LONDON: Europa League champions Atletico Madrid went down 2-0 defeat to Group B rivals Academica in Portugal – but it did not matter. Atletico are still likely to go through though they may not do so now as group winners.
A goal in each half from Wilson Eduardo gave Academica victory and saw Atletico joined on nine points by Viktoria Plzen who saw off Hapoel Tel Aviv 4-0. Daniel Kolar scored twice with the other strikes coming from David Stipek and Marek Bakos.
Elsewhere Rubin Kazan and Internazionale booked their respective places in the knock-out stages after securing victories which guaranteed their progress from Group H.
Vladimir Dyadyun’s 19th-minute goal gave the Russians a 1-0 win at Neftchi Baku while two second-half strikes from substitute Rodrigo Palacio helped Inter end Partizan’s hopes with a 3-1 triumph in Belgrade.
Fredy Guarin also scored for the visitors, while Nemanja Tomic replied for Partizan in injury-time. The group winners are likely to be determined when Rubin face Inter in Russia in a fortnight’s time.
Lyon maintained their 100 per cent record and ensured qualification from Group I after beating last year’s runners-up Athletic Bilbao 3-2 in Spain.
Bafetimbi Gomis and Yoann Gourcuff put the visitors 2-0 up at the break and despite Ander Herrera and Aritz Aduriz pulling Bilbao level, Alexandre Lacazette grabbed a 63rd-minute winner.
Also in Group I, Sparta Prague all but assured qualification after a 1-1 draw with Ironi Kiryat Shmona in Israel, Leonard Kweuke cancelling out Darko Tasevski’s early goal for the hosts.
Two Libor Kozak goals kept Lazio on top of Group J with a 3-0 win over Panathinaikos at the Stadio Olimpico. Sergio Floccari added a 59t- minute third for Vladimir Petkovic’s men.
Elsewhere a hat-trick from Jermain Defore lifted Tottenham to victory over Slovene side Maribor and up into second place with two matches to go.
Ukrainians Metalist Kharkiv confirmed their progress from Group K with a 3-1 win over Rosenborg. Taison, Cleiton Xavier and Juan Manuel Torres scored for the hosts with Borek Dockal replying for the Norwegians.
Bayer Leverkusen will join Metalist in the knockout stages after coasting to a 3-0 win over Rapid Vienna with goals from Jens Hegeler, Andre Schurrle and Manuel Friedrich.
Hannover booked their passage from Group L after a dramatic 3-2 win over Helsingborg, who finished with nine men.
A double from Mame Biram Diouf gave the Germans a comfortable advantage before Nikola Djurdjic and Alejandro Bedoya dragged the score back level.
But the Swedes had Peter Larsson and Walid Atta both sent off in the closing minutes before Szabolcs Huszti struck the winner with an injury-time penalty.
Group rivals Twente and Levante drew 0-0 in Holland.
Marco Streller scored an 80th-minute winner as Basel kept their Group G hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Videoton, while group leaders Genk needed an injury-time equaliser from Glynor Plet to rescue a 1-1 draw at Sporting Lisbon, who despite being down to 10 men due to the dismissal of Stijn Schaars had led through a Ricky van Wolfswinkel goal.
Back to the early games Swiss side Young Boys blew the fate of Group A wide open with a shock 3-2 win over Serie A Udinese in Italy.
Raul Bobadilla opened the scoring for Young Boys in the 27th minute and despite Antonio Di Natale’s equaliser, they regained the initiative through Alexander Farnerud and Rapha Nuzzolo.
Diego Fabbrini gave the Italians late hope with an 83rd minute effort but their defeat leaves them stranded at the bottom of the table on four points.
Anzhi Makhachkala, who beat Liverpool in Moscow, now top the group by a point, with Liverpool and Young Boys tied second.
Fenerbahce all but guaranteed progression from Group C with a 2-0 win over AEL in Turkey. Dirk Kuyt and Moussa Sow scored the goals while AEL had Edwin Ouon sent off late on.
The Turks’ hopes were boosted by a 2-2 draw between Marseille and Borussia Monchengladbach, which leaves the two sides locked together on five points.
Mike Hanke put the Germans ahead before goals from Joey Barton – direct from a corner – and Jordan Ayew turned the game in Marseille’s favour. Juan Arango rescued a potentially crucial point in the third minute of stoppage time.
In Group D Bordeaux stay second a behind Newcastle, who drew at Club Brugge, after David Bellion’s 16th minute goal proved enough for them to see off Maritimo 1-0 in France.
Steaua Bucharest kept control of Group E with a 2-1 win at Molde, Alexandru Chipciu and Iasmin Latovlevici netting before Daniel Chima hit a late consolation.
Goals from Vedad Ibsevic and Martin Harnik kept Stuttgart’s hopes alive with a 2-0 win over Kobenhavn in Denmark.
Edison Cavani scored all four as Napoli beat Group F leaders Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 4-2 in Italy. Artem Fedetskiy and Roman Zozulya replied for the visitors, who remain top.
Also in Group F, AIK gave themselves hope as a Mohamed Bangura goal gave them a 1-0 home win over PSV.
# # # #