Monday, September 24, 2012

Europa League Opener Updates: Feisty Liverpool Rout Young Boys, Tottenham Hotspur-Lazio and Maritimo-Newcastle Derbies End In Draws

Three Premier League clubs figured in the opening of the Europa League group stage. None of the English outfits lost, as they performed strongly in playign against tough oponnent sides.

A youthful Liverpool destroyed the winning expectations of Swiss outfit Young Boys in their victorious 3-5 away opener. Substitute Jonjo Shelvey was the Merseyside club’s hero of the night as he made it to the score sheet twice in the second half – first through a forceful 76th-minute right-foot effort following a header from Sebastian Coates and the second one via a left-foot goal on the 88th minute.

An own goal from Young Boys’ Juhani Ojala gave the Swiss opposition a preview of their losing woes.  The Finnish centre-back made up for his mistake through a 52nd-minute goal to equalize debutant Andre Wilson’s score for Liverpool, followed by a scare for the visitors through Gonzalo Zarate’s goal for the Swiss hosts. In the end, the youngster-powered Red prevailed.

Manager Brendan Rodgers’ risky move to leave eight of Liverpool’s regulars in time for their Manchester United league match on Sunday reaped entertaining and impressive results. The outcome refuted Young Boys manager Martin Rueda’s earlier remarks that his side will “embarrass” their English opponents, which they consider a European legend.

Tottenham Hotspur failed in their upset attempt against Lazio, ending the game in a scoreless draw. Due to a foul, the referee called off a header made by Steven Caulker, leaving Andre Villas-Boas’ squad scoreless. Clint Dempsey’s offside effort and Aaron Lennon’s missed close encounter would have given the London club a lead given their strong possession.

Lazio’s stiff defence further added to the Spurs’ difficulties. Miroslav Klose fended off an errant pass from Moussa Dembele, effectively denying an opportunity for the London lads. Alvaro Gonzalez’ 20-yard attempt almost gave a lead for the Romans when it struck on the enemy woodwork’s pole.

A similar fate happened in Newcastle United’s away match against Portuguese hosts Maritimo. Shola Ameobi’s bar strike was a close goal chance for the English visitors. Davide Santon gave Newcastle relief through repelling Valentin Roberge’s mighty corner header, with the game ending 0-0.

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Photo credits:

Young Boys vs. Liverpool [Photograph]. (2012). Retrieved 21 September 2012, from <

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