Panathinaikos double their lead at home to Villarreal. Pepe Reina can’t keep the ball out as Andraz Sporar aims his shot from just outside the box into the right corner. A combination of palm and post leads to it creeping in.
Union SG are level at home to Toulouse. Algerian forward Mohamed Amoura makes it 1-1 there. A quick reminder: that match is around 10 mins behind everything else due to a traffic congestion-related delay to kick-off. As things stand Liverpool will top Group E after the first round of games.
Pre-match reading: Brighton v AEK Athens
Salah is on for Liverpool and is already terrifying the LASK backline. There’s an air of desperation to the defending now and 1-0 to the home side feels a long, long time ago.
Blushes potentially spared, and a fine goal. Serial loanee Romelu Lukaku works himself into space brilliantly despite the attentions of four defenders, and sidefoots in with the home keeper wrongfooted at his near post.
OK, fairly safe now. Winger Jonas Hofmann joins the fun with his side’s fourth, put clear on the break and finishing gorgeously while one-on-one with the keeper. Let’s just say he just about won that particular duel.
West Ham (possible 4-3-3) Fabianski; Kehrer, Mavropanos, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Fornals, Ward-Prowse, Lucas Paqueta; Kudus, Ings, Benrahma.
Substitutes: Areola, Anang, Johnson, Zouma, Coufal, Antonio, Cornet, Aguerd, Soucek, Coventry, Emerson, Mubama.
Backa Topoloa (possible 4-4-2) Simic; Cvetkovic, Antonic, Dordevic, Petrovic; Radin, Dakovac, Stokic, Kuveljic; Stanic, Jovanovic.
Substitutes: Ilic, Jorgic, Milovanovic, Mirchevski, Pantovic, Cirkovic, Vulic, Krstic, Vlalukin, Sos, Rakonjac.
Referee Filip Glova (Slovakia).
The Nigerian keeps up his stunning run of form! It’s now five in five games this season for Victor Boniface, as the Bundesliga side look like making the points safe.
Rangers (possible 4-2-3-1) Butland; Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, Barisic; Lundstram, Cifuentes; Matondo, Roofe, Lawrence; Sima.
Substitutes: McCrorie, K Wright, Souttar, Jack, Dessers, Lammers, Sterling, S Wright, King, Devine, Lyall, McKinnon.
Real Betis (possible 4-2-3-1) Bravo; Bellerin, Pezzella, Bartra, Abner Vinicius; Rodriguez, Marc Roca; Luiz Henrique, Isco, Ezzalzouli; Borja Iglesias.
Substitutes: Fran Vieties, German Garcia, Miranda, Perez, Willian Jose, Rodri, Guardado, Aitor Rubial, Diao, Fernandez.
Referee Lawrence Visser (Belgium).
Klopp’s side have, perhaps predictably, turned it around. But this came after jitters when Kelleher was forced into a fine save (albeit from a situation subsequently deemed offside).
In an instant, the ball is at the other end and the Colombian finishes deliciously from Gravenberch’s best moment in a stripy purple shirt so far, his whipped cross being met perfectly to leave Lawal helpless in the home goal.
The Brighton captain Lewis Dunk misses the first European game in the club’s history through injury. Evan Ferguson is also out, but Ansu Fati, Igor Julio, Solly March, Pervis Estupinan, Joao Pedro and Billy Gilmour all come into the team.
Brighton (possible 4-2-4) Steele; Milner, Van Hecke, Igor Julio, Estupinan; Gross, Gilmour; March, Ansu Fati, Joao Pedro, Mitoma.
Substitutes: Verbruggen, McGill, Lamptey, Webster, Dahoud, Lallana, Welbeck, Baleba, Adingra, Veltman, Buonanotte, Hinshelwood.
AEK Athens (possible 4-D-2) Stankovic; Sidibe, Mitoglou, D Szymanski, Hajsafi; Jonsson; Pineda, Amrabat; Gacinovic; Araujo, Garcia.
Substitutes: Athanasiadis, Theocharis, Mohammadi, Zuber, Rota, Ponce, Eliasson, Mantalos, Galanopoulos, Pizarro.
Referee Kristo Tohver (Estonia).
