Otago Daily Times

Mi­lan beats Celtic; shock win for Alk­maar

FOOTBALL

- Sports · Soccer · Milan · Celtic F.C. · Stockholm · AZ Alkmaar · S.S.C. Napoli · Naples · London · Tottenham Hotspur Football Club · Arsenal F.C. · Leicester City F.C. · Rangers · Standard Liège · Liege · Steven Gerrard · Villarreal CF · Turkey · SK Rapid Wien · Vienna · David Luiz · Gareth Bale · Real Madrid F.C. · Madrid · Liverpool Football Club · Liverpool · Bayer 04 Leverkusen · Bayer Leverkusen · Leverkusen · Nice · A.S. Roma · Rome · Switzerland · BSC Young Boys · PSV Eindhoven · S.L. Benfica · Lech Poznań · Poznan · A.C. Milan · Alkmaar · Tottenham · Simon Kjaer · Sivasspor · Lugansk · Real Sociedad · Rijeka

STOCK­HOLM: AC Mi­lan with­stood a late on­slaught to beat Celtic 3­1 and AZ Alk­maar over­came the loss of 13 play­ers with pos­i­tive Covid­19 tests to se­cure a shock 1­0 win at Napoli as the Europa League group stage got un­der way yes­ter­day.

Lon­don sides Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur and Ar­se­nal also made win­ning starts as did fel­low Pre­mier League club Le­ices­ter City.

Dutch team Alk­maar was un­der pres­sure for the whole game as Napoli dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion and pep­pered its goal, but Dani de Wit scored in the 57th minute for a stun­ning vic­tory in group F.

With Mi­lan’s de­fence well mar­shalled by Dan­ish cen­tre­back Si­mon Kjaer, the team looked to be cruis­ing to an easy win at Celtic after first­half goals from Rade Krunic and Brahim Diaz.

How­ever, the Scot­tish cham­pi­ons came roar­ing back in the sec­ond half and re­duced the deficit through Mo­hamed Ely­ounoussi. Mi­lan needed a late goal from Jens Pet­ter Hauge, his first for the club, to put the group H game out of reach.

Ke­mar Roofe scored a su­perb stop­page­time goal for Rangers, bustling past three play­ers from the edge of his own area be­fore lob­bing goal­keeper Ar­naud Bo­dart from the half­way line as his side won 2­0 at Stan­dard Liege in group D.

‘‘The goal was a mo­ment of ge­nius — a world­class mo­ment.

I have been play­ing football pro­fes­sion­ally since 1998 and it is the best goal I have ever seen live with my own eyes,’’ Rangers man­ager Steven Ger­rard told Rangers TV.

Vil­lar­real and Turkey’s Si­vass­por played out an eight­goal thriller in group 1, the Span­ish side grab­bing a 5­3 win thanks to a late dou­ble from striker Paco Al­cacer.

Ar­se­nal, which has not claimed a Euro­pean tro­phy since lift­ing the old Cup Win­ners’ Cup in 1994, went be­hind at

Rapid Vi­enna but de­fender David Luiz and striker Pier­reEm­er­ick Aubameyang struck late on for a 2­1 group B win.

Fel­low Pre­mier League sides Le­ices­ter City and Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur cruised to com­fort­able 3­0 wins, the Foxes down­ing vis­it­ing Ukrainian side FK Zo­rya Luhansk in group G, while hosts Spurs beat Aus­tri­ans LASK in group J.

Tot­ten­ham’s fine per­for­mance, in­clud­ing an as­sist from Gareth Bale on his first start back at the club on loan from Real Madrid, spurred on the Lon­don side, which lost the 2019 Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal to Liver­pool.

‘‘We went out there to­day and did a great job. We were solid and threat­en­ing and the most im­por­tant thing in th­ese games at the start is to get the three points,’’ Bale told BT Sport.

Bayer Lev­erkusen went on the ram­page against French side Nice in a 6­2 vic­tory, in which winger Karim Bel­larabi score twice late on for the home side in group C.

AS Roma came back from a goal down to beat Swiss side Young Boys 2­1 away thanks to two goals in five sec­ond­half min­utes by Bruno Peres and Marash Kum­bulla in group A.

Granada and Real So­ciedad had 2­1 and 1­0 away wins over PSV Eind­hoven and Ri­jeka in group E and F re­spec­tively, while Ben­fica chalked up a 4­2 vic­tory over Lech Poz­nan in group D. — Reuters

 ?? PHOTO: REUTERS ?? Close con­tact . . . AC Mi­lan’s Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic gets to grips with Celtic’s Scott Brown in yes­ter­day’s match at Celtic Park, in Glas­gow.
PHOTO: REUTERS Close con­tact . . . AC Mi­lan’s Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic gets to grips with Celtic’s Scott Brown in yes­ter­day’s match at Celtic Park, in Glas­gow.

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