Ade hat-trick, Reds hold Napoli
Emmanuel Adebayor's hat-trick against Lech Poznan allowed Manchester City to take full advantage of Juventus' inability to beat Red Bull Salzburg and take control of Group A. Meanwhile, Liverpool secured a useful draw away at Napoli to remain top of Group K.
Emmanuel Adebayor made a compelling case for a start against his former club Arsenal on Sunday by firing Manchester City to a 3-1 victory over Lech Poznan with his first Blues hat-trick. The result means City are three points clear at the top of Group A after three games.
Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw by Group A basement team Salzburg at the Bullen-Arena. The Austrians were the better team in the first half and took the lead before half-time through Dusan Svento. Juventus drew level in the 48th minute when substitute Milos Krasic made a swift impact two minutes after coming off the bench. Juve are now on three points, one behind Lech Poznan and four behnid City.
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson's gamble in leaving at home a handful of his senior players - including Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard - paid off in some respect as his side claimed a well-earned Europa League 0-0 draw against Napoli in the Stadio San Paolo. They remain two points ahead of the Italian club in first place.
Many tipped the hopelessly out-of-form Reds for defeat after bringing a weakened side to Naples, but they withstood long spells of pressure to leave with a point. The closest they came to conceding was in first-half added time when Paul Konchesky cleared Marek Hamsik's shot off the line in the nick of time, while Ryan Babel could have snatched victory with 20 minutes to go but shot too close to goalkeeper Morgan de Sanctis.
A late own goal from Alje Schut denied FC Utrecht their first Europa League Group K win against Steaua Bucharest. The Dutch side had led through Edouard Duplan's breakthrough goal on the hour, both sides having had chances to add to the scoreline in an action-packed clash. Just three points separates top-placed Liverpool from bottom-placed Steaua.
Porto survived the dismissal of a player in either half to register an impressive 3-1 away win against Besiktas in Europa League Group L. Falcao opened the scoring for the visitors to Istanbul shortly before the half-hour while Hulk's brace sealed an emphatic win in the second half. Bobo pulled one back at the death for the Turkish hosts but by then the writing was on the wall. Porto have nine points from three games, while Besiktas have six.
Rapid Vienna kept alive their hopes of progressing by recording their first victory in Group L at CSKA Sofia, winning 2-0. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Steffen Hofmann scored in the space of five minutes either side of the half-hour mark to earn Rapid the win. The result moved Peter Pacult's team to within three points of second-placed Besiktas.
Marco Ruben's first-half goal proved decisive at El Madrigal as Villarreal moved top of Europa League Group D with a 1-0 victory over PAOK Salonika. In the other game in the group, Dinamo Zagreb and Club Brugge cancelled each other out in a dismal encounter at Stadion Maksimir.
Two goals from Seydou Doumbia and one from Tomas Necid kept up CSKA Moscow's 100% record in Group F with a 3-0 win against ten-man Palermo at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.
Meanwhile, Brazilian striker Silvio struck a dramatic equaliser deep into injury-time to earn Lausanne their first point and shatter Sparta Prague's hopes of victory in Group F after a frantic 3-3 draw. Sparta are now five points behind CSKA in second.
Clement Chantome's late equaliser snatched a point for Paris St Germain to keep them out in front at the top of Europa League Group J in a 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund. Nuri Sahin's penalty early in the second half looked like winning an end-to-end game.
Sevilla moved to within a point of Group J leaders Paris St Germain after easing past Karpaty Lviv 1-0, who slumped to their third successive defeat. Frederic Kanoute headed home the only goal of the game in the 34th minute while Karpaty finished with ten men following the late sending-off of Viacheslav Checher.
Sergio Aguero made an immediate impact on his return to action as Atletico Madrid defeated Rosenborg 3-0. Within 60 seconds of his arrival he doubled the lead given to the Rojiblancos by Diego Godin's early header. Aguero then turned provider in the 77th minute to help Diego Costa add a third goal for Atletico, ensuring a first win of the group stages for Quique Sanchez Flores' men. The result means Atletico are now second on four points in a tightly-packed Group B.
Aris Thessaloniki remained unbeaten at home in UEFA club competition this season by holding Bayer Leverkusen to a lacklustre scoreless draw in Group B. The Germans remain leaders in the group with five points after three match days while Aris have four points.
Zenit St Petersburg moved six points clear at the top of Europa League Group G with a comfortable 2-0 win over Hajduk Split at the Petrovsky Stadium. Luciano Spalletti's side were rarely troubled by their Croatian visitors as a goal in either half from Alexander Bukharov and Danny saw them ease to victory.
Mbark Boussoufa scored one and set up two more as Anderlecht cruised to a 3-0 victory over AEK Athens. In a game of few chances, Anderlecht had almost all of them and picked up their first points in Group F thanks to further goals from Romelu Lukaku and Roland Juhasz. Anderlecht level on three points with Hadjuk and AEK.
PSV Eindhoven claimed sole leadership of Europa League Group I with a hard-fought victory over Debrecen at the Ferenc Puskas Stadion in Hungary. Jonathan Reis netted the winner for PSV in the 66th minute after Netherlands midfielder Orlando Engelaar had cancelled out Mirsad Mijadinoski's opener for the point-less hosts.
Brazilian midfielder Cleiton Xavier scored the winner as ten-man Metalist Kharkiv turned in a gutsy performance to beat Sampdoria 2-1 in an action-packed Europa League Group I tie at the Oblasny SportKomplex. The Ukrainians had striker Taison sent off in the 57th minute after he had put them ahead in the first half. Metalist are now one point behind leaders PSV.
Young Boys got the better of a gutsy Odense BK side at the Stade de Suisse to boost their chances of a top-two finish in Europa League Group H with a 4-2 win. Goals from Henri Bienvenu, Scott Sutter, David Degen and Senad Lulic sealed victory for the Swiss side.
Stuttgart remain top of Group H following a 1-0 victory over Getafe in Germany. Ciprian Marica scored the only goal of the game.
Dynamo Kiev breathed life into their campaign with a narrow 2-1 win over AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands. With just one point from their two previous Group E matches, Dynamo found their form to leapfrog their hosts with a first victory of the campaign. Artem Milevskiy put Dynamo in front just 16 minutes in and though Erik Falkenburg levelled, Yevhen Khacheridi restored the visitors' lead before the half was out.
BATE Borisov have a three-point lead over Dynamo in Group E after Sergey Sosnovskiy's early goal was enough to give them victory in Moldova against Sheriff.
Sporting Lisbon maintained their 100% record in Group C with a thumping 5-1 win over Gent. Liedson scored twice for the home side with Diogo Solomao, Nuno Maniche and Helder Postiga also finding the target in a match which saw chance after chance for both teams.
Aurelien Chedjou's second-half goal was enough to seal a first Group C win for Lille as they saw off Levski Sofia. The win saw Lille leapfrog Levski to go second, although they remain five points adrift of leaders Sporting Lisbon.