Coutinho strikes early to set up Inter win in Azerbaijan
Philippe Coutinho’s tenth-minute strike set Inter Milan on their way to their first win in Uefa Europa League Group H last night with a 3-1 success against Neftchi in Azerbaijan.
Inter, who had been held at home in their opening group game by Rubin Kazan, built on their lead with further strikes from Joel Obi and Marko Livaja before half-time. Nicolas Canales scored a 53rd-minute consolation for the hosts.
However, Rubin Kazan kept pace with the Italians with a 2-0 home win over Partizan Belgrade. Gokdeniz Karadeniz opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time and Alexander Ryazantsev added a second just after the break.
Hungarians Videoton pulled off an upset in Group G as they strolled to a 3-0 home win over Sporting Lisbon.
Paulo Vinicius, Filipe Oliveira and Nemanja Nikolic all scored before half-time for the home team, who had slumped to a 3-0 defeat of their own at Genk in their opening group game.
The Belgians had looked well on their way to another win in the other Group G game as they led Basel 2-0 in Switzerland through an early Benjamin De Ceulaer strike and a second from Jelle Vossen. But the hosts hit back to claim a point in a 2-2 draw thanks to a second half double from Marco Streller.
Lazio nudged to their first win in Group J – Ederson hitting the only goal of the game in the 62nd minute against Maribor at the Stadio Olimpico. The visitors had Jovan Vidovic sent off late on. Last year’s runners-up Athletic Bilbao slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Sparta Prague. In Group K, Edmar and Cleiton Xavier scored to give Metalist Kharkiv a 2-0 home win over Rapid Vienna, while Stefan Kiessling scored in the 76th minute to give Bayer Leverkusen a 1-0 win at Rosenborg.
In an early kick-off in Group A, veteran striker Samuel Eto’o scored two late goals to give big-spending Russians Anzhi Makhachkala a 2-0 win over Young Boys.
The match was played in front of a sparse crowd in Moscow where Anzhi are playing for security reasons after Uefa refused to let them stage matches in the violence-plagued Dagestan region.
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