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Spurs make winning start in Europe, Liverpool held

Latest Update: September 18, 2015 | 90 Views

PARIS: Tottenham Hotspur kicked off their Europa League group stage campaign on Thursday by coming from behind to beat Qarabag 3-1, while Liverpool conceded a late equaliser as they drew 1-1 at Bordeaux.

Azerbaijani champions Qarabag grabbed a surprise seventh-minute lead at White Hart Lane when Richard Almeida converted a penalty after being bundled over by Spurs debutant Kieran Trippier.

But two goals in the space of two minutes from South Korean striker Son Heung-min and a late strike from Erik Lamela spared Tottenham s blushes as Mauricio Pochettino s side made a winning start to Group J, as Anderlecht against Monaco finished 1-1 in the other match.

Earlier, Adam Lallana s sublime second-half goal in France looked destined to hand Liverpool all three points in their Group B opener.

But the visitors were pegged back nine minutes from time when substitute Jussie slammed a loose ball beyond Simon Mignolet to salvage a point for Bordeaux.

“We can always be disappointed to not have won after having led, but in European football, picking up a point away from home is never a bad result,” said Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers afterwards.

“If we win our home matches we can get out of the group, we ve done it before,” he added, referencing Liverpool s 2012-13 Europa League campaign.

Celtic twice led against Ajax before settling for a 2-2 draw in Amsterdam after they were forced to play the final 15 minutes a man down following the dismissal of Emilio Izaguirre.

Israeli midfielder Nir Biton silenced the home crowd with an eighth-minute opener before Viktor Fischer hauled Ajax level on 25 minutes.

Celtic then regained the upper hand three minutes before the break as Mikael Lustig powered in a back-post header from a corner.

But Honduran international Izaguirre was sent off for a second yellow after taking out Anwar El Ghazi and Lasse Schone earned Ajax a share of the spoils six minutes from the end.

“We have been through a tough period. This is a good start. Good defence and good organisation. The confidence will come. When we played 11 v 11, they didn t have too many chances,” Celtic manager Ronny Deila told BT Sport.

The late setback was all the more frustrating for Deila s side as group favourites Fenerbahce crashed to a 3-1 defeat at home to Norwegian outfit Molde.

Borussia Dortmund made it 10 straight wins under new coach Thomas Tuchel after the Bundesliga leaders recovered to beat Russian outfit FC Krasnodar 2-1 in Group C.

Dortmund, who came through two rounds of qualifying to reach the group phase, fell behind after just 12 minutes in Germany as Pavel Mamaev converted a Fedor Smolov cross.

But Matthias Ginter equalised for the hosts right before half-time after heading in a cross from Park Joo-ho and the South Korean capped off his Dortmund debut in style with the winner three minutes into second-half stoppage time.

Elsewhere, Basel got the better of former coach Paulo Sousa and Fiorentina with a 2-1 victory over the Italians in Group I.

Nikola Kalinic gave Fiorentina an early lead but the hosts then had Gonzalo Rodriguez sent and Swiss champions Basel took full advantage with goals from Birkir Bjarnason and Mohamed Elneny completing the turnaround.

Napoli thumped Club Brugge 5-0 in Group D as Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens scored twice apiece with Marek Hamsik also on target.

Marseille made an encouraging start in Group F as they won 3-0 away to Dutch side Groningen through goals from Georges-Kevin N Koudou, Lucas Ocampos and Romain Alessandrini.



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