Friday Euro roundup: Mainz go third behind Malli hat-trick, Malaga woes continue


There was a smattering of Friday appetizers in European play today ahead of the usually heavy Saturday slate, and while most league seasons are too young to get a true glimpse of what could come, things are still beginning to shape up.

Most notably, Malaga continued to struggle as they fell 1-0 to Getafe, stuck on just two points through four matches, good enough for 18th in the La Liga table. Serbian forward Stefan Scepovic, making his first appearance for Getafe after arriving on loan from Celtic, scored the only goal in just the second minute. The loss will put Malaga manager Javi Gracia in real danger, especially after last season’s relatively disappointing 9th-place finish.

Stade Rennais and Lille drew 1-1 in Ligue 1 action, bringing the former level with Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the table, with the French giants still to play at Stade Reims on Saturday. Lille’s Sofiane Boufal grabbed the first goal just four minutes after halftime, but with Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama – the Nigerian first-choice shot-stopper – sent off with 21 minutes to go, Rennais equalized on the ensuing penalty as Paul-Georges Ntep saw his initial effort saved but tapped home the rebound. The point for Lille moves them to seven points off six matches.

The Bundesliga was in action today as well, and FC Mainz stayed hot with a 3-1 home win over Hoffenheim to move to third in the German top flight table on nine points from five matches. A hat-trick from 23-year-old Yunus Malli led the way, giving Mainz its third win of the season. All three of their wins have come over teams currently in the bottom four, including a 2-1 victory over a struggling Borussia Monchengladbach squad that is shockingly bottom of the table without a single point.

In Belgium, KRC Genk defeated Mechelen 3-1 to move into a tie for second place with Andrelecht.