The Italian side are pegged back! Cristian Tovar levels for the Moldovan side.
Mac Allister, Szoboszlai and Gomez are being readied on the Liverpool bench. Endo, Doak (who has quietly impressed with his dribbling, alas generally to no effect) and Bajcetic make way.
Elsewhere, GOALS GOALS GOALS. Rennes are 3-0 up (Yildirim 56), Qarabag are 1-0 up at Molde (Andrade 56) and Slavia Prague are 2-0 up at Servette (Ogbu 59).
Brilliantly put away into the left corner by the Uruguayan.
Bajcetic’s best contribution of the game led to the foul in the box, which still whiffs of a little cheap, crossing in a passage of play that resulting in Diaz attempting to get a shot away but sending it well wide. But Ziereis’ swinging leg was a bit too wild for the referees’ liking.
A tiny bit fortuitous as Ziereis follows through in challenging Diaz in the box. Núñez to take.
With movement on the bench … an air of desperation by Liverpool’s players hoping to make an impression tonight. Núñez tries to trick his way around half the LASK players in about three square yards around the penalty spot. To be fair he befuddles a few before quietly realising that his cause is somewhat daft, and he gets predictably crowded out.
You’ll note not a huge amount has been said about Gravenberch, Endo, Bajcetic and others tonight. There hasn’t been much to say, in truth. Bajcetic and Gravenberch do contribute superbly in a promising passage of play which frees Doak on the right. He cuts inside gloriously but it’s all for nought.
A first-half goal I missed … Toulouse popped one in just before half-time in that late-starting game. Have updated the scores post below as a result. It was a Thijs Dallinga spot-kick following a shirt-yank by Union SG’s Christian Burgess.
Be honest, who did a quick search after seeing a Mac Allister in the Union SG lineup? Yep, Kevin Mac Allister (not that similarly spelled one) is indeed the older brother of Liverpool’s Alexis.
Alexis remains on the bench at LASK, alongside a fairly eye-popping array of talent, as Europa League match gets off and running again. Mohamed Salah looks like he’s being prepped for a warm-up, at the very, very least.
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Today’s is headed by Barry Glendenning on Brighton’s European adventure. But you can only see the abridged version if you haven’t signed up to Football Daily. The cool cats get the full-fat version, y’see, and get to see posts like this and think: “Christ, I read that hours ago.” Why not be one of the eye-rolling cool cats, people?
Group E: Legia Warsaw 2-2 Aston Villa
Zrinjski Mostar 0-3 AZ Alkmaar
Group F: Ferencvaros 2-1 Cukaricki
Genk 1-2 Fiorentina
Group G: Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Aberdeen
HJK Helsinki 1-0 PAOK
Group H: Fenerbahce 2-0 Nordsjælland
Ludogorets 0-0 Spartak Trnava
Group E: Lask 1-0 Liverpool
Union SG 0-1 Toulouse
Group F: Panathinaikos 1-0 Villarreal
Rennes 2-0 Maccabi Haifa
Group G: Servette 0-1 Slavia Prague
Sheriff 0-1 Roma
Group H: Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Hacken
Qarabag 0-0 Molde
Just as it seems all the HT scores are in … Roma find time to sneak an opener in. Leandro Paredes gets his side off the mark deep into first-half stoppage time.
Villa have equalised in Warsaw through Lucas Digne. A round-up of all the scores in the Conference League games will come shortly.
At LASK, Liverpool are more than a little ragged at times, but are also taking a kicking or two. Zulj finds himself in the book after cheekily curtailing an attempted Tsimikas break through the middle.
A bad miss at LASK or a stunning stop? Darwin Núñez gets a snappy enough header goalbound from a few yards out, but absolutely all of Lawal has made his ground across the line to meet it, and he manages to paw it away. It’s still 1-0 to the home side there.
Goals goals goals … Slavia Prague are off the mark through Lukas Masopust. They’re 1-0 up at Servette.
