|C||H. Tel-Aviv||Rapid Bucureşti|
|J||M. Haifa||AEK Larnaca|
Club Atlético de Madrid enjoyed a triumphant start to their UEFA Europa League campaign after goals from summer signings Falcao and Diego secured the 2009/10 winners a 2-0 victory against Celtic FC.
Falcao netted a record 17 goals for FC Porto – including the winner in the Dublin showpiece – in last season's tournament and he was quick off the mark for his new side in their Group I opener, heading in after just three minutes. Loan signing Diego subsequently made the points safe for the hosts with his second-half strike.
Celtic's task of gaining a first win in UEFA competition on Spanish soil – they had failed to do so on their previous 11 visits – was made all the more difficult early on when Falcao leapt to connect with Diego's corner from the right, the ball bouncing in despite Mark Wilson's attempt to clear on the line.
Undeterred by that early setback, Neil Lennon's side almost responded immediately as a one-two between Gary Hooper and Beram Kayal prised open the opposition defence before goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois got down to block out the danger.
Winners of the inaugural UEFA Europa League, the Rojiblancos were seeking the perfect start to this year's competition and new signings Arda Turan and Diego had chances to double their lead as the half progressed. The Turkish international's shot from distance flew just past the upright before the latter had a strike beaten out by Fraser Forster.
Ki Sung-Yong looked to lift his team's spirits immediately after the restart with a drive from distance that brought a flying save from Courtois, who later watched a Charlie Mulgrew free-kick hit the side netting. It was Gregorio Manzano's charges who maintained control, though, and they finished off their opponents in the 69th minute after Arda Turan's cutback into the area was expertly slotted in by Diego.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.