VIDEO: Everton advance in Europa League; Celtic beat Hapoel but it’s the Israelis who progress; Former European champions Ajax, Benfica & Hamburg all qualify

AEK Athens 0 – Everton 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Everton got off to the perfect start in Athens when a long put upfield was carried further with a flick on to Jo, before the striker played in Diniyar Bilyaletdinov who fired the ball high into the near post.

Celtic 2 – Hapoel Tel Aviv 0 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) A close-range header from Georgios Samaras from Aiden McGeady’s cross gave Celtic the lead against Hapoel Tel-Aviv. Barry Robson’s second half free-kick sealed the win for the Bhoys.

Valencia 3 – Lille 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Valencia breached the Lille backline after three minutes with Joaquin tapping the ball over the line after Los Che had broken down the left hand side. Joaquin bagged his second just after the half hour, collecting a long ball through the middle and rifling off a low left-footed strike. A fine solo goal fro Juan Mata in the 52nd minute, the forward taking on two defenders and then beating the keeper, wrapped up the points for Valencia against their Ligue 1 opponents. Aurelien Chedjou netted a late consolation for Lille.

FC Timisoara 1 – Ajax 2 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Timisoara moved in front of Ajax inside 120 seconds when Dorin Goga slotted home after 12-yards but the Amsterdammers soon levelled through serial-goalscorer Luis Suarez. Marco Pantelic continued his fine goalscoring form netting Ajax’s second a minute into the second half before the hosts had both Bonfim and Pantilimon sent off in two separate offences leading to penalties, which Luis Suarez amazingly twice (first & second) missed.

Hamburg 2 – Rapid Vienna 0 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Second half goals from Hamburg’s Marcell Jansen and Marcus Berg put the Bundesliga outfit 2-up against their Austrian neighbours, Rapid Vienna.

Anderlecht 0 – Dinamo Zagreb 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Miroslav Slepicka’s header from a brilliant outside-of-the-boot cross from the Zagreb right wing put the Croatians in a 57th minute lead at Anderlecht.

Levski Sofia 0 – Villarreal 2 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Villarreal broke the deadlock at Levski Sofia with a training ground routine from a set play on the edge of the box, the ball finding Giuseppe Rossi pealed off down the line with the striker controlling and firing into the far post. The Spaniards wrapped up the victory seven minutes from time when Marcos Senna sidefooted in the second from 15-yards.

BATE Borisov 1 – Benfica 2 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Benfica’s Javier Saviola fired the Portuguese ahead at BATE Borisov minutes into the second half after connecting with Angel di Maria’s cutback. A wonderful left-footed strike from Fabio Coentrao doubled Benfica’s lead just after the hour, while David Luiz brought the hosts back into the game heading a corner into his own net in comical fashion.

RB Salzburg 2 – Lazio 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Salzburg’s Rabiu Afolabi met a left-sided free-kick to head the Austrians into the lead against Lazio. The lead didn’t last long as Mauro Zarate picked up the ball for the Romans, drove into the box before seeing his parried shot turned over the line by Pasquale Foggia. But Salzburg retook the lead for a second and decisive time 12 minutes from time as Somen Tchoyi scored a fine solo goal to claim the points.

FC Twente 0 – Fenerbahce 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Fener defender Diego Lugano headed the Turks into the lead at Steve McClaren’s FC Twente 20 minutes from time.

FC Sheriff 1 – Steaua Bucharest 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) All the action arrived in the final ten minutes. A howler from the Steaua keeper allowed Amath Diedhiou’s tame shot to trickle under his body, but the Romanians soon equalised as an equally poor come-and-miss effort from the home goalie allowed Juan Toja to tuck in the leveller.

Slavia Prague 0 – Genoa 0 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) The Czechs appeared to be hard-done-by midway through the first half when Stanislav Vlcek was flagged offside as he slotted the ball into the net.