Meanwhile Rennes have doubled their lead, and this is one well worth hunting down yourselves – a floated free-kick 35 yards out is kind of dealt with, but after a couple of flailing headers, it breaks just outside the box, where Adrien Truffert pops a beautiful volley tight by the right post. Rennes 2-0 Maccabi Haifa
Arms in the air and yelps at LASK … as Liverpool vainly claim for a handball in the box. Tsimikas’ whipped cross is cleared by home keeper Tobias Lawal’s boot straight into the elbow of his own defender, situated about a handful of spans away from him. Suffice to say that would have been more than a little harsh. But oh boy have we seen them given. Sanity prevails in this instance.
More toots on the Conference League conch … Villa have gone 2-1 down at Legia Warsaw, Ernest Muci bringing the pain there. Aberdeen have got themselves on level terms at Eintracht Frankfurt, with Dante Polvara equalising after an Omar Marmoush penalty for the home side.
Mildly painful wordplay-based correspondence from Peter Oh …
I reckon that the Ligue 1 visitors to Union SG are fully aware that this match is theirs Toulouse.
I’m ashamed to say I did a little snort at that.
Granit Xhaka news … 16 minutes in and he’s key to Leverkusen’s second against Hacken. Amine Adli gets on the end of a floated cross from the former Arsenal player, and volleys emphatically into the roof of the net. 2-0 Leverkusen
A lasher at LASK! The home side work a corner to the edge of the box, where Florian Flecker takes a touch and then absolutely smashes past Caoimhin Kelleher in the Liverpool goal. Far from nestling in the corner, admittedly, but the Irish keeper still had absolutely no chance. Their first real sniff of an opportunity, and taken absolutely splendidly. LASK 1-0 Liverpool
Almost immediately, Doak shows his dribbling skills at the other end, but nobody is there to poke his ball across the box home.
Kick-off news … Royal Union SG v Toulouse was delayed for 10 mins due to gridlocked roads outside the Joseph Marien Stadium, but is now under way. Hope the delay allowed those fans banging their heads against steering wheels to make it in safely.
Goal news … a lovely dinked finish from Florian Wirtz gets Bayer Leverkusen off the mark at home to Hacken.
Over in Conference League corner, Aston Villa might be in for a lively night. They went 1-0 down to a Pawl Wszolek strike in the third minute but equalised in the sixth through a Jhon Durán header.
Liverpool, clad in their admittedly eye-messingly garish purple third kit, are predictably penning LASK back deep in their own half, but to little effect so far.
Rennes aren’t messing about. The Ligue 1 side are already 1-0 up against Maccabi Haifi as Ludovic Blas feasts on a rebound and slams it home.
Peeeeeeeeep … looks like Royale Union SG v Toulouse is starting a little tardily, but the other early Europa League games are off and running.
Bit of mouth-watering for one of the 8pm (BST) affairs. An extremely exciting Brighton join the European fray against AEK. I hope you’ll indulge me a quick wave to Guardian colleague Steph Fincham, who has been a little under the weather in recent times and I very much hope enjoys her club’s first continental adventure.
Joe P eyes up the team sheets and mails:
That Liverpool lineup. Wow. Does Jürgen think this is a Carabao Cup tie?
I’ll have to wag a finger in a “woah, woah, woah” fashion here. I’m actually extremely excited by Liverpool’s side tonight.
If the published formation is correct, Stefan Bajcetic – who looked a real find in midfield last season – is massively intriguing. Obviously seeing “the other two” of Klopp’s rebuild of central areas – Waturu Endo and Ryan Gravenberch – is at face value of most interest but many, many people will have eyes firmly fixed on the right wing tonight.
Ben Doak (who Andrew Bartlett correctly identified I’d misspelled in the original lineup – now fixed ta), is a player who looks capable of having tails bolt upright and wagging. Aged just 17 and despite being still to score a senior goal for the club, he lit up the pitch for Scotland U21s against Spain earlier this month in a way that didn’t just have his manager, Scot Gemmill, purring, but it also apparently put him firmly in the frame for a spot in the senior setup.
