Russian clubs make Europa gains

CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg go through to the next round of the Europa league, while Manchester City slip up.

    Zenit St Petersburg came back from behind to win 3-2 at Hajduk Split in Croatia in Group G [AFP]

    Russian clubs CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg have become two of four sides to book their places in the knock out round of the Europa League.

    CSKA Moscow beat Italian side Palermo 3-1 and Zenit St Petersburg came back from behind to win 3-2 at Hajduk Split to go through to the next round in Thursday's group games.

    BATE Borisov from Belarus won by 3-1 at home to FC Sheriff Tiraspol to progress, and Stuttgart went through after a 3-0 win at Getafe.

    Both Zenit and Stuttgart maintained perfect records in their groups.

    Manchester shock

    The biggest surprise of the evening came in Poland where Lech Poznan became Group A leaders after beating big-spending English team Manchester City 3-1.

    It is Manchester City's third loss in a row in all competitions, something that will likely worry the club's Emirati owners who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on players over the past couple of years.

    The pressure is now on Manchester City's Italian manager Roberto Mancini, who was philosophical after the game.

    "This is football," he said. "Probably if we played this game another 100 times we would win 90 times, maybe.

    "But we must accept this. We must continue to work because sometimes you lose games you don't deserve to lose."

    Defending champions Atletico Madrid won away at Rosenborg, but Bayer Leverkusen lead their Group B with eight points.

    Italian giants Juventus were held to a draw by Salzburg while Villarreal were beaten in Greece 1-0 by PAOK Salonika who became the surprise Group D leaders.

    Spanish Primera Division side Sevilla are top of Group J after a 4-0 victory, and troubled English side Liverpool won 3-1 at Napoli to stay top of Group K.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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