Paris - Everton
took a 2-0 lead in a Europa League qualifying playoff first leg clash
on Thursday against Hajduk Split in Liverpool in a game stopped
temporarily due to crowd trouble.
Hajduk fans surged towards the Goodison Park pitch and threw objects
with play stopped shortly after Michael Keane's 30th-minute header had
put the hosts in front.
After police brought the situation under control players returned to
the pitch and Everton doubled their lead in the 45th minute thanks to
Idrissa Gueye's strike off a Wayne Rooney cross.
"I was really happy with the first half and unhappy about the second.
We lost a big opportunity to score more goals," said Everton coach
Keane said he was delighted to score his first goal for Everton since his move from Burnley in the summer.
“I’m delighted - first and foremost, to get a clean sheet,” the England defender told www.evertonfc.com.
“That’s what we aim for, especially in European games at home. It’s massive and makes it a lot easier when they don’t score.
“It was the same case as in the last tie, when we took a 1-0 win over
there. We managed to go one better today. I thought we played well in
the first half, we weren’t really ourselves in the second half but at
least we got the clean sheet.”
In Milan, defender Leonardo Bonucci captained AC Milan to a 6-0 win
on his competitive debut for the Italian side against modest Macedonians
Shkendija two months after playing for Juventus in the Champions League
The Chinese-owned club were too strong for the Macedonians with a
double from new signing André Silva in the first half and Riccardo
Montolivo after 25 and 85 minutes.
Fabio Borini and Luca Antonelli added two more midway through the
second half to set the Italians on the road to the group stages with the
second leg away on August 24.
Vincenzo Montella's side have never won the second-tier European competition which they last competed in the 2008-2009 season.
Meanwhile, last year's finalists Ajax Amsterdam lost 1-0 at home
against Rosenborg with substitute Samuel Adegbenro scoring the winner
for the Norwegians after 77 minutes in the Netherlands.
Marseille drew 1-1 at Domzale in Slovenia after Morgan Sanson
equalised for the French after 63 minutes after Amedej Vetrih put the
hosts ahead after 12 minutes.
Elsewhere, Turkish giants Fenerbahçe, with Nabil Dirar and Mathieu
Valbuena playing, fell to a shock 2-0 loss to Vardar in Macedonia.
Athletic Bilbao came from behind to beat Panathinaikos 3-2 in Greece
thanks to a late Aritz Aduriz double on 68 and 73 minutes as Red Star
Belgrade fell 3-2 at Krasnodar in Russia.
Europa League playoff round, first-leg results on Thursday:
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 1 Skenderbeu (ALB) 1
BATE (BLR) 1 Olexandriya (UKR) 1
Apollon Limassol (CYP) 3 Midtjylland (DEN) 2
Krasnodar (RUS) 3 Red Star Belgrade (SRB) 2
FH (ISL) 1 Braga (POR) 2
PAOK (GRE) 3 Ostersund (SWE) 1
Vardar (MKD) 2 Fenerbahce (TUR) 0
Viktoria Plzen (CZE) 3 AEK Larnaca (CYP) 1
Panathinaikos (GRE) 2 Athletic Bilbao (ESP) 3
Altach (AUT) 0 Maccabi Tel Aviv (ISR) 1
Ludogorets (BUL) 2 Suduva (LTU) 0
Domzale (SLO) 1 Marseille (FRA) 1
Viitorul (ROM) 1 Salzburg (AUT) 3
AC Milan (ITA) 6 Shkendija (MKD) 0
Osijek (CRO) 1 Austria Vienna (AUT) 2
Ajax (NED) 0 Rosenborg (NOR) 1
Club Brugge (BEL) 0 AEK Athens (GRE) 0
Legia Warsaw (POL) 1 Sheriff (MDA) 1
Partizan Belgrade (SRB) 0 Videoton (HUN) 0
Everton (ENG) 2 Hajduk Split (CRO) 0
Maritimo (POR) 0 Dynamo Kiev (UKR) 0
Played on Wednesday:
Utrecht (NED) 1 Zenit (RUS) 0