West Ham keeps up perfect Europa League record, newcomer Brighton picks up first point

Thu, Oct 5, 2023
Soccer News (AP)

West Ham keeps up perfect Europa League record, newcomer Brighton picks up first point

Goals from Lucas Paqueta and Nayef Aguerd helped West Ham make it two wins from two games in the Europa League with a 2-1 victory at Freiburg on Thursday.

Unmarked in the area, Aguerd headed the winner from a James Ward-Prowse corner in the 66th minute, the ball bouncing in off the underside of the crossbar.

West Ham, winners of the Europa Conference League last season, had taken the lead in the eighth minute with Paqueta rising high to head in a cross from Jarrod Bowen.

Rolland Sallai then equalized for Freiburg after pouncing on a rebound four minutes into the second half.

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West Ham tops Group A on six points. Freiburg remains on three with Serbia's TSC Backa Topola and Olympiacos both on one after drawing 2-2.

West Ham fans were banned from the game as punishment by UEFA for incidents at the Europa Conference League final in Prague.

In Group B, Joao Pedro converted a penalty two minutes from time to earn the first point in European competition for Brighton as it held Marseille to a 2-2 draw in France.

The Seagulls trailed 2-0 at half time after goals from defender Chancel Mbemba and midfielder Jordan Veretout before Pascal Gross pulled one back.

New Marseille coach Gennaro Gattuso remains winless after two games.

Brighton is playing in Europe for the first time in the club's 122-year history after finishing a club-best sixth in the Premier League last season.

AEK leads the group with four points after Domagoj Vida salvaged a 1-1 draw against Ajax in Athens. Marseille and Ajax are both on two points.

In Group C, Isco headed the winner as Real Betis rallied to beat Sparta Prague 2-1. All four teams have three points after Aris Limassol overcame Rangers 2-1.

In Group D, first-half goals by Giorgio Scalvini and Matteo Ruggeri earned Atalanta a 2-1 win at Sporting Lisbon.

Viktor Gyokeres pulled one back for Sporting with a penalty. Atalanta tops the group after two straight wins.

EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE

In the third-tier competition, KI Klaksvik picked up the club's first point in Europe after holding Lille 0-0.

KI is the first team from the Faroe Islands to make the group stage of a European competition.

Another newcomer, Breidablik of Iceland, lost 1-0 at home to Zorya Luhansk.

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