After the mediocre Bundesliga start, Bayer Leverkusen started the Europa League with a win. The Bundesliga team won their first group game at home 6-2 (2-1) against OGC Nice. Thanks to the success over the supposedly strongest opponent in Group C, the Werkself immediately put themselves in a good starting position for the clear goal knockout round.
Nadiem Amiri and Lucas Alario gave a quick 2-0 lead with their goals in the eleventh and 16th minutes. The guests with the former Bundesliga professional Dante shortened in the first half by Amine Gouiri. Moussa Diaby in the 61st minute, Karim Bellarabi with a brace in the 79th and 83rd minute and the substitute youngster Florian Wirtz (87th) made the decision in favor of Leverkusen. Alexis Claude-Maurice only managed to improve the result for Nice in the final minute. Other opponents in Group C are Slavia Prague and Hapoel Beer’Sheva from Israel.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim also made a successful start in the Europa League: with a 2-0 (0-0) win against Red Star Belgrade. In the game without spectators in Sinsheim, the Austrian Christoph Baumgartner took the lead after 64 minutes on Thursday. Guest coach Dejan Stanković was too upset about a missing whistle from the referee after an action by Kevin Akpoguma before the 1-0 and had to go to the cabin after a yellow-red card. Munas Dabbur made the decision shortly before the end. In the next week, Hoffenheim has to travel to KAA Gent in Belgium. Another opponent in Group L is Slovan Liberec from the Czech Republic.
© SZ / dpa / SID / aner