The quality of the new Europa League became apparent this week, with all three Spanish sides struggling against strong opposition. Only Valencia got a positive result, beating Genoa 3-2 thanks to a late penalty from substitute David Villa. Fioccari gave the Italian team a half time lead before strikes by Silva and Zigic turned the scoreline around, but Kharja equalised from the penalty spot before Villa's late saver.
Villarreal are still struggling, and they lost 2-0 to Salzburg, for whom Janko and Tchoyi got the goals. And Athletic Bilbao were beaten 3-1 by Werder Bremen, who went two up through Hunt and Naldo before Niemeyer was sent off after the restart. Llorente gave his side hope with a goal in injury time, but a Frings penalty three minutes later ensured a win for the German team. (01.10.09)