On the second matchday of the Europa league Lazio and Roma secured their first victories in Europe this season while Genoa fell to a late penalty in Valencia.
Roma 2-0 CSKA Sofia
After the disastrous display against Basle on the opening day, Claudio Ranieri was looking for a marked improvement in his players and he wasn’t left disappointed as his team had the game wrapped up by halftime. The first goal came in the 20th minute from a through ball by Marco Motta to Stefano Okaka who beat the offside trap to slot home his second goal in European football. Three minutes later Roma took advantage of CSKA’s ineffective offside trap once again as David Pizarro made a lob pass to Simone Perrotta to score the second. There was little threat from the Bulgarians until the 30th minute when Ivan Stoyanov went through after a missed offside but John Arne Riise was there to clear off the line. The only noteworthy moment of the second period came when promising youngster Alessio Cerci missed a gilt edged chance after Riise’s inviting cross. Francesco Totti was able to sit this one out as his side gained the three points comfortably.
Levski Sofia 0 – 4 Lazio
The Biancocelesti put on a goal fest over in Sofia with some magnificent offensive play that left Davide Ballardini pleased after the lacklustre display on match day one. Francelino Matuzalem opened the rout in the 22nd minute after some good work by Tommaso Rocchi to drew the defenders’ attention and open up the space for Matuzalem to shoot. The Bulgarians threatened throughout as Lazio’s defence struggled to handle Joaozinho but their attacking prowess was all to much for their opponents as Mauro Zarate netted the second just before the break. In the second half Lazio’s defence was exposed even further as Georgi Hristov and Cedric Barton both went through one on one with Albano Bizzarri. Luckily for the laziali, their goalkeeper was in top form and kept them out to keep a clean sheet alongside another two outstanding saves in the closing minutes. Later in the half Ballardini decided to freshen things up as his side showed signs of fatigue and Pasquale Foggia would come on to assist Mourad Meghni in Lazio’s third just after the hour mark. Rocchi completed the goal fest in the 73rd minute as he rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the empty net.
Valencia 3 – 2 Genoa
Genoa looked to keep their winning ways going over in Spain after their opening day victory. The Spanish outfit controlled the first half but were poor in the final third. Genoa opened the scoring in the 42nd minute via Sergio Floccari’s acrobatic effort. Just after the break Sokratis Papastathopoulos’s indecisiveness let in David Silva to equalize. 5 minutes later Nikola Zigic gave them the lead and it looked like Gian Piero Gasperini men were in for a nightmare but they pulled one back in the 66th minute after Papastathopoulos redeemed himself when he won a penalty which Houssine Kharja converted. But there was late drama at the Mestalla as David Villa’s late introduction saw him win and score the decisive penalty in the last ten minutes of the game.
Other Matchday 2 Results:
AEK Athens 1 – 0 Benfica
Anderlecht 1 – 1 Ajax
BATE Borisov 1 – 3 Everton
Celtic 1 – 1 Rapid Vienna
Dinamo Bucharest 0 – 1 Panathinaikos
FC Copenhagen 1 – 0 Sparta Prague
FC Sheriff 0 – 1 Fenerbahce
FC Timisoara 0 – 3 Dinamo Zagreb
Twente 0 – 0 Steaua Bucharest
FK Austria Vienna 1 -1 Nacional
FK Ventspils 0 – 0 Heerenveen
Fulham 1 – 0 Basle
Galatasaray 1 – 1 SK Sturm Graz
Hamburg 4 – 2 Hapoel Tel – Aviv
PSV 1 – 0 CFR Cluj – Napoca
SV Red Bull Salzburg 2 – 0 Villarreal
Shakhtar Donetsk 4 – 1 Partizan Belgrade
Slavia Prague 1 – 5 Lille
Sporting Lisbon 1- 0 Hertha Berlin
Toulouse 2 -2 Club Bruges
Werder Bremen 3 -1 Athletic Bilbao