EUROPA LEAGUE ROUND-UP: Napoli stunned by Covid-hit AZ Alkmaar, Mario Gotze makes it two in two for PSV while Bayer Leverkusen show they are just fine without Kai Havertz as they hit six
Napoli started their Europa League campaign with a shock 1-0 defeat at home to AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night.
Alkmaar had travelled to Italy with 13 of their players sidelined because of coronavirus, but the Dutch runners-up were still able to spring a surprise against a side that reached the last 16 of the Champions League last season.
Dani De Wit scored the decisive goal at the Stadio San Paolo, finding space in the area before drilling beyond Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret from close range after 57 minutes, as Alkmaar also prevailed 1-0 in Group F, where Real Sociedad won at Croatian club Rijeka following Jon Bautista’s strike in time added-on.
AZ Alkmaar midfielder Dani De Wit scored the winner at Napoli on Thursday night
Lior Refaelov scored the winner for Royal Antwerp, who saw off Ludogorets 2-1 in Group J.
Rade Krunic, Brahim Diaz and Jens Hauge were all on the scoresheet as AC Milan prevailed 3-1 at Celtic, who scored a consolation through Mohamed Elyounoussi, while also in Group H a hat-trick from Yusuf Yazici lifted Lille to a 4-1 victory over 10-man Sparta Prague.
Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez’s hat-trick propelled Benfica to a 4-2 victory at Lech Poznan in Group D, while Braga brushed aside AEK Athens 3-0 in Group G.
Mario Gotze scored for second successive game but PSV Eindhoven were beaten by Granada
Bayer Leverkusen hammered Nice 6-2 in Group C, where Hapoel Be’er Sheva overcame Slavia Prague 3-1, while Mario Gotze scored for the second successive game but PSV Eindhoven were beaten 2-1 at home by Granada in Group E as PAOK Salonika drew 1-1 against Omonia Nicosia.
Roma came from a goal down to claim a 2-1 victory at Young Boys while also in Group A CFR Cluj ran out 2-0 winners at CSKA Sofia. In Group K there were draws between Dinamo Zagreb and Feyenoord and Wolfsberg and CSKA Moscow.
Paco Alcacer’s brace helped Villarreal defeat Sivasspor 5-3 in a Group I thriller, while Yonatan Cohen’s early strike gave Maccabi Tel-Aviv a 1-0 victory over Qarabag. In Group L, Slovan Liberec and Hoffenheim each made winning starts after seeing off Gent and Red Star Belgrade respectively.
Karim Bellarabi scored twice as Bayer Leverkusen put six goals past French Ligue 1 side Nice