Europa League: Arsenal fend off BATE; Everton draw Limassol
A roundup of all of Thursday’s Europa League group-stage action…
BATE Borisov 2-4 Arsenal
When Arsenal learned their European fate would be the Europa League this season, midweek trips to Belarus are precisely what they would have lamented. Alas, Arsene Wenger’s side dealt with little resistance on Thursday, as Theo Walcott provided the Gunners an early two-goal lead (9th and 22nd minutes), followed not much later by Rob Holding’s winner in the 25th minute, and Olivier Giroud’s 100th goal for the club (all competitions) four minutes after halftime.
Everton 2-2 Apollon Limassol
Everton’s clash with Cypriot side Apollon Limassol went far less swimmingly, as Ronald Koeman’s side dropped a pair of points in a game (and first half, particularly) that can best be summed up as a comedy of defensive errors. Ashley Williams got things underway…
Limassol returned the favor tenfold not even 10 minutes later, gifting Wayne Rooney the easiest goal he’ll ever score…
Nikola Vlasic scored his first goal for the club, what looked likely to be the game-winning goal for quite some time, but Limassol, down to 10 men at this point, grabbed an 88th-minute equalizer courtesy of Hector Yuste.
AC Milan 3-2 Rijeka
After spending more than $200 million during the summer transfer window, AC Milan’s season has started rather interestingly, if not predictably. With so many new figures central to the club’s future brought in during the same period, they were bound to require time to gel and find their stride. Thursday’s dramatic 3-2 win over Croatian side Rijeka serves as an ideal microcosm of that process.
2-0 up after 83 minutes (Andre Silva, 14th minute; Matteo Mussachio, 53rd), Milan did everything in their power to capitulate and drop two points at home. Boadu Maxwell Acosty made it 2-1 in the 84th minute, followed by Josip Elez in the 90th. It would be 19-year-old Patrick Cutrone, who as a product of the club’s youth academy accounted for $0 of the above sum, who played the part of hero on the day, bagging his third goal of the season (all competitions) in the 93rd minute.
Notable Europa League scoreboard
Lyon 1-1 Atalanta
Lazio 2-0 Zulte-Waregem
Maccabi Tel Aviv 0-0 Villarreal
Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Zorya
Zenit St. Petersburg 3-1 Real Sociedad
Salzburg 1-0 Marseille
Nice 3-0 Vitesse
Ludogorets 2-1 Hoffenheim
Oestersunds 1-0 Hertha Berlin