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Leicester Beats AEK, Granada Was Held 0-0 by PAOK in Europa League (Highlights)

ATHENS — AEK FC lost 1-2 to Leicester City in the Olympic Stadium of Atnens in a game of Matchday 2 of UEFA Europa League 2020-21 Group Stage.

Jamie Vardy and Hamza Choudgury put Leicester City ahead with 2-0 before the interval and AEK scores in the early stages of the second half with Muamer Tankovic

Zorya Luhansk-Braga 1-2 was the result of the other match of Group G. Zorya Luhansk-AEK and Leicester City-Braga in Matchday 3 (November 5).

From the kick-off, PAOK looked composed and determined in its approach, producing a quality display on the pitch and as a result, became the first team to leave Granada’s home ground unbeaten.

The Spaniards enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession for long spells in the match, but it was the Double-headed Eagle that fashioned the clearer scoring chances on the night.

In the first half Fernando Varela’s header and Stefn Schwab’s prodded effort from Ingi Ingason’s cross proved to be the key chances, with the Double-headed Eagle’s defender missing the target while the Austrian midfielder was denied by the post of Silva’s goal.

In the second half the home side tried hard to close down Abel Ferreira’s players, but they also failed to threaten and create any chances, apart from a header from Gonalons, which Zivko Zivkovic saved in impressive style.

In the final throes of the game, PAOK continued to show that it could take the three points, missing two chances through Karol Swiderski and Andrija Zivkovic , while in the final minute of the game there was also a good shout for a penalty when Schwab was upended in the penalty area by German, but the referee did not point to the spot.

In the other group game, PSV Eindhoven claimed an away win over Omonia in the last minute, moving on to three points, one less than Granada and one more than the Double-headed Eagle, with the Cypriot club propping up the standings with a single point.

PAOK will play host to the Dutch side at the Toumba on Thursday (05.11), while Granada travel to Nicosia to face Omonia.

AC Milan, Arsenal win; Tottenham loses in Europa League

AC Milan cruised past Sparta Prague 3-0 for its second straight win in the Europa League on Thursday, while Tottenham fell to a surprising 1-0 loss at newcomer Antwerp.

Milan easily overcame a missed penalty by Zlatan Ibrahimović to remain unbeaten in 23 games in all competitions, dating back to least season. 

Tottenham saw its 10-match unbeaten run end, despite having Gareth Bale in the starting lineup for a second straight time in the competition.

Fellow Premier League clubs captured their second straight win. Leicester beat AEK Athens 2-1 away while Arsenal scored three goals in a four-minute span either side of halftime in a 3-0 victory over Irish club Dundalk.

A minute of silence was held ahead of the game between Nice and Hapoel Beer Sheva to honor the three victims of a knife attack in the French city earlier Thursday. The players from both teams wore black armbands during the game, which the hosts won 1-0.

Benfica and Rangers earned their second straight victories while Hoffenheim and Wolfsberg cruised to big away wins.

TOTTENHAM TAMED

Antwerp took the lead in the 29th minute when Dieumerci Mbokani stole a sloppy pass from defender Ben Davis before passing to fellow forward Lior Refaelov to score the winning goal.

Manager José Mourinho retained only two players in the starting lineup from the squad that beat Burnley 1-0 in the Premier League on Monday. However, his lineup failed to impress and Mourinho made four substitutions at halftime in an attempt to turn things around. He didn't wait much longer before replacing Bale with striker Harry Kane in the 58th, but Spurs never created serious chances to score an equalizer. 

Also in Group J, LASK defeated Ludogorets 4-3.

MILAN MARCHES ON

Ibrahimović didn't score but made his presence felt in the first 45 minutes of the game in Group H. The 39-year-old veteran crossed for Brahim Díaz from the right to net the opening goal with a shot between the legs of Sparta goalkeeper Milan Heca in the 24th minute.

Ibrahimović, who contracted the coronavirus last month but has scored four goals in three matches since his return, wasted a golden opportunity to add another later in the first half.

After he was fouled in the area, Ibrahimović hit the crossbar from the penalty spot in the 36th.

He was replaced by Rafael Leão for the second half, and the substitute made it 2-0 from close range after he was set up by a precise cross from Diogo Dalot.

Dalot added the third after a solo run in the 67th. 

Celtic wasted a 2-0 first half lead after a couple of goals from Mohamed Elyounouss to settle for a 2-2 draw at Lille for its first point.

QUICK GOALS BY GUNNERS

Pressing from the start, Arsenal looked frustrated as Dundalk's defense held firm. Then, it fell apart late in the first half.

Eddie Nketiah netted the opening goal in the 42nd from close range following a corner after the ball hit a defender's back and dropped in front of the striker.

Two minutes later, Joe Willock collected the ball after Nicolas Pépé's shot was blocked by Andy Boyle to score high into the net to double the lead.

Just half a minute into the second half, Pépé curled in a strike from the edge of the area.

Norway's Molde shares the lead of Group J with Arsenal after beating Rapid Vienna 1-0 for its second win.

IMPACT OF INFECTIONS

After AZ Alkmaar overcame a slew of coronavirus cases to upset Napoli 1-0 last week, the Dutch side earned a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Rijeka in Group F on Thursday.

Albert Guðmundsson scored two goals for Alkmaar.

Napoli recovered from the home loss with a 1-0 away win at Real Sociedad, ending a four-game winning streak for the hosts.

Piotr Zieliński and Elif Elmas were back in the Napoli squad for the first time in almost a month after the midfielders tested positive for the coronavirus. 

OTHER GROUPS

Villarreal went a goal down at Qarabağ in the 78th minute before coming back for a 3-1 victory in Group I, where Maccabi Tel-Aviv also won 2-1 away at Sivasspor. 

Wolfsberg has a perfect record in Group K after winning 4-1 at Feyenoord, with Michael Liendl scoring a hat trick. His first two goals came from penalties.

CSKA Moscow played to a 0-0 draw with Dinamo Zagreb.

Hoffenheim overcame a couple of coronavirus cases to beat Gent 4-1 away in Group L. Red Star Belgrade outplayed Czech club Liberec 5-1.

Roma was held 0-0 by CSKA Sofia in Group A while Cluj drew 1-1 with Young Boys Bern.

In Group C, Nice bounced back from a 6-2 loss to Leverkusen in the previous round with Amine Gouiri scoring the winner. Also Slavia Prague took its first three points by defeating Leverkusen 1-0.

Pizzi two goals for Benfica while Luca Waldschmidt also converted a penalty in the second half as the hosts beat Standard Liège 3-0 to earn their second win in Group D. Rangers defeated Lech 1-0, joining Benfica atop Group D. 

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