenerbahce and Bordeaux have also entered the competition, both starting their campaign with 2-1 wins. The Turks beat Sturm Graz and the French side beat Videoton. Zenit St. Petersburg started their campaign off with a 2-0 win over Israeli side Bnei Yahuda, courtesy of goals from Aleksander Kokorin and Domenico Criscito.

The biggest win of the night came in Lithuania, where Suduva beat Swiss side Sion 3-0. Within 10 minutes Suduva were 2-0 up which already made progression to the next round a big ask for Sion. Although it was Karolis Laukzemis’ 91st-minute goal that makes it even harder for the Swiss side to turn the tie around in the second leg.

The highest scoring match was Marseille vs Oostende, which finished 4-2 to the French side. They went 1-0 up after just two minutes, with Valere Germain scoring the goal before Sebastian Siani got Oostende back level with a penalty. A goal from Morgan Sanson and another two from Germain, which completed his hat-trick, were enough to make sure that Knowledge Musona’s strike wasn’t enough to prevent Marseille having the advantage going into the second leg.

One slight surprise was that Sparta Prague were beaten 2-0 by Red Star Belgrade, although it wasn’t surprising at all to see Richard Boakye involved in both goals, as before this game week he was the top scorer in the competition.

Maksim Maksimov is now the top scorer in the Europa League with 7 goals, overtaking Red Star Belgrade’s Richard Boakye after getting both goals in Trakai’s 2-1 win over Shkendija, a game in which Shkendija had two men sent off.

5 games to watch out for next week are: Osijek (1-0) PSV Eindhoven, Ruzomberok (0-1) Everton, Apollon Limassol (1-2) Aberdeen, Braga (1-1) AIK Stockholm, Athletic Bilbao (1-1) Dinamo Bucuresti.