Bayer Leverkusen v Hacken
Bayer Leverkusen: Kovar; Stanisic, Tah, Tapsoba, Grimaldo; Tella, Xhaka, Palacios, Wirtz; Boniface, Adli
Hacken: Abrahamsson; Sandberg, Ousou, Hovland, Laursen; Rygaard, Sam. Gustafson, Amane; Chilufya, Sim. Gustafson, Layouni
Qarabag v Molde
Qarabag: Lunev; Silva, Medvedev, Medina, Jafarguliyev; Romão, Jankovic; Andrade, Benzia, Zoubir; Juninho
Molde: Karlstrøm; Øyvann, Bjørnbak, Hagelskjær; Løvik, Breivik, Ellingsen, Kaasa, Haugen; Eikrem, Berisha
Servette v Slavia Prague
Servette: Frick; Bolla, Rouiller, Severin, Mazikou; Stevanovic, Cognat, Douline, Kutesa; Antunes, Bedia
Slavia Prague: Mandous; Masopust, Holes, Ogbu; Tomic, Sevcik, Dorley, Dumitrescu; Doudera, Wallem; Van Buren
Sheriff Tiraspol v Roma
Sheriff: Koval; Tovar, Kiki, Garananga, Artunduaga; Zohouri, Ademo, Fernandes; Ankeye, Talal, Ngom Mbekeli
Roma: Svilar; Llorente, N’Dicka, Mancini; Karsdorp, Sanches, Cristante, Aouar; El Shaarawy, Lukaku, Zalewski
Panathinaikos v Villarreal
Panathinaikos: Brignoli; Kotsiras, Schenkeveld, H Magnusson, Mladenovic; Perez, Bernard, Cerin; Palacios, Ioannidis, Mancini
Villarreal: Reina; Kiko Femenia, Mandi, Gabbia, Pedraza; D Suárez, Capoue, Comesaña, Trigueros; Morales, Brereton Diaz
Rennes v Maccabi Haifa
Rennes: Mandanda; Assignon, Omari, Theate, Truffert; Matic; D Doué, Bourigeaud, Blas, Salah; Yildirim
Maccabi Haifa: Nitzan; Khalaili, Sundgren, Seck, Goldberg, Cornud; Jaber, Chery, Cafumana, David; Pierrot
Lask v Liverpool
Lask: Lawal; Ziereis, Andrade, Lucheneder; Flecker, Horvath, Jovicic, Renner; Havel, Zulj, Ljubicic
Liverpool: Kelleher; Bajcetic, Konaté, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Elliott, Gravenberch, Endo; Doak, Núñez, Diaz
Union SG v Toulouse
Union SG: Moris; Mac Allister, Burgess, Leysen; Castro-Montes, Vanhoutte, Sadiki, Lapoussin; Amani, Nilsson, Puertas
Toulouse: Restes; Desler, Costa, Nicolaisen, Suazo; Cásseres, Sierro; Aboukhlal, Schmidt, Dønnum; Dallinga
Gremlins report from Nick Goldspink …
Um, so I followed the link to Guardian Europe just to see, and I was startled to discover that the default weather setting was for Bootle? Is there something we need to know? Will I need my passport ready coming off the M62? I don’t live in Bootle.
Unfortunately he didn’t include the weather forecast for Bootle, so for anyone in and around the Sefton area currently reading from a room without windows, outside is currently a gentle breeze with sunny intervals.
Greetings, and welcome to this season’s full-throated return of Thursday Europa League footy. Today’s fun and frolics pan out thusly …
Group E: Lask v Liverpool, Union Saint-Gilloise v Toulouse
Group F: Panathinaikos v Villarreal, Rennes v Maccabi Haifa
Group G: Servette v Slavia Prague, Sheriff Tiraspol v Roma
Group H: Bayer Leverkusen v Hacken, Qarabag v Molde
After I’ve pigeon-flapped through the early (BST) games, calm old pro Rob Smyth will be smoothly accompanying you with his Europa euphonium for the following later (BST) entertainments. The Conference League conch is also on hand if any unexpectedly exciting updates catch the eye.
Group A: Olympiakos v Freiburg, West Ham v Backa Topola
Group B: Ajax v Marseille, Brighton v AEK Athens
Group C: Rangers v Real Betis, Sparta Prague v Aris Limassol
Group D: Atalanta v Rakow Czestochowa, Sturm Graz v Sporting
In case you missed it, the Guardian had quite the announcement on the European front yesterday. Those not already being auto-pointed in that direction (hello VPN users!) can find the new, dedicated Europe website homepage here.