Atlético bounce back as Stuttgart soar

Holders Club Atlético de Madrid got back to winning ways on Matchday 3 on a night when FC Zenit St. Petersburg, FC Porto and domestic strugglers VfB Stuttgart all sustained 100% starts.

UEFA Europa League group stage - Matchday 3 ©Getty Images

Flying high at home, FC Zenit St. Petersburg and FC Porto are also going great guns in the UEFA Europa League, but while they retained a perfect record after Matchday 3, the continued good form of domestic strugglers VfB Stuttgart also caught the eye and Club Atlético de Madrid got back to winning ways.

Stuttgart are bottom of the Bundesliga, but top of Group H with three wins from three after Ciprian Marica's goal proved enough to defeat visitors Getafe CF. It also gave interim coach Jens Keller a successful start on the continental stage and a fresh face at the helm also did the trick for FC Dynamo Kyiv. Oleh Luzhny guided the Ukrainian outfit to a 2-1 triumph at AZ Alkmaar, only the Dutch side's second defeat in 40 European home games.

Porto were impressive victors in the battle for the leadership of Group L, running out 3-1 winners at Beşiktaş JK despite being reduced to ten men before half-time. Another Portuguese side were even more emphatic in sustaining their 100% record. Sporting Clube de Portugal were 5-1 winners against KAA Gent, taking their goal tally to 12 for the group stage – more than any other side.

Holders Atlético and RSC Anderlecht both put faltering starts behind them with 3-0 home wins against Rosenborg BK and AEK Athens FC respectively. Zenit continued their serene progress in Group G as they eased to a 2-0 home victory against HNK Hajduk Split while fellow Russian Premier-Liga side PFC CSKA Moskva also marched on, sauntering to a 3-0 win at US Città di Palermo and on to nine points in their section.

Elsewhere, Manchester City FC took charge of Group A, an Emmanuel Adebayor hat-trick giving Roberto Mancini's side a 3-1 win against KKS Lech Poznań and sending them three points clear at the summit. Juventus had to come from behind at FC Salzburg to rescue a point in the same pool while fellow Italian side UC Sampdoria lost 2-1 at FC Metalist Kharkiv, the side who eliminated them from the UEFA Cup two years ago.