• Europa League round-up

Young Reds triumph 5-3, Spurs draw

ESPN staff
September 20, 2012

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Jonjo Shelvey scored two decisive goals in the final 15 minutes to ensure a young Liverpool side escaped with a 5-3 victory over Young Boys in the Europa League on Thursday.

In the other early kick-off involving an English team, Newcastle United were held to a 0-0 draw by Maritimo in Portugal - while later in the evening Tottenham were also unable to break the deadlock and drew 0-0 at home to Lazio.

It was at the Wankdorf Stadium, however, where the goals flowed - and Liverpool were perhaps fortunate to score the majority of them.

Liverpool went in front in the fourth minute after a comical own goal by Juhani Ojala, with the ball clattering into the defender's face and then past the goalkeeper.

Young Boys, though, hit back via a mistake of Liverpool's own doing, as Raphael Nuzzolo slotted in following Jose Enrique's dwelling on the ball. But, just two minutes later, the Reds restored their advantage as Andre Wisdom powered home a header following a corner by Nuri Sahin.

Seven minutes into the second half, Ojala made amends for his earlier gaffe as he nodded in to make it 2-2. Soon after, the home side went in front as Eulogio Zarate executed a chipped finish past goalkeeper Brad Jones. Yet the Reds hit back as Sebastian Coates' header nestled into the corner.

In an error-strewn encounter, Liverpool finally took charge as substitute Jonjo Shelvey fired home two sweet strikes to clinch all three points.

Andre Villas-Boas cut a furious figure in the Tottenham dugout as his team had three goals ruled out in their Europa League stalemate with Lazio.

The Italian giants came to White Hart Lane on the back of a five-match winning streak, but they were outplayed for large parts of the Group J clash, which Villas-Boas clearly felt his side should have won.

The Portuguese, who earned his first win as Spurs boss on Sunday, was livid at referee Ovidiu Alin Hategan for disallowing Steven Caulker's goal deep into the second half.

The centre-back leapt high to head home Gareth Bale's corner but the Romanian official ruled he had pushed his marker in the lead-up to the goal, a ruling which caused Villas-Boas to fling his arms up in the air in an angry manner.

The Portuguese had already seen Clint Dempsey's header ruled out for a marginal offside and Bale also had a strike chalked off after latching onto the impressive American's through-ball.

Sandro and Bale both missed close-range headers and Villas-Boas will probably look back at this as a missed opportunity ahead of what is expected to be a tough trip to Panathinaikos - who lost 3-0 to Maribor - next month.

Shola Ameobi came agonisingly close to firing Newcastle to an opening victory in Group D as the woodwork and Maritimo goalkeeper Romain Salin combined to thwart him in a game that ended goalless.

The 30-year-old, captaining a much-changed side at the Estadio dos Barreiros, hit both the post and the crossbar and saw Salin block another effort on a frustrating evening for the Magpies in Madeira.

Also in Group D, Bordeaux began their campaign with a dominant 4-0 win over Club Brugge which lifted them to the top of the standings.

Ludovic Sane and Yoan Gouffran gave Les Girondins a first-half lead before substitute Bjorn Engels added an own goal early in the second half.

Jussie then rounded off the scoring in the one-sided contest at Stade Chaban Delmas.

In the other game in Liverpool's group, Udinese and Anzhi played out a 1-1 draw - Antonio Di Natale scoring deep into injury time to salvage a point for the Italians.

Elsewhere, defending champions Atletico Madrid kicked off their campaign with a 3-0 away win against Hapoel Tel Aviv, while Napoli ran out 4-0 winners against AIK, despite Marek Hamsik's late dismissal.

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