UEFA Europa League: Early games recap

Giuseppe Bellini

Edinson Cavani was the star of the early Europa League games, netting four goals.

Liverpool are looking less likely to progress to the knockout stages after Thursday's early Europa League matches, while Edinson Cavani stole the show in Naples with four goals.

Group A

Anzhi 1-0 Liverpool

The only goal of the game came via Lacina Traore, who scored with a brilliant touch, turn and 20-yard half volley in first half stoppage time to win three points for Anzhi.

Udinese 2-3 Young Boys

Antonio Di Natali scored in this one for Udinese, putting in his own penalty miss, but his defense let him down. Young Boys took the lead early, before Di Natale scored an equalizer just before halftime. In the second half, the Swiss side pulled away with goals from Alexander Farnerud and Raphael Nuzzulo. Diego Fabbrini brought Udinese back into the game, but they were unable to find an equalizer.

Group B

Adademica 2-0 Atletico Madrid

Oh Atleti, what happened? Wilson Eduardo scored twice in this match, once from open play and once from the penalty spot.

Viktoria Plzen 4-0 Hapoel Tel Aviv

Plzen are on top of Group B after pulling off this emphatic win. Daniel Kolar and David Stipek scored before a red card for Hapoel sealed the win for the Czechs. Kolar completed a brace in the second half and Marek Bakos rounded out the scoring.

Group C

Fenerbahce 2-0 AEL

Dirk Kuyt and Moussa Sow were the goal-scorers for Fener, while AEL's Edwin Ouon was sent off in a comfortable win for the hosts.

Marseille 2-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach

Marseille and Gladbach are still tied in the group following their draw on Thursday. Juan Arango netted a dramatic 93rd minute equalizer for the visitors to steal a point and keep them in contention for a knockout stage place.

Group D

Bordeaux 1-0 Maritimo

It's kind of amazing that Maritimo got to Europa League in the first place. David Bellion scored the game's only goal for the home side.

Club Brugge 2-2 Newcastle

This has been a really rough 4-5 weeks for Brugge. They took a 2-0 lead in this game, but managed to lose it before the end of the first half. Vurnon Anita pulled one back for Newcastle in the 41st minute, and Shola Ameobi tied up the match two minutes later. The second half was scoreless and both sides will be relatively content with a draw.

Group E

FC Copenhagen 0-2 Stuttgart

Yikes, this is a bad result for Copenhagen, whose chances of qualifying for the next round just diminished significantly. Vedad Ibesevic and Martin Harnik scored Stuttgart's two goals.

Molde 1-2 Steaua Bucharest

Following their derby win at the weekend, Steaua took control of their Europa League group with an away win. They sit on 10 points and look like a near lock to progress.

Group F

AIK 1-0 PSV Eindhoven

Even though AIK was the home side, this is a fairly significant upset. It gets AIK back into contention, but pulls previously high-flying PSV down into third place. Mohamed Bangoura scored the game's only goal in the 12th minute.

Napoli 4-2 Dnipro

In what was easily the best game of the early fixtures, Napoli came from 1-2 down in the second half to defeat Dnipro 4-2, with Edinson Cavani scoring all four goals for the Azzurri. Marek Hamsik came off the bench and assisted the winning goal, following a beautiful backheel setup by Lorenzo Insigne.

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