LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: Kyle Walker of Tottenham Hotspur is closed down by Obafemi Martins (L) and Nelson Valdez of FC Rubin Kazan during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Tottenham Hotspur and FC Rubin Kazan at White Hart Lane on October 20, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

UEFA Europa League 2011, Matchday 3: Tottenham Hotspur And Stoke City Remain Atop Groups

Spurs and Stoke began the day at the top of Group A and E respectively, and each made sure of their position with a home win. Elsewhere, PSV Eindhoven and Sporting Lisbon are on the verge of knockout round qualification with nine points each.

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UEFA Europa League 2011, Matchday 3: Stoke City Go Top; Sporting, PSV Eindoven Get Key Wins

Sporting Lisbon were the big winners of today's late Europa League action, their 2-0 triumph over FC Vaslui with Lazio failing to beat Zurich in Switzerland combining to open up a seven point gap between themselves and second place. With three games to go, a single win is now enough to ensure the Primeira Liga side tops their group. Elsewhere, Stoke City went top of Group E thanks to a 3-0 home win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv, punctuated by one of the strangest red cards ever.

In Group A, Shamrock Rangers came close to getting their first points of the campaign but were ultimately undone by a second half goal by PAK Salonika's Vieirinha, with the Greek side moving to into second place behind Tottenham Hotspur, who beat Rubin Kazan at home. Group B remains too close to call, and two draws there today doesn't clarify the situation at all, while PSV Eidhoven are on the verge of qualification after maintaining their perfect record with a 1-0 away win over Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Scoreboard

Slovan Bratislava 0-0 Paris Saint-Germain

Athletic Bilbao 2-2 SV Salzburg

Stoke City 3-0 Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Dynamo Kiev 1-0 Besiktas

Sporting Lisbon 2-0 FC Vaslui

FC Zürich 1-1 Lazio

Rapid Bucharest 0-1 Legia Warsaw

Hapoel Tel-Aviv 0-1 PSV Eindhoven

Standard Liege 0-0 Vorskla

Hannover 96 2-2 FC Copenhagen

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 FC Rubin Kazan

PAOK Salonika 2-1 Shamrock Rovers

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UEFA Europa League 2011, Matchday 3: Udinese Triumph, Schalke Win Big, Fulham Fall

The early round of fixtures is in the books, and Udinese are now firmly in control of Group I in the UEFA Europa League, thanks to a big 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid. The Spanish side had most of the possession and held firm in defense for much of the match, but Udinese was generally the better side and created a high volume of chances, many of them coming from set piece opportunities. Eventually, they found the breakthrough with a goal by the brilliant Mehdi Benatia in the 88th minute, which was followed by a stoppage time goal by Floro Flores.

Schalke were big winners as well, dropping five goals on AEK Larnaca to go top of Group J. Klass-Jan Huntelaar netted a brace, while Lewis Holtby, Benidict Höwedes, and teenager Julian Draxler added the final goal. English League Championship side Birmingham City got a massive result as well, improbably scoring a 100th (yes, 100th) minute winner through Chris Wood to defeat previously perfect Club Brugge 2-1.

Scoreboard

AZ Alkmaar 2-2 Austria Vienna

Malmo FF 1-4 FC Metalist Kharkiv

Club Brugge 1-2 Birmingham City

NK Maribor 1-1 Braga

Stade Rennes 1-1 Celtic

Udinese 2-0 Atletico Madrid

AEK Larnaca 0-5 Schalke

Maccabi Haifa 5-0 Steaua Bucharest

Odense BK 1-4 FC Twente

Wisla Krakow 1-0 Fulham

Lokomotiv Moscow 3-1 AEK Athens

SK Sturm Graz 0-2 Anderlecht

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