Good results for Spain's Europa League sides, with two wins and a draw between them on the second week of group games. Valencia beat Kuban Krasnodar 0-2 in Russia, goalkeeping errors allowing Paco Alcácer and Feghouli to score later on in the second half. Sevilla clocked up their second victory in a row, beating Freiburg 2-0 thanks to a Perotti penalty and a strike by Bacca after the break. And Betis drew 1-1 at Rijeka, Cedrick cancelling out an early opener by Benko with an impressive equalizer a few minutes later. (03.10.13)
Valencia clocked up their first points in this season's Europa League, a 0-2 win at Kuban Krasnodar making up for the opening defeat against Swansea. Djukic rested several of his key players and even drafted in Piatti, who had almost been left out of the squad in the summer. Even so though they had the better of the first forty five minutes, with Belenov having to keep out a Ricardo Costa header from a Canales corner midway through the half. Veteran striker Djibril Cissé caused a couple of problems for Guaita however either side of half time, but with twenty minutes to go the local keeper gifted the first goal to substitute Paco Alcácer, slipping as he came out of his area to allow the young striker to run on to a long clearance and run the ball in to the empty net. Ten minutes later Feghouli made it two with a free kick which went through the defensive wall past the unfortunate Belenov, and Valencia's Euro campaign was back on track.
Sevilla kept up their impeccable form in the Europa League this season, a 2-0 win against Freiburg taking them top of their group on maximum points. Other than a couple of efforts by Jairo though they hardly impressed in the first half, and there were some timid whistles from the crowd when the players left the pitch at half time. After the restart however Rakitic took charge, first with a long pass which Diogo failed to make the most of, and then with a through ball to Bacca who was felled by Diagné in the area, the referee sending off the defender and awarding a penalty which Perotti converted. For a few minutes it looked as if the German side were going to get back in the game, Günter and Hanke in particular having shots blocked. But Marin fired a shot over the top and Bacca hit the bar, and with the game in time added on a dazzling run by Jairo ended with him passing across for Bacca to score in to the empty net.
A second draw in a row for Betis in their Europa League group, a 1-1 scoreline at Rijeka leaving them in joint second spot with Olympique Lyon. The Croatian side took the lead early on, Benko getting on the end of a Tomecak cross to beat Andersen with an acrobatic first time volley. Four minutes later though Cedrick levelled the scores with a shot in to the top corner of the net after Braian Rodríguez poked the ball back in to his path, and the ex Atlético and Numancia midfielder came close to a second when Vargic tipped his long shot over the bar. Perquis and Juanfran also tested the local keeper before the break, but after the restart the at times over-physical home side pulled back to defend the point, and there were hardly any chances to talk of after that. So far so good though for the Andalusians, but the big test is coming up with the double header against Vitoria Guimaraes next month. They really need a positive result against the Portuguese side if they are to make it through to the knock-out stages.