Europa League matchday two talking points

Liverpool have striking issues, and Celtic are struggling to kill off games, while PAOK's fans remain something to behold; UEFA.com's team digests matchday two.

Divock Origi reacts to a miss against Sion
Divock Origi reacts to a miss against Sion ©AFP/Getty Images

Liverpool short of firepower
The way Divock Origi burst through the Sion defence after four minutes to tee up Adam Lallana's opening goal showed the potential of Liverpool's young Belgian striker on his first Anfield start. Yet the chance he missed when clean through on goal in the second half also underlined what Liverpool were missing last night with Christian Benteke injured and Daniel Sturridge – their best finisher, just back from a lengthy injury absence – watching on.

The Reds had 19 goal attempts, eight on target, as Origi, Lallana and Danny Ings all spurned good opportunities – and Sion goalkeeper Andris Vaņins stood firm with some key saves.
Simon Hart

Fernandão makes the difference
More of a forced substitution proved to be the difference between a point and a defeat for Fenerbahçe. Fernandão was the man who changed the dynamic of their game against Celtic, making an impact with goals either side of half-time having come on for the injured Volkan Şen.

Celtic, meanwhile, need to learn how to consolidate a lead. They twice led Ajax on matchday one but drew 2-2, while they took a 2-0 lead at home against Malmö in UEFA Champions League play-offs, but ended up only winning 3-2 – before losing the return fixture 2-0. Ronny Deila admitted the Fenerbahçe game was another missed opportunity. "It was important to keep that lead into the break," he said. "But we conceded an easy goal and that gave them energy and put us on the back foot. When you are defending you need to keep concentration for 90 minutes."
Alex O'Henley

PAOK's fans helped to unsettle Dortmund
PAOK's fans helped to unsettle Dortmund©AFP/Getty Images

With a little help from PAOK's friends
What else can be said about PAOK's supporters? The Stadio Toumba is an intimidating place to come at the best of times, but on a big European night like the match against Borussia Dortmund there are few places that can compare.

An impressive display of giant flags covering two of the famous ground's stands, as well as deafening noise that greeted the players was followed by a constant rumble throughout. There can be little doubt it made the home players feel that little bit taller, faster and stronger. It certainly showed, PAOK unfortunate not to end their 34-year wait for victory against German opposition.
Graham Wood

Monaco's bench press
For the second UEFA Europa League match running, Monaco recovered from a goal down to earn a point thanks to their substitutes. Against Tottenham, Nabil Dirar stepped off the bench to supply the cross which fellow replacement Stephan El Shaarawy headed in. Two weeks ago, at Anderlecht, it was El Shaarawy and Lacina Traoré.

Coach Leonardo Jardim appears to have a happy knack in Europe and playmaker Bernardo Silva commented: "The players that come on are there to help the team and happily the substitutions that the coach made tonight worked for us and led to us coring a goal."
David Crossan

Vedran Ćorluka standing tall for Lokomotiv
Vedran Ćorluka standing tall for Lokomotiv©Getty Images

Can Lokomotiv keep rolling on?
Many thought Group H would come down to Beşiktaş and Sporting CP vying for top spot, but after two matchdays it is Lokomotiv Moskva who sit in the lofty perch looking down on their opponents. Their next two fixtures are against Beşiktaş, home and away – it has the making of a knockout tie.

After Beşiktaş v Sporting CP ended 1-1, both coaches agreed it was a game of two halves that could have gone either way. Neither Şenol Güneş nor Jorge Jesus looked too upset with a draw. One of them may not be quite so happy with a point on matchday six if Lokomotiv continue the way they are.
Richard van Poortvliet and Çetin Cem Yılmaz

Where was NiGOALić?
Nemanja Nikolić has been a revelation since arriving in Warsaw from Videoton this summer. Ten goals in ten Ekstraklasa matches have earned him a new nickname: 'NiGOALić'. On Thursday he was named the Polish league's player of the month for the second successive month; so why did he spend most of the evening sat on the bench?

By the time he came on after the hour Legia were chasing the game against Napoli, and they went on to lose 2-0. Henning Berg attempted to explain his tactics, but it is hard to look beyond Legia's underwhelming start to the league and Sunday's meeting with Górnik Zabrze. Who said competing on two fronts is easy?
Piotr Koźmiński

Top