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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Europa League: Defoe equals record

Jermain Defoe equalled Martin Chivers' club record of 22 European goals for Tottenham as Andre Villas-Boas' side secured  three points against Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol.

Jermain Defoe celebrates scoring Tottenham's second of the night.

The 31-year-old, now in his second spell with the north Londoners, rifled home his sixth of this year's Europa League to help Spurs secure a 2-0 victory.

Not only did it leave the Spurs on the cusp of the knockout stages, but the strike saw Defoe equal Chivers' long-standing European scoring record.

Villas-Boas’ side stand top of Group K with nine points from nine, leaving them five points clear of second-placed Anzhi Makhachkala, who claimed their first win in this season's Europa League as they beat Tromso 1-0.

The Russian side were in need of victory after claiming just one point from their opening two games and they secured it thanks to a first-half goal from Nikita Burmistrov.

Morten Moldskred enjoyed Tromso's best chances in the second half but they never really threatened and sit bottom of the group

Lyon claimed their first win in Group I thanks to Clement Grenier's second-half score as they defeated Rijeka 1-0 at the Stade de Gerland.

Grenier's 66th-minute header ended Lyon's two-game winless streak in European competition to keep them firmly in the hunt for qualification. 

Elsewhere in the group, a goal from Alvaro Vadillo earned Real Betis their first victory in this season’s group stage, 1-0 at the expense of Guimaraes.

The Primera Division club had dropped points from draws with Lyon and Rijeka but, although their performance in the 1-0 win was far from convincing, they held firm against a Guimaraes side who had been looking to stay top of the group.

Swansea's Europa League aspirations suffered a dent as Djibril Cisse's stoppage-time penalty saw Kuban Krasnodar deny them victory with a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

Michu looked to have put the home side on course for a third straight Group A win when he grabbed his sixth goal of the season, and fourth of this European campaign, by sliding the ball beyond Aleksandr Belenov in the 68th minute.

But the visitors snatched a 1-1 draw and a valuable point when Swans keeper Gerhard Tremmel brought down substitute Ibrahima Balde, and former Liverpool forward Cisse calmly scored from the spot.

That result allowed Valencia to close the gap in second place, following a crushing 5-1 home win against St Gallen  The Swiss side were humiliated at the Mestalla, barely getting out of their own half, especially as Valencia dominated the whole of the opening 45 minutes.

Fede Cartabia scored his first goals for Los Che as he bagged a brace, while Paco Alcacer and Ricardo Costa were also on target before the break.

Only brilliant St Gallen keeper Daniel Lopar kept the score down, with Sergio Canales beating him for a fifth time in the second half before St Gallen somehow scored through Stephane Nater.

Lazio were held to a goalless draw by Apollon Limassol in Thursday's Group J match in Nicosia. The result in Cyprus will be of little comfort for Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic, whose side went into the game looking to end a four-match winless run in all competitions.

The Italians were the better side but wasted a hatful of chances and had to settle for a point. The result has left Lazio second in the pool, two points adrift of group leaders Trabzonspor, who won 2-0 over bottom-side Legia Warsaw.

Nick Powell celebrates his equaliser with his Wigan teammates.
Nick Powell, on loan from Man Utd, scored in his second Europa League match in a row for Wigan.

On-loan midfielder Nick Powell scored for the second successive Europa League match to maintain Wigan's unbeaten record in the competition. The teenager fired home just before half-time to cancel out Aleksandr Prudinikov's opener in a 1-1 draw at home to Rubin Kazan.

That goal kept Latics in second place in Group D, two points behind last season's quarterfinalists but more importantly two ahead of Maribor, who registered their first win, 3-1 against Belgium's Zulte Waregem.

Fiorentina moved three points clear at the top of Group E with a comfortable  3-0 win over Pandurii in Florence. Joaquin put the Italians ahead in the 26th minute before Matos Santos Ryder doubled his team's lead before the break.

