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Rediff.com  » Sports » Europa League: Liverpool draw with Sparta, late win for Porto

Europa League: Liverpool draw with Sparta, late win for Porto

February 18, 2011 09:30 IST

Substitute Fredy Guarin gave former European champions Porto a late 2-1 Europa League win at Sevilla on Thursday while their old rivals Benfica beat VfB Stuttgart by the same score.

Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg, who won all their group stage games, lost to a stoppage time goal at Young Boys in another round of 32 first leg tie.

However, their compatriots Spartak Moscow were on the right end of a comeback away to Swiss opponents as they bounced back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at FC Basel.

Ajax won 3-0 at Anderlecht while fellow Dutch side Twente Enschede were among several teams who endured freezing conditions in eastern Europe, beating Rubin Kazan 2-0 in Moscow where the temperature hovered around minus 15 Celsius.

Ajax Amsterdam's Toby Alderweireld celebrates after scoring against Anderlecht during their Europa League match at the Constant Vanden Stock stadium in Brussels on ThursdayLille were held 2-2 at home after a late rally by PSV Eindhoven in a meeting of the French and Dutch league leaders.

Porto, beaten only once in 34 outings in the Portuguese League and Cup and Europa League this season, went ahead in the 58th minute when Rolando stabbed home after a free kick.

Sevilla striker Frederic Kanoute levelled in the 65th, also from a free kick, before Colombia midfielder Guarin stole the win with five minutes left as Porto made a happy return to the scene of their 2003 UEFA Cup final win over Celtic.

Stuttgart's impressive European form has been in marked contrast to their shaky Bundesliga performances this season and Martin Harnik gave them a first-half lead in Lisbon.

But Benfica hit back as Paraguay striker Oscar Cardozo, one of eight South Americans in the team, equalised in the 70th and Argentine Franco Jara got the winner with nine minutes left.

ZAMBIAN HERO

Zambian striker Emmanuel Mayuka was the Young Boys hero, scoring in the third minute of added time on the Stade de Suisse's artificial pitch to snatch a 2-1 win over 2008 UEFA Cup winners Zenit. The 20-year-old only came on in the 83rd.

Belgian international Nicolas Lombaerts had given Zenit a first-half lead with a header from a corner.

Senad Lulic levelled with a solo effort within a minute of the restart and the Russians had substitute Vladimir Bystrov sent off for a second bookable offence 20 minutes from time.

It was the other way round at FC Basel where Alex Frei and Marco Streller gave the Swiss champions a 2-0 halftime lead against Spartak Moscow in a clash of two sides parachuted into the competition after being knocked out of the Champions League.

But Dmitri Kombarov, Artem Dzyuba and substitute Jano Ananidze scored for the Russians in the last half hour while Basel had forward Xherdan Shaqiri sent off.

Ajax made light of Luis Suarez's absence -- the Uruguay forward having been sold to Liverpool in the January transfer window -- as Tony Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen and Mounir El Hamdaoui shared the goals at Anderlecht.

Marcin Wasilewski squandered a 55th minute penalty, one of several opportunities wasted by the hosts, when they were only 1-0 behind.

NO CLASSIC

Liverpool could not field Suarez under UEFA regulations, with his former club also playing in the competition, and failed to find the target as they drew 0-0 at Sparta Prague.

"It wasn't a classic," Kenny Dalglish told Britain's Channel Five television after managing Liverpool in Europe for the first time.

"The onus was on them to try to put us under a wee bit of pressure. We made a couple of opportunities as well. On the night, 0-0, fair enough. I'm happy with that."

PSV's Ola Toivonen set up an 83rd minute goal for Wilfred Bouma against Lille before scoring the equaliser himself one minute later as the Dutch side came from behind after Idrissa Gueye and Tulio De Melo gave the French a 2-0 halftime lead.

Peguy Luyindula scored an 89th minute equaliser to give Paris St Germain a 2-2 draw at BATE Borisov in Minsk, another match played in temperatures well below freezing.

Bayer Leverkusen also had to contend with bitter conditions in Ukraine as they thumped Metalist Kharkiv 4-0.

Eren Derdiyok and Gonzalo Castro scored either side of halftime before Sidney Sam got two more for the Bundesliga side.

Metalist's compatriots Dynamo Kiev enjoyed contrasting fortune as they won 4-1 at Besiktas with former AC Milan and Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko among the scorers.
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