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  • Writer's pictureStuart Kavanagh

UEFA Europa League Match Day 1

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

Second-Tier Euro Comp Group Stages Kick-Off

Europes’ second-tier competition the ‘UEFA Europa League’ kicked off with its first matchday today. There were some mouthwatering fixtures on display. With huge clubs such as Lyon, Galatasaray, Lazio, Bayer Leverkusen, and Leicester City in the competition this year, the competition is sure to be a hotly contested one. Read on for a closer look at the match of the day, all the results, and how the tables look after the first round of fixtures.

The early rounds of the Europa League often throw up some entertaining fixtures and match week 1 of the group stage was no exception.

Celtic were made to rue not capitalizing on a terrific start, along with some poor defending in a seven-goal thriller at the Benito Villamarin against Real Betis.

Albian Ajeti put the Hoops ahead. Josip Juranovic made their early dominance count with a confidently taken penalty past Claudio Bravo.

Celtic could have been three to the good just minutes later but fluffed their lines. A rapid-fire double from Betis duo Juan Miranda and Juanmi (32nd and 34th minute respectively) had the home side level when the referee blew his whistle for half-time.

The Betis onslaught wasn’t over yet, however. Barely five minutes into the second half Borja Iglesias sent the home side into raptures when he gave them an unlikely lead.

Celtics defensive shortcomings were laid bare when Juanmi doubled his quota for the night. This came when he buried a shot in the bottom corner past Joe Hart in the Celtic goal after the away side's defense failed to clear a corner adequately.

Right-back Anthony Ralston threatened an unlikely comeback for Celtic with a goal a few minutes before the final whistle, but the truth is a comeback always seemed unlikely.

It is a hammer blow for the new Celtic coach - former Australian national team coach Ange Postecoglu - who hasn’t enjoyed the greatest of starts with the Scottish giants. They find themselves sitting in fifth place after five rounds of the SPFL with 3 wins and two losses.

Speaking to the club website post-match, Postecoglu had this to say:

"We had our moments in the game when we could have gotten away from them, but unfortunately we didn’t do that, and they had some quality players up front who punished us.
"Yes, there are still areas we want to improve but when you come away from home, you create three goals and more chances apart from that, I think moving forward, there are some good signs there.

Elsewhere, in other notable results:

  • There was entertainment galore as Leicester blew a two-goal lead against Italian side Napoli, in a match that was marred by fan violence in and around the stadium.

  • West Ham United defeated Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 with goals from Michail Antonio and Declan Rice.

  • Philips Stadion in Eindhoven saw 3 goals in under 10 minutes as part of PSV and Real Sociedad's 2-2 draw.

  • Galatasaray sent their fans home happy with a 1-0 victory over Lazio.

  • James Tavernier's own goal confined Rangers to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Olympique Lyon at Ibrox.


Group A: Brondby 0-0 Sparta Praha, Rangers 0-2 Lyon

Group B: Monaco 1-0 Sturm Graz, PSV 2-2 Real Sociedad

Group C: Leicester 2-2 Napoli, Spartak Moscow 0-1 Legia Warsaw

Group D: Olympiacos 2-1 Antwerp, Frankfurt 1-1 Fenerbahce

Group E: Galatasaray 1-0 Lazio, Lokomotiv Moscow 1-1 Marseille

Group F: Crvena Zvezda 2-1 Braga, Midtiylland 1-1 Ludogorets

Group G: Real Betis 4-3 Celtic, Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Ferencvaros

Group H: Rapid Wien 0-1 Genk, Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 West Ham


Be sure to stay locked on for all the latest news, previews, and reviews you can handle from the UEFA Europa League.

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