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Njie scores twice as Marseille ends losing run

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PARIS (AP) Clinton Njie scored two goals in three minutes as Marseille won its first league match in a month, 2-0 at promoted Amiens on Sunday.

[ MORE: Manchester United ruin’s Rooney’s return to Old Trafford ]

After conceding nine goals in back to back defeats against Monaco and Rennes, Marseille needed a good result on the road to calm its fans, who asked for coach Rudi Garcia’s dismissal.

Njie, who picked up an injury during the warmup last weekend and could not play against Rennes, made a successful return. He started up front with Dimitri Payet and opened the scoring just after the interval from close range.

Three minutes later, he combined well with Florian Thauvin in the Amiens box and completed his brace with a clean finish.

Marseille moved to within five points of leader Paris Saint-Germain, which hosted Lyon later Sunday at the Parc des Princes aiming to extend its perfect start to the season to six matches.

UEFA Europa League wrap: Everton, Marseille, AC Milan move on

AP Photo/Dave Thompson
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Gylfi Sigurdsson marked the first start of his Everton career with a bang, hammering a goal over the keeper from just past half as the Toffees advanced to the UEFA Europa League’s Round of 16.

[ MORE: UCL congestion hammers Spurs ]

Elsewhere, Marseille and AC Milan moved on, Ajax was sent home, and USMNT prospect Ethan Horvath had a busy and rough night between the sticks in Greece.

Hajduk Split 1-1 (1-3 agg.) Everton

Josip Radosevic hit a rocket just before halftime to pull to within one of Everton, but new Toffees midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson sank the drama with a 46th minute marker.

The goal came from more than 40 yards out and meant Hajduk would need a three-goal win. The hosts got a prime chance to get one back when Ashley Williams felled his mark inside the 18, but Jordan Pickford robbed Said Ahmed Said with a quality diving stop of his penalty attempt.

AEK Athens 3-0 (3-0 agg.) Club Brugge

American goalkeeper Ethan Horvath was under siege, with the Greek hosts outshooting Brugge 14-4. Lazaros Christodoulopolous scored in the 27th minute and Andre Simoes nabbed two goals in the win.

Shkendija 0-1 (0-7 agg.) AC Milan

No six-spot this time, just Patrick Cutrone’s 13th minute finish to book Milan’s place in the group stage.

Marseille 3-0 (4-1 agg.) Domzale

Valere Germain scored twice and ex-Newcastle United attacker Florian Thauvin nabbed an 85th minute finish to ease the heavily favored Ligue 1 side into the next stage.

Elsewhere
AEK Larnaca 0-0 (1-3 agg.) Viktoria Plzen
Dynamo Kiev 3-1 (3-1 agg.) Maritimo
Oleksandria 1-2 (2-3 agg.) BATE Borisov
Red Bull Salzburg 4-0 (7-1 agg.) Viitorul Constanta
Maccabi Tel-Aviv 2-2 (3-2 agg.) Rheindorf Altach
Ostersunds 2-0 (3-3 agg.) PAOK Salonika
Sheriff Tiraspol 0-0 (1-1 agg.) Legia Warsaw
Zenit Saint Petersburg 2-0 (2-1 agg.) Utrecht
Austria Wien
0-1 (2-2 agg.) NK Osijek
Crvena Zvedzda 2-1 (4-4 agg.) Krasnodar
Braga 3-2 (5-3 agg.) FH Hafnarfjordur
Rosenborg 3-2 (4-2 agg.) Ajax
Athletic Bilbao 1-0 (4-2 agg.) Panathinaikos
Videoton 0-4 (0-4 agg.) Partizan Belgrade
Skenderbeu 0-0 (1-1 agg.) Dinamo Zagreb
Midtjylland 1-1 (3-4 agg.) Apollon Limassol
Suduva 0-0 (0-2 agg.) Ludogorets Razgrad
Fenerbahce 1-2 (1-4 agg.) Vardar

Europa League preview: Everton, Milan, Marseille take next steps

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The UEFA Europa League playoff round takes full flight Thursday, a day after Utrecht struck a blow for the Eredivisie with a 1-0 win over Zenit Saint-Petersburg in a Wednesday first leg.

