By James Agberebi:
Arsenal made it three wins out of three following their 1-0 away win against 10-man Serbian side Red Star Belgrade in Group H of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
The only goal was scored by Olivier Giroud who hit a brilliant overhead kick in the 85th minute to give Arsenal the win.
Prior to Giroud’s goal, Red Star were reduced to 10 men with Milan Rodic’s sending off on 80 minutes.
The win means Arsenal maintain their leadership in the group as they are now on nine points, five points ahead of second-placed Red Star.
In Israel, Super Eagles duo John Ogu and Anthony Nwakaeme were in action for Hapoel Beer Sheva but ended on the losing side as they lost 2-1 at home to FC FCSB in Group G.
Ogu, who was on from the start, was however substituted in the 29th minute in what looked like a suspected injury.
A brace from Harlem-Eddy Gnohere on 70 minutes and 75 minutes gave FC FCSB 2-0 lead.
Hapoel pulled a goal back through former Barcelona forward Isaac Cuenca on 87 minutes but it was too little, too late as the visitors held on to their lead to secure the win.
With the defeat, Hapoel dropped to bottom of the group on three points while FC FCSB are top on nine points.
In Turkey, Nigeria forward Imoh Ezekiel was brought on in the 76th minute but could not prevent Konyaspor from losing 2-0 to Austrian side Salzburg.
Also in action was Ezekiel’s Nigerian teammate Patrick Eze who went off in the 62nd minute.
Following the loss, Konyaspor dropped to third in their group on three points, while Salzburg are top on seven points.
And in France, former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli scored for Nice but they lost 3-1 to Lazio.
Balotelli gave Nice the lead on four minutes before goals from Felipe Caicedo (fifth minute) and a brace from Sergei Milinkovic-Savic (65th, 89th minutes) sealed the win for Lazio.
In Sweden, Nigerian striker Alhaji Gero was on target for Oestersunds in their 2-2 draw with Spanish visitors Athletic Bilbao. Gero scored in the 52nd minute to draw the hosts level after they went behind. Oestersunds then took the lead only for Athletic to grab a late equaliser through Inaki Williams.
In other results, Bate Borisov pipped visiting FC Cologne 1-0, Marseille edged Vitoria De Guimaraes 2-1 in France, Oestersunds were held to a 2-2 home draw by Athletic Bilbao, Zorya beat Hertha Berlin 2-1, Zulte-Waregem and Vitesse played 1-1 in Belgium, Real Sociedad recorded a 6-0 away win against FK Vardar Skopje, while Zenit defeated Rosenborg 3-1. Other Europa results still to come.
In the early kick-off FC Astana thrashed Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0.
Europa League Group stage results:
Hapoel Beer Sheva 1 vs 2 FC FCSB
Lugano 3 vs 2 Viktoria Plzen
Bate Borisov 1 vs 0 FC Cologne
Red Star Belgrade 0 vs 1 Arsenal
Konyaspor 0 vs 2 Salzburg
Marseille 2 vs 1 Vitoria De Guimaraes
Oestersunds 2 vs 2 Athletic Bilbao
Zorya 2 vs 1 Hertha Berlin
Nice 1 vs 3 Lazio
Zulte-Waregem 1 vs 1 Vitesse
Skopje 0 vs 6 Real Sociedad
St Petersburg 3 vs 1 Rosenborg
Astana 4-0 Maccabi Tel Aviv