Liverpool, Stuttgart, BATE and CSKA progress in Europa League

Friday, November 5, 2010

BERLIN - VfB Stuttgart, BATE Borisov, Zenit St Petersburg and CSKA ensured their progress past the group stage of the Europa League with victories Thursday.

However, Manchester City went down 3-1 away to Lech Poznan to increase the pressure on under-fire manager Roberto Mancini.

CSKA maintained their perfect record in Group F with a 3-1 victory at home to Palermo while Group E leaders BATE Borisov defeated Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova by the same scoreline to make it past the group stage for the first time.

The victory sees BATE move on to 10 points, three clear of Dynamo Kiev, who remain second after an Artem Milevskiy brace secured a 2-0 victory over Dutch side AZ Alkmaar. Sparta Prague look favourites to finish second in Group F behind the Russians after a 3-1 win away to Lausanne Sport.

Goals from Ciprian Marica, Timo Gebhart and Martin Harnik helped VfB Stuttgart to a fourth win in succession in Group H as the Germans booked their place in the next round with a 3-0 win over Getafe. The only black spot for Stuttgart was the dismissal of Marica 11 minutes from time for pulling an opponent’s ear.

“That was a yellow card at most,” said Marica.

Zenit St Petersburg are guaranteed one of the spots from Group G after a 3-2 win away to Hajduk Split while Paris Saint Germain missed out this time around after drawing 0-0 with Borussia Dortmund in Group J.

Sevilla now top the group on nine points - one clear of PSG - after a 4-0 demolition of Karpaty Lviv.

Manchester City also failed to ensure their progress from Group A after losing in Poland. The English Premier League side have now lost three games on the trot with media reports also claiming the Italian has clashed with striker Carlos Tevez and that other players are unhappy with his methods.

Dimitrije Injac put Poznan ahead after some poor City defending but Emmanuel Adebayor equalized for the visitors six minutes after the break. City then paid the price for seemingly going for the draw as late goals from Manuel Arboleda and Mateusz Mozdzen gave the Poles all three points.

Poznan now top the group with seven points, ahead of City on goals scored. Juventus sit third on four points after playing out a scoreless draw in the other group game.

“It is better that these things happen now,” said a disappointed Mancini. “We are still first in the group and fourth in the Premier League. We can change this only if we stay together.”

Bayer Leverkusen sit top of Group B after a last-minute goal from Arturo Vidal gave the German Bundesliga side a 1-0 win over Aris Saloniki.

Leverkusen now have eight points from their four matches, one ahead of holders Atletico Madrid, who enjoyed a 2-1 win away to Rosenborg Trondheim.

Sergio Aguero put the Spanish side ahead after just four minutes but the newly-crowned Norwegian champions equalised through Markusen Henriksen. However, just as it looked like Rosenborg would hang on for a draw, Tiago produced a superb long-range effort to give Atletico victory.

Sporting Lisbon missed out on booking their place in the next phase after dropping their first points in Group C following a 3-1 defeat to Gent. The Portuguese stay top with nine points despite the loss, four clear of Lille who drew 2-2 away to Levski Sofia.

Group D remains a tight affair after PAOK Saloniki upset Villarreal 1-0. Saloniki move up to second in the group with seven points, level on points with Dinamo Zagreb, who won 2-0 at Club Brugge. Villarreal sit a point adrift of the leaders.

PSV Eindhoven top Group I with 10 points after a 3-0 defeat of Debrecen. Metalist Kharkiv sit second on seven following a scoreless draw with Sampdoria.

Liverpool came from a goal down to defeat Napoli 3-1 at Anfield in Group K. Ezequiel Lavezzi gave the Italians the lead at the break but a second-half hat-trick from Steven Gerrard, including a penalty, turned the game around for the home side.

The Europa League continues December 1-2 with the next round of group matches.

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