AC Milan, Nice and Zenit served notice of their UEFA Europa League promise by all scoring five away from home on a dramatic opening night of the 2017/18 group stage.
Matchday one results
Group A: Villarreal 3-1 Astana, Slavia Praha 1-0 Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Group B: Dynamo Kyiv 3-1 Skënderbeu, Young Boys 1-1 Partizan
Group C: Hoffenheim 1-2 Braga, İstanbul Başakşehir 0-0 Ludogorets
Group D: Austria Wien 1-5 AC Milan, Rijeka 1-2 AEK Athens
Group E: Atalanta 3-0 Everton, Apollon Limassol 1-1 Lyon
Group F: København 0-0 Lokomotiv Moskva, Zlín 0-0 Sheriff
Group G: FCSB 3-0 Plzeň, Hapoel Beer-Sheva 2-1 Lugano
Group H: Arsenal 3-1 Köln, Crvena zvezda 1-1 BATE Borisov
Group I: Marseille 1-0 Konyaspor, Vitória SC 1-1 Salzburg
Group J: Hertha Berlin 0-0 Athletic, Zorya Luhansk 0-2 Östersund
Group K: Vitesse 2-3 Lazio, Zulte Waregem 1-5 Nice
Group L: Vardar 0-5 Zenit, Real Sociedad 4-0 Rosenborg
Looking to win the sole major UEFA trophy that still eludes them, Milan eased to a 5-1 victory at Austria Wien. André Silva, a summer signing from Porto, completed the Serie A club’s first European hat-trick since November 2006 11 minutes into the second half.
Nice matched Milan’s result, former Rossoneri forward Mario Balotelli rounding off the scoring in an emphatic triumph at Zulte Waregem. Zenit, however, went one better, condemning Vardar, the first Macedonian side in a major group stage, to a 5-0 home defeat.
Atalanta’s return to continental competition after a 26-year absence was a memorable one as they recorded an eye-catching 3-0 home win against Everton. Lyon, who will host the final on 16 May, were denied all three points away to Apollon Limassol by Adrián Sardinero’s added-time equaliser.
European debutants Östersund, meanwhile, penned another chapter in their fairy-tale story with a 2-0 success at Zorya Luhansk. Arsenal came from behind to beat Köln 3-1 at home, Alexis Sánchez putting the Gunners ahead with a wonderful curling shot from outside the area.