Football | Europa League / Conference | Matchday 1 | Roundup

By Robert Wheeler

  • West Ham and Liverpool victorious
  • Aston Villa and Brighton suffer defeats
  • Rangers win but Aberdeen lose
Europe – The Europa League / Conference returned with six British teams in action across both competitions.


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Europa League

Liverpool come from behind to win

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It is strange to see Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool team not competing in the Champions League. However, their Premier League performances last season did not warrant an opportunity to play in European football’s top competition. Playing away to Austrian side LASK is unfamiliar territory for Klopp’s side but they got the job done after going a goal down.

Florian Flecker fired in from outside the box in a well-worked corner routine which would have been more suited to an exhibition match. Their lead lasted until the 56th minute when Darwin Nunez equalised from the penalty spot.

The Reds then took the lead as Ryan Gravenberch sent in a fantastic cross that was turned in by Luis Diaz. Mohamed Salah then came off the bench to seal the 3-1 victory. Next up for Liverpool in the competition is at Anfield against the Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. 


Brighton suffer defeat at home

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Brighton’s first European game ended in a 3-2 home defeat to AEK Athens. Whilst Roberto De Zerbi‘s side is flying as high as fifth place in the Premier League, they were brought down to earth by the Greek side.

The away team took the lead through a great header by Djibril Sidibe but the Seagulls soon equalised from Joao Pedro‘s penalty. AEK’s advantage was restored just before half-time as Mijat Gacinovic finished from a long free kick.

Pedro scored again from the spot to level the score for the second time. However, AEK got a late winner from Ezequiel Ponce to claim an impressive three points. It will not get any easier for Brighton as they face Marseille away in their next Europa League game.

Best of the rest

West Ham United came from a goal down to claim a 3-1 win against the Serbian side Backa Topolo. Mohammed Kudus scored twice and Tomas Soucek got the other for the Hammers. David Moyes’ side travel to SC Freiberg for their next European game. 

Rangers claimed an impressive victory as they defeated Real Betis 1-0. Abdallah Sima bundled the ball in from a corner to get the winner for the Scottish side. The Gers play the Cypriot side Aris Limassol next in the tournament. 


Europa Conference League

Aston Villa suffer surprise defeat

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Aston Villa are one of the favourites to win this competition but they will not do it playing as they did against Legia Warsaw, where Unai Emery‘s side lost 3-2 at the Stadion Wojska Polskiego.

The home side took the lead after just three minutes when Pawel Wszolek tapped in from a Patryk Kun cross. Jhon Duran equalised for Villa with a header but Wszolek then turned provider as his ball in was turned in by Ernest Muci.

Lucas Digne made the scoreline level just before half-time with a fantastic strike into the top corner. However, Muci fired his shot off the post and in to claim his second to win the game for Legia. Emery’s team are up against the Croatian side HSK Zrinjski Mostar next in the Europa Conference League. 

The other British side playing in the Conference League is Aberdeen, who suffered a 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. There is no shame in losing to Frankfurt who won the Europa League in 2022. Barry Robson‘s team face HJK Helsinki next in the competition. 

The Europa League / Conference returns on Thursday, October 5.