Liverpool, Man City progress, but Villa fall

Liverpool, Man City progress, but Villa fall

Liverpool came back from a goal down to defeat Turkish side Trabzonspor to make sure of a place in the group stage of football's Europa League on Thursday, dpa reported.

They were joined by Premier League side Manchester City, but Aston Villa crashed out in a 3-2 home to defeat to Rapid Vienna.

Italians Juventus meanwhile overcame Austrians Sturm Graz 1-0 thanks to an Alessandro del Pierro goal in the second half to go through 3-1 on aggregate.

Fellow Serie A side Napoli also advanced with Uruguay striker Edinso Cavani scoring both first-half goals in a 2-0 win at Sweden's Elfsborg for a 3-0 aggregate.

Palermo made it a successful night for Italy by going through 5-3 on aggregate over Maribor despite a 3-2 defeat in Slovenia.

   The German trio of Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart also went through, while Villareal, PSV Eindhoven, Paris St Germain, Sporting Lisbon and Besiktas were among others to celebrate.

   Liverpool found themselves behind to a fifth minute goal from Colombian Teofilo Gutierrez at Trabzonspor to put the sides level on aggregate.

   But Giray Kucar put the ball into his own net from a Glen Johnson cross in the 84th minute and Dirk Kuyt grabbed the winner two minutes from time.

   "I thought we were a bit unlucky with their early goal, but we got over it and played quite well and we should have had the game sewn up long before we did," said Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson.

   "They are a very good team, they don't lose at home and we beat them at home, so it's a very good result."

Manchester City downed Romanians Timisoara 2-0 (3-0 aggregate) with goals from Shaun Wright-Phillip and Dedryck Boyata.

Villa failed to advance after they twice surrendered a lead and saw a penalty by Stiliyan Petrov saved by Raimund Hedl in a 3-2 home defeat by Rapid Vienna, Arde Nuhiu, Mario Sonnleiter and Rene Gartler scoring for a 4-3 aggregate.

"We had enough chances to win the tie and it's just unacceptable," Villa's Petrov said.

"We worked so hard last season to get into Europe and we blew it today. We need to improve all over the park, we're not doing things right. Everyone who takes a penalty needs to score and I missed one."

   Sporting Lisbon overturned a 2-0 home defeat to Brondby by beating the Danish side 3-0 with a dramatic injury-time decider from Yannick Djala following goals from Evaldo and Nuno Coelho.

   Elsewhere, Dutch side PSV Eindhoven cancelled out a 1-0 first leg deficit to Sibir Novosibirsk with a 5-0 rout at home.

   VfB Stuttgart recovered after going 2-0 down at home to Slovan Bratislava to pull level at 2-2 for a 3-2 aggregate win.

   Martin Dobrotka in the ninth minute and Jakub Sylvestr in the 53d had put Slovan in a good position but the game changed after Martin Breznanik was sent off two minutes later for a second yellow card.

   Timo Gebhart pulled a goal back a minute later and Christian Gentner then struck the crucial equalizer with a long-range effort.

   Borussia Dortmund earned a 1-0 win at Qarabag Agdam to seal their place in the group stage on a 5-0 aggregate. Leverkusen meanwhile were 3-1 winners at Ukrainians Tavriya Simferopol for a 6-1 aggregate.

   Spain's Villareal followed up last week's 5-0 thrashing of Dnepr Mogilev with a 2-1 win in Belarus, Marco Rubin scoring a last-minute winner after Nilmar had cancelled out an opener from Vladimir Yurchenko.

PAOK Saloniki edged Fenerbahce in extra-time in a Greek-Turkish duel which ended 1-1 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate for PAOK.

Gent defeated Feyenoord 2-0 in a Belgian-Dutch tie for a 2-1 aggregate, while Porto made sure of their place in the group phase with a 4-2 win (7-2 aggregate) over Belgians Genk.

The draw for the group stage is in Monaco on Friday.

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