Europa League roundup: Saints win, Man United fall, Zenit thrills

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
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The group stage is underway in the UEFA Europa League, and there were plenty of goals — and draws — around the tournament.

[ MORE: Rangers’ Barton sent home ]

An Irish team picked up a point in European competition for the first time ever, Alexandre Pato found the UEL scoreboard for Villarreal, and Ajax came back on the road in Greece.

Maccabi Tel-Aviv 3-4 Zenit Saint-Petersburg

An 81st minute red card to 23-year-old Israeli defender Eli Dasa helped turn a 3-0 lead into an embarrassing home loss. A brace from Bosnia and Herzegovina international Haris Medunjanin helped build the three-goal lead, but Aleksandr Kokorin made it 3-1 moments before Dasa was sent off with his second yellow card in three minutes (Amazing how often this happens).

Mauricio made it 3-2 in the 84th minute, before fellow Brazilian midfielder Giuliano notched the equalizer two minutes later. Montenegran youngster Luka Djordjevic found the winner in stoppage time, as the Champions League veterans rescued not just one but all three points at Netanya Stadium.

Southampton 3-0 Sparta PragueRECAP

Charlie Austin converted a fifth-minute penalty and then scored again in the 27th minute to give St. Mary’s a taste of the high life with a two-goal halftime lead. Jay Rodriguez completed the score line in stoppage time as Saints opened the group stage in style.

Feyenoord 1-0 Manchester UnitedRECAP

Tonny Vilhena’s late goal frustrated Jose Mourinho on a day he felt “we were always in control”. There was a razor-thin onside call in the build-up to the goal, but the Red Devils didn’t finish at all in the group stage-opening loss.

Thursday’s Europa League scoreboard
AZ Alkmaar 1-1 Dundalk
Qarabag 2-2 Slovan Liberec
Rapid Wien 3-2 Genk
Fenerbahce 1-1 Zorya Luhansk
Anderlecht 3-1 Qabala
Young Boys 0-1 Olympiacos
Viktoria Plzen 1-1 Roma
Mainz 1-1 Saint Etienne
Apoel Nicosia 2-1 Astana
Astra Giurgiu 2-3 Austria Wien
Sassuolo 3-0 Athletic Bilbao
Red Bull Salzburg 0-1 Krasnodar
PAOK 0-0 Fiorentina
Panathinaikos 1-2 Ajax
Osmanlispor 2-0 Steaua Bucharest
Inter Milan 0-2 Hapoel Be’er Sheva
Standard Liege 1-1 Celta Vigo
Villarreal 2-1 Zurich
Braga 1-1 Gent
Konyapor 0-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
Nice 0-1 Schalke