Sport Soccer

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Celtic travel sickness continues as Atletico cruise

Europa League wrap

Celtic's dismal European away record continued with a tame defeat to Atletico Madrid in their Group I opener in the Vicente Calderon stadium.

The Hoops were still warming to their task when Colombian striker Radamel Falcao met a Diego corner in the third minute to head past Hoops 'keeper Fraser Forster.

Diego added the second in the 67th minute to leave the Parkhead men with just one away win in Europe in 31 games ahead of Sunday's Old Firm clash at Ibrox.

An inexperienced Spurs side came through a nailbiting finish to leave the cauldron of the Toumba Stadium with a hard-fought point in their Group A stalemate against PAOK Salonika.

Carlo Cudicini was called upon to make three fine saves at the death and Vladimir Ivic rattled the Italian's bar in stoppage-time amid a white-hot atmosphere in Greece.

Shamrock Rovers will have been taking notes of their group rivals and the Greeks looked dangerous.

Lino missed a retaken first-half penalty for the hosts while debutant Yago Falque twice went close for Spurs and Harry Kane might have been awarded an earlier spot-kick after being brought down in the box.

Stoke were denied a winning start to their Group E campaign by Dynamo Kiev's late equaliser at the Valeriy Lobanovskiy Stadium.

The Potters took the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Cameron Jerome finished from Ryan Shotton's cross, but after Oleksandr Aliev had hit the bar for Dynamo, Ognjen Vukojevic levelled in stoppage-time.

Mark Schwarzer's own goal meant Fulham and Twente shared the spoils 1-1 in their Group K clash at Craven Cottage.

The west Londoners dominated the game and broke the deadlock after Andrew Johnson flicked home with aplomb on 18 minutes.

However, the Dutch outfit levelled six minutes before the break as Luuk de Jong's header bounced off the post and in off Schwarzer. A Helder Barbosa brace and Rodrigo Lima strike edged Braga past a spirited Birmingham in their Group H tussle, the Portuguese side earning a 3-1 win.

Birmingham missed a golden chance with the game scoreless. Adam Rooney planted a fourth-minute sitter into the side-netting and Barbosa lashed home a stunning 20-yard volley just 90 seconds later.

Lima doubled the visitors' advantage from close range a minute before the hour, with Marlon King halving the deficit 20 minutes from the end. But Barbosa struck again at the death to kill off the Championship side.

Irish Independent

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