Premier League participants Everton will be seeking a result at home against Hajduk Split, the third-place team from Croatia’s top flight.

Gylfi Sigurdsson passed his medical at Goodison Park but will not be available for Everton on Thursday.

[ MORE: Barcelona falls to Real… again ]

As for the match, manager Ronald Koeman knows the Thursday matchdays for the UEL will try his club’s endurance and depth. From EvertonFC.com:

“We know English teams have some problems. I think it is more mental than physical because if you play in the Champions League – so Wednesday and Saturday – you have the same amount of days to recover. I try to put out the strongest team to start the game. That will take into account the tactical aspects of each game. That will mean different players start and different options in terms of substitutions.”

Captained by Zoran Nizic and managed by Joan Carrillo, Hajduk has a young star in the making in the form of 19-year-old attacking midfielder Nikola Vlasic, but Everton is heavily favored at home with Hajduk given 12:1 odds by bookmakers.

[ MORE: Barca GM says Coutinho, Dembele “close” ]

Those numbers are a relative sure thing compared to AC Milan’s visitors. Macedonia club Shkendija are a 33:1 underdog for its trip to Italy.

Elsewhere, Slovenian side Domzale is a longshot at home to visiting Marseille.

Speaking of bookmakers, Arsenal won’t enter the competition until the group stage but is considered the favorite to win the UEL by a hair over Milan. Everton, Villarreal, and Athletic Bilbao are level with third-best odds.

UEFA Europa League playoff first legs
Utrecht 1-0 Zenit — Weds.
BATE Borisov vs. Oleksandriya — 1 p.m. ET Thursday
Apollon Limassol vs. Midtjylland — 1 p.m.
Krasnodar vs. Red Star Belgrade — 1 p.m.
Dinamo Zagreb vs. Skenderbeu — 1 p.m.
FH vs. Braga — 1:45 p.m. ET Thursday
PAOK vs. Ostersund — 2 p.m. ET Thursday
Vardar vs. Fenerbahce — 2 p.m.
Plzen vs. AEK Lamaca — 2:15 p.m. ET Thursday
Altach vs. Maccabi Tel-Aviv — 2:30 p.m. ET Thursday
Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Suduva — 2:30 p.m.
Panathinaikos vs. Athletic Bilbao — 2:30 p.m.
Domzale vs. Marseille — 2:45 p.m. ET Thursday
Osijek vs. Austria Wien — 2:45 p.m.
Viitorul vs. Red Bull Salzburg — 2:45 p.m.
Ajax vs. Rosenborg — 2:45 p.m.
Legia Warsaw vs. Sheriff — 2:45 p.m.
AC Milan vs. Shkendija — 2:45 p.m.
Club Brugge vs. AEK — 2:45 p.m.
Partizan vs. Videoton — 3 p.m. ET Thursday
Everton vs. Hajduk Split — 3:05 p.m. ET Thursday
Maritimo vs. Dynamo Kyiv — 3:30 p.m. ET Thursday

Europa League roundup: Everton, Milan move on

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Everton, AC Milan, and Marseille were among the name sides to avoid stumbling before the playoff round of the UEFA Europa League.

PSV Eindhoven, Freiburg, Gent, and Aberdeen? Not-so-much.

[ MORE: Latest Neymar news ]

The playoff round draw is Friday morning.

Milan 2-0 (3-0 agg.) Craiova

Giacomo Bonaventura gave the hosts a great exhalation with his ninth minute goal, and Patrick Cutrone scored his first Milan goal in the 52nd minute to help i Rossoneri waltz into the playoff round, its first European win since March 2014.

Ruzomberok 0-1 (0-2 agg.) Everton

Leading by one after the first leg, Ronald Koeman‘s men held firm at the back and youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin came off the bench to give the Premier Leaguers breathing room and a spot in the UEFA Europa League playoffs, where they’ll be a seeded side and avoid most of the big names (Marseille, Milan, Ajax, Athletic Bilbao, Zenit Saint Petersburg).

