Sam Vines returned to Antwerp’s defense to help the Belgians earn a point at Fenerbahce while Cameron Carter-Vickers and Celtic finally notched their first win of the group stage in Europa League action.
Celtic Glasgow 2 – 0 Ferencvaros Budapest
Cameron Carter-Vickers and Celtic finally earned their first win of the Europa League campaign, convincingly shutting out Ferencvaros on Tuesday evening.
Henry Wingo started for the Hungarian visitors on the right side of their defense, playing the full 90 minutes and committing a second-half penalty that had little effect on the outcome.
The Scottish side took the lead after 57 minutes, when a long pass from Portuguese midfielder Jota fell to deep in the Ferencvaros half of the field to Kyogo Furuhashi. The Japanese international controlled the ball with his first touch and fired it under the reach of keeper Denes Dibusz with his second for the 1-0 lead.
The visitors looked to have gifted Celtic a freebie three minutes later after Wingo toppled Adam Montgomery in the area, however Callum McGregor’s was saved by Dibusz.
However they sealed the three points with a chaotic play nine minutes from full time. A short cross from Jota across the face of goal was initially whiffed by David Turnbull, however in rush to defend, Hungarian midfielder Bálint Vécsei carelessly pushed it over the line for the final 2-0 scoreline.
With the result, Celtic now sit third in Group G. The two teams will face off again in Budapest in early-November, however the Hoops will continue trying to kick-start their disappointing domestic campaign in the interim.
Fenerbahce SK 2 – 2 Royal Antwerp
Sam Vines returned from injury, playing the full 90 minutes on the left side of Royal Antwerp’s defense as they fought back for a draw at Fenerbahce on Thursday.
The Belgians wasted no time in surprising their hosts, taking the lead when Viktor Fischer stormed into the right side of the area, and picked out Mbwana Samatta free in the middle for an uncontested low strike for the 1-0 advantage.
Fenerbahce pulled even just before the 20-minute mark, after a corner was initially deflected by Antwerp keeper Jean Butez, only to be emphatically put away by Enner Valencia.
The Ecuadorian striker blew a golden chance to put his team in the lead 15 minutes later when his chipped spot kick bounced off the crossbar, but was on-target at the stroke of halftime with his second chance from the spot, hitting it low and out of Butez’s reach.
The Belgians kept up the fight after the break, and earned the important road point with an equalizing goal in the 62nd minute, this time with Pieter Gerkens heading in from the near post following a corner.
The point, Antwerp’s first of this campaign, leaves them last in Group D. While not mathematically eliminated from qualifying for the knockout round, they will undoubtedly need to beat the Turkish side in the return leg in two weeks to have any chance of making up the current five-point gap.
Glasgow Rangers 2 – 0 Brøndby IF
Christian Cappis started in Brøndby’s midfield on Thursday, playing just over 80 minutes, but was unable to help his team to victory as they were overwhelmed and shut out by their Scottish hosts Rangers.
Steven Gerrard’s squad already inflicted all the necessary damage before even a half-hour had passed, with Leon Balogun heading in James Tavernier’s corner in the 18th minute, then Kemar Roofe cleaning up from short range after a shot from Alfredo Morelos was initially blocked.
Mikael Uhre came close to pulling one back shortly after the restart, however chances were few and far between for the visitors, with the Scottish powerhouse hanging on for the win.
Brøndby fall to last place in Group A with the result, however can still theoretically qualify for the knockout round if they grab a couple wins from their final three games, beginning with the return leg against Rangers in two weeks.
Lokomotiv Moscow – Galatasaray SK
DeAndre Yedlin and Galatasaray maintained their control over Group E with their important away win at Lokomotiv Moscow on Thursday evening.
With fellow group competitors Marseille and Lazio having battled to a scoreless deadlock earlier in the day, Yedlin and his teammates knew that even a draw would give the the undisputed lead in the group.
Their impressive defensive performance, preventing their hosts from managing even a single shot on goal, kept it tight in what was a battle of attrition, and a late goal sealed the critical three points.
The game was ultimately decided in the 82nd minute after a fine display of one-touch misdirection between Yedlin and several of his teammates, with Olimpiu Morutan supplying the final pass over the Russian defense to Kerem Aktürkoglu, who streaked past the last defender and beat the helpless keeper with a fine shot to the left of goal for the win.
Galatasaray now have a three-point gap to second-place Lazio, and will be eager to at least maintain that advantage when the host Lokomotiv in the return leg in Istanbul in two weeks.
Konrad De la Fuente was an unused substitute for Olympique Marseille on Thursday evening as they earned a point on the road at Lazio in a scoreless draw.
Richard Ledezma is in the final stages of returning from a long injury lay-off, and was not in uniform for PSV Eindhoven in their 2-1 home loss to AS Monaco.
Tim Chandler was an unused substitute for Frankfurt in their 3-1 home victory over Olympiakos. The Germans lead Group D on seven points, and have the opportunity to already guarantee passage to the knockout round when they visit the Greeks in two weeks.
Mark McKenzie was stuck on Genk’s bench as a heavy 3-0 loss at West Ham left them last place in Group H. With all but the first-place English team on three points, they can still qualify for the knockout round, but will need a result at home when they host the Hammers in two weeks.