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Football: Tottenham held by Lazio in Europa League

By James Masters, for CNN
updated 6:36 PM EDT, Thu September 20, 2012
Tottenham's Aaron Lennon captained Tottenham against Lazio but was unable to find a way past the Italian defence.
Tottenham's Aaron Lennon captained Tottenham against Lazio but was unable to find a way past the Italian defence.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tottenham held 0-0 at White Hart Lane by Lazio
  • Spurs boss Andre Villas--Boas yet to win a home game
  • Liverpool come from behind to win 5-3 at Young Boys
  • Atletico Madrid begin title defense with victory

(CNN) -- Tottenham was made to endure a frustrating night at White Hart Lane after being held to a goalless draw by Lazio.

In front of watching UEFA President Michel Platini, Tottenham had three 'goals' disallowed by Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategen during an enthralling contest.

Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Steven Caulker all saw their efforts chalked off as Lazio escaped with a point following a dogged defensive performance.

The Italians did hit the crossbar in the first-half when Alvaro Gonzalez's spectacular volley crashed against the woodwork.

Spurs piled on the pressure after the break but failed to find a breakthrough.

Liverpool, resting a whole host of big--name players, came from behind to defeat Young Boys 5-3 in a Group A thriller.

Manager Brendan Rodgers gave youth its chance to shine with substitute Jonjo Shelvey scoring twice in the second--half to seal the win.

Liverpool took a fourth minute lead through Juni Ojala's own--goal before Raphael Nuzzolo brought the hosts level.

Andre Wisdom marked his Liverpool debut by heading his side back into the lead five minutes before the break, only for Ojala to atone for his earlier error by leveling the match.

Gonzalo Zarate's sublime 63rd minute finish threatened to leave Rodgers regretting his decision to leave out the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard.

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But Sebastian Coates equalized just three minutes later, before Shelvey came off the bench to score a classy double.

In the group's other game, Antonio Di Natale grabbed a dramatic 92nd minute equalizer as Udinese claimed a 1-1 draw against big--spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.

Daniele Padelli's own--goal had given the Guus Hiddink's men the lea but Di Natale rescued the hosts at the death.

Falcao on fire as Atletico Madrid win Europa League

Atletico Madrid began their defense of the Europa League with a comfortable 3-0 win at Hapoel Tel Aviv in Group B.

Atletico, who defeated Athletic Bilbao in last year's final, eased past the Israeli side with goals coming from Cristian Rodriguez, Diego Costa and Raul Garcia

Viktoria Plzen came from behind to defeat Portuguese side Academica 3-1.

Wilson Eduardo gave the visitors a 19th minute lead, but three second--half goals from Pavel Horvath, Michal Duris and Frantisek Rajtoral wrapped up with win for Plzen.

Olympique Marseille scored twice in the final stages to rescue an unlikely point against Fenerbahce in Group C.

The Turkish hosts appeared to be in line for a comfortable victory thanks to goals from Caner Erkin and Alex.

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But Marseille, who gave a debut to midfielder Joey Barton, halved the deficit through Mathieu Valbuena, before Andre Ayew fired home a 94th minute leveller.

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From Inter Milan to Manchester City: The reigning English Premier League champions have snapped up right-back Maicon for an undisclosed fee to help boost their bid for domestic and European honors in 2013. The Brazilian international has been at the San Siro for the past six seasons and made 235 appearances for the club. From Inter Milan to Manchester City: The reigning English Premier League champions have snapped up right-back Maicon for an undisclosed fee to help boost their bid for domestic and European honors in 2013. The Brazilian international has been at the San Siro for the past six seasons and made 235 appearances for the club.
Maicon -- undisclosed fee
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Waking a sleeping football giant

In the group's other contest, Oscar Wendt missed an injury--time penalty as Borussia Monchengladbach were forced to settle for a goalless draw at AEL Limassol.

Bordeaux claimed its biggest European victory in more than 10 years by defeating Club Brugge 4-0 in Group D.

The French side took the lead through Ludovic Lamine's 13th minute strike with Yoann Goufrran making it 2-0 at the break.

An own--goal by half--time substitute Bjorn Engels and a Jussie effort sealed the win.

Maritimo and Newcastle both hit the woodwork as they played out a goalless draw in Portugal.

Georg Niedermeier rescued a point for Stuttgart in a 2-2 draw against Steaua Bucharest in Group E.

The home side had taken a fifth minute lead through Vedad Ibisevic only for Alex Chipciu and Raul Rusescu to give the visitors the advantage.

But Niedermeier popped up with five minutes remaining to deny the Romanians and ensure matters ended even.

Elsewhere in the group, FC Kobenhavn defeated Molde 2-1 thanks to goals from Claudemir and Andreas Cornelius.

Eduardo Vargas scored a hat--trick as Napoli began its Group F campaign in style with a 4-0 win over Sweden's AIK Solna.

Vargas' treble and a strike from Blerim D┼żemaili sealed the points for Napoli, who also had midfielder Marek Hamsik sent off.

Dnipro claimed an impressive 2-0 win over Dutch side PSV Eindhoven courtesy of a Matheus Nascimento strike and an own--goal from Atiba Hutchinson.

In Group G, Genk cruised to a 3-0 victory over Videoton, while Sporting Lisbon was held to a 0-0 draw by Basel.

Yuto Nagamoto grabbed a late equalizer as Inter Milan recorded a 2-2 draw in their Group H opener against Rubin Kazan, while Partizan and Neftci ended goalless.

In Group I, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona produced one of the most impressive results in its history after holding Athletic Bilbao to a 1-1 draw at San Mames.

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Lyon eased past Sparta Prague 2-1 with Bafetimbi Gomes and Lisandro Lopez on target for the French side.

Bayer Leverkusen endured a frustrating night in Group K after being held to a 0-0 draw at home by Metalist Kharkiv, while Rosenborg went top with a 2-1 win at Rapid Wien.

Levante lead Group L following a 1-0 home win over Helsingborgs, while Dutch side Twente were held 2-2 by Hannover.

In Tottenham's group, Maribor defeated Panathinaikos 3-0 with Robert Beric, Agim Ibraimi and Marco Tavares on target.

Racism remains "significant" problem in English football

Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has closed his Twitter account after receiving racist abuse online.

Chelsea issued a statement condemning those responsible and have informed the police following the matter.

The statement read: "We've been made aware of racist tweets targeted at Mikel which are totally unacceptable, disgusting and abhorrent.

"We've informed the police and support taking the strongest possible action."

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