• Europa League round-up

Downing drive sinks Anzhi, Gylfi spares Spurs' blushes

ESPN staff
October 25, 2012
Liverpool 1-0 Anzhi

A rare strike from Liverpool's Stewart Downing was enough to sink Anzhi in the Europa League, while Newcastle sneaked past Club Brugge and Tottenham were held in Maribor.

Liverpool's 1-0 victory sent them powering to the top of Group A. Downing cracked home an unstoppable effort from outside the box in the 53rd minute after coming in from the left flank.

The win was no less than the Reds deserved having been the better side for much of the contest, and they now lead the group with six points from three games.

Elsewhere in Group A, Raul Bobadilla continued his recent hot streak as he fired a hat-trick to revive Young Boys' Europa League hopes with a stunning 3-1 home win over Udinese.

Gabriel Obertan's first goal of the season maintained Newcastle's Europa League challenge as the Ameobi brothers joined forces to see off Club Brugge 1-0.

Shola, 31, and 20-year-old Sammy combined in breathtaking style three minutes into the second half to set up the Frenchman to secure the narrowest of victories.

It was a far from comfortable evening for a much-changed Newcastle side, although they might have been in control of the game long before Obertan struck had Papiss Cisse managed to convert any of the chances which came his way.

Alan Pardew's men were made to fight all the way as the Pro League leaders gave a good account of themselves, with Steve Harper making a fine second-half save from Lior Rafaelov to preserve his clean sheet.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scrambled in Tottenham's equaliser © Getty Images

But they made it to the final whistle without mishap in front of a crowd of 33,124 at St James' Park to take their Group D points tally to a satisfactory seven from three games and leave themselves on the brink of qualification for the last 32.

Also in Group D, Maritimo and Bordeaux shared the points in a closely-fought Europa League clash at the Estadio dos Barreiros in Funchal, which ended 1-1.

Ligue 1 Bordeaux took a first-half lead through Yoan Gouffran, but Maritimo hit back soon after thanks to Frenchman Valentin Roberge and neither side could fashion a winning goal in the remainder of the match.

Gylfi Sigurdsson helped Tottenham rescue a point in Slovenia after an inept performance at Maribor saw them slump to a third successive Europa League draw, this time 1-1.

The former Swansea midfielder has yet to find his feet since his summer arrival, but went some way to repaying the North Londoners' faith by lashing home to ensure his side did not leave the Stadion Ljudski vrt empty-handed.

It was a goal that saved Spurs' blushes in what was a frustrating night against a Maribor side that came into the match with a record of just two wins their previous 15 European games on home soil.

Tottenham pushed for a winner but were unable to eke out another goal, with the point leaving them third in Group J at the halfway point.

Elsewhere in the group, Toche was Panathinaikos' hero again as his last-minute goal earned a 1-1 draw with Lazio. Giorgos Seitaridis' farcical own goal gave Lazio a half-time lead but Toche poached a late equaliser, having also scored the goal which earned his side a point against Tottenham last time out.

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