Substitute Juan Guillermo Cuadrado capped a wonderful evening for the hosts with a third goal in the 69th minute. The result at the Artemio Franchi stadium was Fiorentina's third straight success in the competition and lifted them three points clear of Dnipro, who won 2-0 at Pacos Ferreira in the other pool game.

An early goal from Marc Janko set the Turkish side on course to reach a healthy tally of seven points and Olcan Adin's free-kick defused a late Legia fightback to confirm the win.

Dynamo Kiev finally recorded their first win in Group G with a 3-0 success against Swiss side Thun. The Ukrainians were the top seeds in the draw but were in fourth place going into Thursday's game after taking just one point from matches against Genk and Rapid Vienna.

But Andriy Yarmolenko's stunning first-half strike set them on their way and Dieumerci Mbokani and Oleg Gusev made the game safe in the second period.

Genk dropped their first points in Europa League Group G as Rapid Vienna came from behind to draw 1-1 in Belgium.

Julien Gorius put Genk ahead in the 20th minute and the home side seemed to be on track to claim their third consecutive win in the tournament before Marcel Sabitzer's late goal saw the points shared.

Vitolo scores a late equaliser for Sevilla against Liberec.
Machin Vitolo struck a vital leveller for Sevilla.

Machin Vitolo's late equaliser ensured Sevilla remained top of Group H as they earned a 1-1 draw at Slovan Liberec.

Until substitute Vitolo's 88th-minute contribution, the Czech side were heading to pole position themselves thanks to Michael Rabusic's first-half opener.

They protected it well and rarely looked like conceding after it, but when goalkeeper Premysl Kovar was sent off it changed the game and gave Sevilla a route back in.

Freiburg and Estoril remain winless in Group H after Seba's second-half strike earned the visitors a point in Germany.

Vladimir Darida had fired Freiburg ahead after 11 minutes but Seba levelled soon after the interval, and the teams cancelled each other out thereafter to finish tied at 1-1.

PAOK Salonika came from two goals down to claim a 3-2 win over Maccabi Haifa to move clear at the top of Europa League Group L.

Goals from Dino Ndlovu and Eyal Golasa put Haifa in the driving seat but a frenetic period at the end of the first half saw the home side level through Miguel Vitor and Sotiris Ninis, while Miroslav Stoch also had two penalties saved by visiting goalkeeper Bojan Saranov.

Dimitris Salpingidis then completed the turnaround as PAOK maintained their unbeaten record and left Haifa still searching for a first win.

Also in Group L, Shakhter Karagandy were unable to hold onto their early lead as they took a point from their meeting with AZ Alkmaar. Andrey Finonchenko opened the scoring for Shakhter in the 11th minute before Aron Johannsson levelled for the Dutch side before the half-hour mark.

The 1-1 draw meant group leaders AZ dropped points while Shakhter, who started the game bottom of the standings, missed a good chance to boost their chances of progressing to the knockout stages.

Eintracht Frankfurt maintained their 100 percent record at the top of Group F with a routine 2-0 victory over 10-man Maccabi Tel Aviv., while over in France, Carlos Henrique earned Bordeaux a late 2-1 win over Apoel Nicosia which lifted the French club off the foot of the group.

Ludovic Sane's opener was cancelled out by Esmael Goncalves but, with the fixture heading towards a stalemate, the Brazilian popped up to slam home the decider and secure a first victory for Les Girondins.

PSV Eindhoven dug in to earn a 0-0 draw at Dinamo Zagreb that puts them a point clear in second in Group B. They do sit five points behind runaway leaders Ludogorets -- who beat Chornomorets 1-0 in Ukraine -- but they will just be pleased to return to the Netherlands with a draw after a tough night.

Danish side Esbjerg took a big step towards the last 32 with a 2-1 Group C victory over Elfsborg in Sweden, while Jonathan Soriano continued his fine Europa League form as Red Bull Salzburg saw off Standard Liege 2-1 to make it three wins out of three in Group C.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.


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