Week 3 of the Europa League was not kind to the British teams involved in this year’s competition, with Tottenham and Celtic suffering away defeats, while in Jurgen Klopp’s first home match in charge, Liverpool failed to beat a Rubin Kazan side that had ten-men for the majority of the game.
Klopp held on Kop debut
The German’s Anfield bow started poorly, with Ukrainian striker Marko Devic brilliantly beating Simon Mignolet after taking the ball away from Nathaniel Clyne in the box on 15 minutes.
The Reds almost responded immediately though, when Adam Lallana went close from 25 yards with a right footed shot.
But the turning point came in the 36th minute, when Russia international full-back Oleg Kuzmin was given his marching orders after two reckless yellow card challenges within 20 minutes.
From the resulting free-kick, Emre Can scored the first goal of the Klopp era, sliding in to score from two yards after a header back across goal from Divock Origi.
Unfortunately for the new manager, his side were not able to make their numerical advantage count, with their best chance falling to substitute Christian Benteke, who hit the post on 80 minutes with a right footed strike.
The result means that Liverpool sit second in group B on three points, four behind leaders FC Sion, who managed to take three points away from Bordeaux, with defender Leo Lacriox scoring the winner on 21 minutes.
Spurs stunned in Belgium
In Belgium, Anderlecht forward Stefano Okaka’s seventh goal for his new club meant that Tottenham missed the chance to move clear at the top of group J.
Spurs started brightly enough and were ahead after four minutes when Christian Eriksen was able to beat goalkeeper Silvio Proto from just outside the six-yard box after a somewhat unfortunate deflection back off an Anderlecht player.
However, the lead did not last long, as full-back Guillaume Gillet scored a quite brilliant half volley from just inside the box on 13 minutes, after Steven Defour’s corner from the right evaded everyone in the middle.
Besnik Hasi’s men could have been in front at the break, but Okaka’s shot in the 27th minute from just inside the box was straight at Hugo Lloris.
The introduction of Harry Kane by Mauricio Pochettino just after half time sparked new life into Spurs, but the England man was unable to side foot past Proto from inside the six-yard box just before the 70 minute mark.
And the London side were made to pay for that five minutes later when Okaka, who was in the process of re-fitting his left boot, drove into the penalty area and met substitute Frank Acheamong’s cross, putting the ball high over Hugo Lloris’ head.
The result means that Spurs sit second in group J with five points as Monaco moved to the top following a 1-0 home win over Azerbaijani side Qarabag; Lacina Traore scoring the only goal in the 70th minute.
Celtic defeated in Norway
Celtic’s hopes of qualifying for the last-32 suffered a major blow as they were beaten 3-1 away at Molde, under the eye of returning coach Ole Gunnar Solskaer.
Forward Ola Kamara opened the scoring with a right footed drive to the bottom right corner, before centre-back Vegard Forren stabbed home from the centre of the box after a cross from Joona Toivio to double the hosts lead with just 18 minutes on the clock.
Ronny Deila’s men came back into the game after half time, with Kris Commons scoring his second goal of the Europa League campaign by driving a right footed strike into the bottom right corner after 55 minutes.
However, Molde’s two-goal advantage was restored one minute later when Mohammed Elyounoussi added his second of the campaign with a left footed strike to the bottom left corner after good work from Mattias Mostrom.
The defeat leaves the Bhoys bottom of the group with two points from three games, but just two points behind second-placed Fenerbahce, who beat Ajax 1-0 thanks to Fernandao’s 89th minute winner.
Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund continued their dominance of Group C with a comfortable 3-1 win away in Azerbaijan at Gabala.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang helped himself to a hat-trick, with two of his goals coming within the space of seven minutes, as the German side moved on to seven points from their first three games.
Napoli kept up their perfect start in Group D with a commanding 4-1 win away at Midtjylland; forward Manolo Gabbiadini scoring a brace.
The Serie A side remain just one of three teams to have won all three matches, along with Rapid Vienna and Sporting Braga, who both recorded 3-2 victories over Viktoria Plzen and Marseille respectively.
In one of the surprises of the night, Lech Poznan secured an unlikely 2-1 away win at Fiorentina after goals from Dawid Kownacki and Maciej Gajos.
Giuseppe Rossi’s 90th minute goal proved to be too little too late as the Italians fell to the bottom of Group I.
In the same group, FC Basel also fell to a shock 2-1 defeat, at home to Portuguese side Belenenses, while in Group G, last year’s runners-up Dnipro suffered their first loss of this season’s campaign, going down 1-0 at home to St Etienne.
Player of the Night: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund)
Team of the Night: Belenenses