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Europa wrap: Arsenal, Atleti, Celtic on top

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There wasn’t a single nil-nil to be found as the Europa League returned Thursday with its Round of 32.

[ RECAP: Ostersunds 0-3 Arsenal ]

Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal won, as did a number of big names, but several names — Zenit and Napoli among them — slid behind the 8-ball with first leg setbacks.

[ RECAP: BVB 3-2 Atalanta ]


Copenhagen 1-4 Atletico Madrid

The Danish hosts struck first, but the lead didn’t last for long as Atletico Madrid hung a quartet of away goals on Copenhagen.

Viktor Fischer put Copenhagen up after just 15 mintues, but it was level six minutes later through Saul Niguez. By the time all was said and done, Kevin Gameiro, Antoine Griezmann, and substitute Vitolo had scored to complete the blowout.

Celtic 1-0 Zenit Saint-Petersburg

Callum McGregor was set-up by Chelsea loanee Charly Musonda as the Bhoys crucially held Zenit without a goal ahead of the return leg in Russia.

Napoli 1-2 RB Leipzig

The Serie A title contenders are having a rough time in Europe this season, now down a goal with two away goals conceded to RB Leipzig before next week’s second leg in Germany.

Adam Ounas put Napoli ahead early in the second half, but Timo Werner equalized after the hour mark and Bruma made it 2-1 with 16 minutes to play in Italy.

[ MORE: Wenger, Mkhi on Arsenal win ]

Elsewhere
Red Star Belgrade 0-0 CSKA Moscow — Tuesday
Ostersunds 0-3 Arsenal
Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Atalanta
Astana 1-3 Sporting Lisbon
Ludogorets Razgrad 0-3 AC Milan
Marseille 3-0 Sporting Braga
Nice 2-3 Lokomotiv Moscow
Real Sociedad 2-2 Red Bull Salzburg
Spartak Moscow 1-3 Athletic Bilbao
AEK Athens 1-1 Dynamo Kiev
Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Lazio
Lyon 3-1 Villarreal
Partizan Belgrade 1-1 Viktoria Plzen

Video: Mbappe taps home to give France first blood

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The match is really opening up now, and France has begun to assert itself with an opener just beyond the half-hour mark.

[ MORE: Denmark, Australia draw, leaving Group C wide open ]

Kylian Mbappe has given Les Bleus a 1-0 lead over Peru after a deflected Olivier Giroud cross found the Monaco attacker just in front of goal for a tap-in finish.

The sequence began after Paul Pogba dispossessed Peru deep in their own half, before dishing the ball off to Giroud.

The goal for Mbappe is his first at a World Cup, as the 19-year-old continues to impress for both club and country.

American referee Geiger accused of asking for Portugal kit

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Morocco’s World Cup journey will conclude after the group stage, but the African side isn’t pleased with how their second match transpired on Wednesday against Portugal.

[ MORE: Spain gets win after Iran sees equalizer ruled off ]

The Moroccans have lodged a complaint with FIFA against referee Mark Geiger — an American who has become one of the most well-known officials in Major League Soccer.

Geiger was alleged to have asked Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo for his jersey at halftime of the 1-0 win over Morocco, to which Geiger has categorically denied the claims.

FIFA released the following statement on the matter:

The claims stemmed from Morocco player Nordin Amrabat, who addressed the matter in an interview following the match.

“I don’t know what [Geiger] is used to, but he was very impressed by Cristiano [Ronaldo],” Amrabat said. “I’ve been just told by Pepe that in the [first half], he asked if he could have his shirt. Come on, man. What are we talking about? … We are at the World Cup, not a circus here.”

Geiger returned to action on Thursday as video assistant referee for the Denmark-Australia match, which included an important alteration in a call that led to an Australia penalty kick.

Group C wide open as Denmark, Australia settle for draw

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Denmark and Australia settled for a 1-1 draw on Thursday, as this exciting Group C affair had nothing to separate the two nations at the end of 90 minutes.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

As it stands, the Danes lead the group with four points, while Australia earned its first point of the World Cup.

France will meet Peru later on Thursday, with Les Bleus having won its first match and Peru having suffered defeat to Denmark.

The Danes broke through after seven minutes when Nicolai Jørgensen picked out a perfect back-heel pass to Christian Eriksen at the top of the box, before the Tottenham Hotspur attacker volleyed home for a 1-0 lead.

Jørgensen nearly doubled the Denmark advantage in the 24th minute when the 27-year-old had an open header from close range that skewed just wide of the target.

Australia worked its way into the match following the opener, and were awarded a penalty kick in the 37th minute after VAR Mark Geiger altered an initial decision for a handball inside the box.

Mile Jedinak converted the spot kick to level the match at 1-1, giving the Socceroos life.

A dangerous free kick four minutes later almost gave Denmark the lead once again, however, Eriksen couldn’t get a crucial touch on the ball to knock it over the goal line before Ryan collected.

The second half continued with lightning pace from both sides, and Aaron Mooy‘s 71st minute blast came inches away from giving Australia an improbable lead.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

The two nations will conclude Group C play on June 26, as Denmark faces France and Australia takes on CONMEBOL side Peru.

Video: VAR awards Australia penalty, before Jedinak converts

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The Socceroos battled admirably in the latter stages of the first half, and Australia was rewarded for their efforts.

Australia has leveled the match at 1-1 after a Mile Jedinak penalty kick cancelled out Christian Eriksen’s stunning opener in the seventh minute.

After an initial decision to play on by the head referee, VAR Mark Geiger opted to award a penalty kick to the Aussies after Yussuf Poulsen was caught with his hand away from his body on a Mathew Leckie header.

Poulsen was also shown a yellow card for the infraction, which rules him out for Denmark’s group-stage finale against France.