Full scoreboard
Sion 1-1 (1-4) Suduva — Weds.
AEL 1-2 (1-2) Austria Wien — Weds.
Dinamo Minsk 1-1 (1-3) AEK Larnaca
Shkendija 3-0 (4-2) Trakai
Odd 0-0 (1-2) Dinamo Zagreb
Zenit Saint Petersburg 0-1 (2-1) Bnei Yehuda
Sparta Prague 0-1 (0-3) Crvena Zvezda
Apollon 2-0 (3-2) Aberdeen
Olexandriya 1-0 (1-0) Astra
Videoton 1-0 (2-2) Videoton
Gabala 1-2 (1-3) Panathinaikos
Fola 1-2 (1-3) Ostersund
Fenerbahce 1-1 (3-2) Sturm
Lyngby 1-3 (2-5) Krasnodar
Maritimo 2-0 (2-0) Botev Plovdiv
PAOK 2-0 (3-1) Olimpik Donetsk
Skenderbeu 2-1 (3-3, 4-2 on PKs) Mlada Boleslav
Lech 2-2 (2-2) Utrecht
Altach 3-1 (4-2) Gent
Hajduk Split 2-0 (2-0) Brondby
Midtjylland 2-1 (4-4) Arka
Oostende 0-0 (2-4) Marseille
Athletic Bilbao 3-0 (4-1) Dinamo Bucharest
Osijek 1-0 (2-0) PSV Eindhoven
Panionios 0-1 (0-2) Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Domzale 2-0 (2-1) Freiburg
Braga 2-1 et (3-2) AIK

UEFA Europa League wrap: Everton, Milan, Marseille take leads

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Lone Premier League contestants Everton controlled proceedings at home but had trouble finding the finishing touch, while Milan and Marseille got goals from summer signings to nab wins of their own in the first legs of the UEFA Europa League’s third qualifying round on Thursday

[ MORE: Mendy a doubt for PL opener ]

All but two of the second legs will be held Aug. 3, with Sion-Suduva and AEL Limassol-Austria Wien the previous day.

Everton 1-0 MFK Ruzomberok

For over an hour, Everton had better than 70 percent possession at Goodison Park and nothing to show for it. But Leighton Baines‘ 65th minute rip deflected home to give the Toffees a deserved lead over its Slovakian opposition ahead of next week’s match in Ruzomberok.

Everton finished the match with a 20-8 edge in shots and 72 percent possession.

CSU Craiova 0-1 AC Milan

New Milan man Ricardo Rodriguez bagged a 44th minute free kick to give the free-spending Rossoneri a notable start to life in the UEL.

Marseille 4-2 KV Oostende

Valere Germain’s move from Monaco to Marseille is paying big dividends already, with French striker helping himself to a hat trick at his new home stadium.

UEFA Europa League first legs
Mlada Boleslav 2-1 Skenderbeu Korce
Trakai 2-1 FK Shkendija
Olimpia Donetsk 1-1 PAOK
Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-0 Panionios
Utrecht 0-0 Lech Poznan
AIK 1-1 Sporting Braga
PSV Eindhoven 0-1 Osijek
SK Sturm Graz 1-2 Fenerbahce
Suduva 3-0 Sion
Krasnodar 2-1 Lyngby BK
AEK Lamaca 2-0 Dinamo Minsk
Dinamo Bucuresti 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
Botev Plovdiv 0-0 Maritimo
Bnei Yehuda 0-2 Zenit St. Petersburg
Astra Giurgiu 0-0 Oleksandriya
Brondby 0-0 Hajduk Split
Arka Gdynia 3-2 Midtjylland
Gent 1-1 Rheindorf Altach
Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Sparta Prague
Panathinaikos 1-0 Gabala
Bordeaux 2-1 Videoton
Aberdeen 2-1 Apollon Limassol
Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 Odd Grenland
Freiburg 1-0 Domzale
Austria Wien 0-0 AEL Limassol