Arsenal’s young guns continued to shine as they dismantled Standard Liege 4-0 on a hectic night of Europa League action that produced a full house of Spanish victories on Thursday.
Sevilla beat APOEL Nicosia 1-0, Espanyol were 2-0 winners away to CSKA Moscow and Getafe won 2-1 in Krasnodar.
There was a notable 2-0 win for Feyenoord over Porto in a clash of former European champions while English Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers won 1-0 at Besiktas.
Three-times European champions Manchester United played out a dour 0-0 draw away to AZ Alkmaar —- a Group L match played in The Hague, 70 miles from Alkmaar, on an artificial pitch.
Manchester United now have four points alongside Partizan Belgrade who enjoyed a 2-1 victory in Astana.
Arsenal, runners-up to Chelsea last year, opened their Group F campaign with an impressive 3-0 win in Frankfurt and found goals easy to come by again as they racked up a sixth successive home win in Europe.
Eighteen-year-old Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli scored twice in two minutes with Joe Willock, 20, also on target as a youthful Arsenal blew away their Belgian opponents in a sensational start.
Martinelli also crossed for Dani Ceballos to make it four as Arsenal cemented top spot.
To make it a great night for Arsenal, Hector Bellerin returned to the starting line-up for his first start after nine months out with a knee injury.
Manager Unai Emery praised his team which had an average starting age of 22.
“We have to give the chances to the young players and they take them,” he said.
“They are close to playing for us at the highest levels. They showed tonight that they can perform and they can score.”
His old club Sevilla also have six points in Group A with former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez on target against APOEL who suffered a second loss.
FC Copenhagen drew 1-1 in a cross-border derby in Sweden against Malmo to lead Group B with four points, the same as Dynamo Kiev who drew 0-0 in Lugano.
Humble Spanish outfit Getafe have six points from two games in Group C with Angel scoring twice in Krasnodar while Basel are second after a 2-2 draw away to Turkish club Trabzonspor.
PSV Eindhoven are another club on maximum points from two games after a comfortable 4-1 victory away to Rosenborg in Group D.
In the same group, Sporting came from a goal down to beat Austrian minnows LASK 2-1 in Lisbon.
Scottish champions Celtic moved top of Group E as they avenged a UEFA Champions League third qualifying defeat against Romanian side Cluj, winning 2-0 in Glasgow.
Lazio beat French club Rennes in the same group to get off the mark after losing to Cluj.
Group G looks like being a real dogfight with all four sides on three points after Feyenoord’s 2-0 win over Porto and Young Boys beating Steven Gerrard’s Rangers 2-1.
Jens Toornstra and Rick Karsdorp scored for Feyenoord in a lively second half.
Bulgaria’s Ludogorets remained 100 percent in Group H with a 3-0 win away to Hungary’s Ferencvaros.
Espanyol are second with four points after their win in Russia.
In Group I, Wolfsburg drew 1-1 in St Etienne to stay top alongside Gent who also drew 1-1 away to Oleksandriya.
Group J has Roma and Wolfsburg leading after their 1-1 draw.
A stoppage-time winner by Willy
ABoly gave Wolves a 1-0 win away to Besiktas ——- their first points in Group K.
Slovan Bratislava and Braga drew 2-2 to move to four points.(Reuters/NAN)
(Edited by Olawale Alabi)
- FG assures qualified teachers of good welfare, incentives
- Buhari mourns Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke
- Salome Abuh, PDP woman leader burnt to death, buried amid tears
- NAN correspondent gets accolades for sponsoring soccer tournament
- ECOWAS Presidents to meet on single currency regime Dec. 21
- FGGC Yola old students seek unity among children
- FEATURE: Gender-Based Violence: Do men suffer same?
- Nasarawa grassroots sports: Ezhiba defeat Alashe in competition organised by NAN Correspondent
- SWOFON commends women farmers’ successes in spite of challenges
- New Ondo IPAC chairman promises to build trust among members
- Education remains potent weapon to reduce unemployment -Buhari
- LG poll: ADSIEC Chairman expresses concern over low turnout of voters
- Experts outline ways to fund Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit through capital market
- Minister tasks Nigerians on regular exercise for healthy living
- Nollywood: Audition for ‘A Call to Service’, pro-NYSC scheme movie debuts in FCT
- Tallen gives N250, 000 cash prize to best UniJos graduating female students, to support 200 indigent ones with N4m
- Christmas: Enugu residents opt for de-stoned local rice as price of imported variant soars
- Xmas : SWAN donates cloths, food, celebrates with orphans
- Fair approach to governance sure guarantee for democratic stability – Gov. Tambuwal
- Ex-Chief of Army staff urges women, girls to acquire skills
- 981 Kogi teachers write professional exam
- Lagos-Ibadan rail project: NASS Joint C’ttee inspects, expresses satisfaction
- Provost hails Buhari for support to Ebonyi Federal Agric College
- NAN Correspondent organises unity football competition to boost unity in Nasarawa state
- Buhari condoles with UAE president over brother’s death
- Nigeria retains 95,000 slots for pilgrims in 2020 hajj – NAHCON
- NGO treks 3km to create awareness against sexual violence, women trafficking
- Residents of Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA commend Nigeria Navy, Pakistan Navy medical collaboration
- Ajanaku, a great politician, democrat – Buhari
- Ekiti LG poll witnesses low turnout
- Buratai inaugurates multi-million Naira projects in Depot, NMS
- Christmas Carol: Naval officers,NOWA pray for Nigeria, leadership, Armed Forces
- Anambra Sports Development Commission tasks public on regular exercise
- Lack of synergy responsible for Nigeria’s loss at IMO council election – operators
- Gov. Abiodun appoints Chokor Head of Service
- NTIC students donate Christmas gifts to sick children at LASUTH
- RIFAN recovers N35m CBN ABP loan in Niger
- Lekki residents protest against proposed location of 5-storey school building in residential estate
- Lawmaker urges waste managers to ensure cleaner Lagos
- Army conducts free medical outreach in 3 Enugu communities
- Wabote lists benefits of NLNG Train 7
- Group seeks participation of more women in farming
- Aguleri community builds unity centre worth N150m
- Eye centre performs 900 operations in 12 months
- Transport strikes continue in France amid fresh lorry blockades
- IPPIS: NECA urges FG, ASUU to initiate industrial relations process to resolve disagreement
- Former head of state, Abdulsalami underscores importance of traditional institutions
- UniJos graduates 11, 431 students, 74 first class, 97 PhDs
- Institute concludes environmental impact survey of Lagos, makes recommendations
- Sowore: Rights commission urges law enforcement officials to respect law