Betis and Napoli mounted memorable comebacks and there were winning starts for Galatasaray, West Ham and Lyon as the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League group stage got under way.
UEFA.com rounds up the Thursday night action.
Leicester 2-2 Napoli
Victor Osimhen scored twice as Napoli fought back from two goals down to rescue a point. Before that, Ayoze Pérez finished a superb team move to put Leicester ahead and Harvey Barnes added a second. However, Osimhen scored a brilliant first before thumping in a header from Matteo Politano’s cross to earn his side a point, Leicester losing Wilfred Ndidi to a second yellow card in stoppage time.
Key stat: Barnes now has four European goals for Leicester, level with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez as the club’s all-time top scorer in UEFA competitions.
Real Betis 4-3 Celtic
Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini celebrated his 68th birthday with a comeback win as his side rallied from 2-0 down to beat Celtic. Josip Juranović’s penalty added to Albian Ajeti’s opener for the visitors, but Juan Miranda and Juanmi had the sides level at half-time. Borja Iglesias and Juanmi then gave the hosts a cushion they held on to, despite Anthony Ralston pulling one back late on.
Key stat: Betis are unbeaten at home in the UEFA Europa League group stage (W4 D3) and had conceded just one goal in their six games before tonight.
Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 West Ham
A goal in either half gave West Ham a winning start to their first UEFA Europa League group campaign. The Hammers dominated in Zagreb but were grateful to two defensive errors for their goals. Michail Antonio pounced on Kévin Théophile-Catherine’s short back pass to slot in the first, before Declan Rice marked his 150th Hammers appearance with the second, collecting another misplaced pass and running through to score.
Key stat: Michail Antonio’s goal was West Ham’s first in Europe outside of qualifying since Marc-Vivien Foé in 1999.
PSV Eindhoven 2-2 Real Sociedad
Mario Götze scored PSV’s first goal then set up the second as the Dutch side had to settle for a point in Group B. La Real woke up after going behind on 32 minutes, Adnan Januzaj and Alexander Isak striking in quick succession, but Götze teed up Cody Gakpo to level. Jordan Teze missed a great opportunity to win it for the hosts late on, then hit the post with a much more difficult chance.
Key stat: PSV have now gone seven games without a home win against Spanish opponents in UEFA competition (D3 L4).
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Fenerbahçe
Kevin Trapp saved an added-time penalty from Dimitris Pelkas to preserve a point for the home side. Mesut Özil squeezed in the opening goal for the visitors in the tenth minute following some penalty-box pinball, but Sam Lammers levelled from Filip Kostić’s cross just before the end of a high-octane first half.
Key stat: Fenerbahçe have only won one of their 12 meetings with German clubs in European competition (D3 L8).
Rangers 0-2 Lyon
The Scottish champions suffered their first UEFA Europa League home group stage defeat under Steven Gerrard as goals in either half gave Lyon a deserved win at Ibrox. Karl Toko Ekambi’s spectacular opener was added to by James Tavernier’s own goal, the Rangers defender later hitting the bar with the hosts’ best chance.
Key stat: Lyon have lost just one of their last 19 matches in the UEFA Europa League (W12 D6).
Best of the rest
• A bizarre own goal from Lazio keeper Thomas Strakosha, who palmed Manuel Lazzari’s attempted clearance into his own net, proved enough for Galatasaray at home to Lazio.
• Eighteen-year-old Leverkusen midfielder Florian Wirtz, scorer of two goals in last season’s group stage, got the winner at home to Ferencváros while a first senior strike from Faustino Anjorin, 19, in the 89th minute, salvaged a point for Lokomotiv Moskva against Marseille.
• Oleg Reabciuk earned Olympiacos victory at home to Antwerp three minutes from time – the Moldovan full-back’s first European goal.
All the Matchday 1 results
Group A: Rangers 0-2 Lyon, Brøndby 0-0 Sparta Praha
Group B: PSV Eindhoven 2-2 Real Sociedad, Monaco 1-0 Sturm Graz
Group C: Spartak Moskva 0-1 Legia Warszawa (Wednesday), Leicester 2-2 Napoli
Group D: Olympiacos 2-1 Royal Antwerp, Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Fenerbahçe
Group E: Galatasaray 1-0 Lazio, Lokomotiv Moskva 1-1 Marseille
Group F: Midtjylland 1-1 Ludogorets, Crvena zvezda 2-1 Braga
Group G: Leverkusen 2-1 Ferencváros, Real Betis 4-3 Celtic
Group H: Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 West Ham, Rapid Wien 0-1 Genk