Leckie in action as Hertha hold Athletic Bilbao in UEL

Socceroos attacker Mathew Leckie came off the bench as his Hertha Berlin side held Athletic Bilbao to a goalless draw in the UEFA Europa League.

Mathew Leckie Hertha Berlin Athletic Bilbao UEFA Europa League

Mathew Leckie in action against Athletic Bilbao Source: Getty Images

Leckie replaced Vedad Ibisevic with 14 minutes remaining but was unable to help the home side break the deadlock in a Group J encounter.

Ostersunds's remarkable Europa League run showed no signs of stopping as they opened their account with a 2-0 win over Ukrainian side Zorya in Lviv.

Second-half goals from Saman Ghoddos and Abdullhi Gero got the Swedish minnows, who have already beaten PAOK and Galatasaray in the competition, off to a flying start.

Atalanta's first-half charge saw them sweep past Premier League Everton and claim an emphatic 3-0 win in their Group E opener in Reggio Emilia.

Goals from Andrea Masiello, Alejandro Gomez and Bryan Cristante saw them ease past the visitors, who were still reeling from their 3-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur five days earlier.

Also in Group E, Adrian Sardinero grabbed an equaliser deep into stoppage-time as Apollon grabbed a 1-1 draw at home to Lyon, who led through a Memphis Depay penalty.

There was more good news for Italy in Group D where Andre Silva scored a hat-trick as AC Milan cruised to an emphatic 5-1 win away to Austria Wien.

The Portugal star scored his first goal in the 10th minute, shortly after Hakan Calhanoglu had already fired Vincenzo Montella's men in front.

Silva added his second after 20 minutes and despite Alexandar Borkovic briefly reducing the deficit, second-half goals from Silva and Suso eased the Serie A side home.

AEK Athens also got their Group D campaign off to a winning start with a 2-1 success in Rijeka, with goals from Petros Mantalos and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos sandwiching a Josip Elez strike.

Lazio twice came from behind to edge past Vitesse in their Group K opener in Arnhem, Marco Parolo cancelling out Tim Matavz's early strike and after Brian Linssen put the hosts back in front, Ciro Immobile and Alessandro Murgia won it in the last 23 minutes.

Meanwhile, Nice stormed to a 5-1 win at Zulte-Waregem with two goals from Alassane Plea and one each for Dante, Allan Saint-Maximin and Mario Balotelli, while Aaron Leya replied for the home side.

There was a shock for Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in Group C as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Sporting Braga, Joao Carlos and Dyego Sousa scoring in the visitors' come-from-behind win after Sandro Wagner had given the hosts an early lead.

In the other game in Group C, Ludogorets held Istanbul Basaksehir to a goalless draw in the Turkish capital.

Villarreal were forced to work to overcome Kazakhstan's Astana 3-1, with two goals in the last 15 minutes from Cedric Bakambu and Denis Cheryshev seeing them home.

Nicola Sansone had put the LaLiga side in front in the 16th minute, only for Yuri Logvinenko to threaten an upset when he equalised after 68 minutes.

Vardar were no match for Zenit St Petersburg in Skopje, the Russian side running out 5-0 winners in their Group L clash with two goals from Aleksandr Kokorin and one each from Branislav Ivanovic, Artem Dzyuba and Emiliano Rigoni.

Real Sociedad were the other big winners in Group L, beating Rosenborg 4-0 with two from Diego Llorente and further goals from David Zurutuza and a Jorgen Skjelvik own goal.

Slavia Prague joined Villarreal at the top of Group A after Tomas Necid's 12th-minute strike was enough to see them past Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Czech capital.

In Group B, Sergey Sydorchuk, Junior Moraes and Dieumerci Mbokani saw Dinamo Kiev come from behind to claim a 3-1 win over Skenderbeu, who led through Gjergj Muzaka.

Young Boys and Partizan Belgrade battled out a 1-1 draw in Switzerland, Marko Jankovic's early goal for the visitors quickly cancelled out by Christian Fassnacht.

Steaua Bucharest made a promising start in Group G with Constantin Budescu scoring twice and Denis Alibec getting the third in a 3-0 home win over Viktoria Plzen, while in the same group Hapoel Be'er Sheva beat Lugano 2-1, Dan Einbinder and a Sher Tzedek penalty enough despite a late Tzedek own goal.

Adil Rami scored the only goal as Marseille beat Konyaspor 1-0 in Group I, while Vitoria Guimaraes drew 1-1 with Salzburg, Pedrao's opener cancelled out by Valon Berisha on the stroke of half-time.

Both games in Group F finished goalless, Zlin and Sheriff drawing a blank in Olomouc and Copenhagen and Lokomotiv Moscow doing the same in Denmark.

In a Group H game seriously delayed due to crowd congestion, Arsenal overcame a nightmare start to beat Bundesliga strugglers Cologne 3-1.

In an extraordinary atmosphere with thousands of visiting fans in all sections of the stadium, Cologne took the lead after nine minutes through Jhon Cordoba's long-range strike.

Sead Kolasinac equalised early in the second half and Arsenal went on to win it due to goals from Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin.

In Belgrade, Red Star Belgrade and BATE Borisov drew 1-1, Nemanja Radonjic opening the scoring for the home side and Nikolay Signevich equalising in their Group H clash.

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Published 15 September 2017 at 9:02am
Source: PA Sport