The La Liga trio of Real Betis, Real Sociedad and Villarreal have enjoyed contrasting victories to get their perfect start in the Europa League and in the Europa Conference League when they were played on September 8.
In the lone Conference match, Villarreal nearly blew their two-goal cushion but needed a late strike to repulse Polish champions Lech Poznan by the odd goal in seven.
Still playing their home games at Levante’s ground due to remodeling at their La Ceramica stadium, the Yellow Submarine recovered from a second-minute opener of Michal Skoras to take a 3-1 lead at the half.
An eight minute spree saw Samuel Chukwueze leveled the match in the 32nd minute, followed by a four-minute brace by Alex Baena give Unai Emery’s men a breathing room. However, a second-half brace by Mikael Ishak saw the Group C tie leveled just past the hour mark.
But Villarreal took all three points in the penultimate minute, thanks to Alexis Coquelin who blasted a shot from outside the box.
Both Betis and Sociedad were on target as they register a pair of away wins to get them going in the Europa League.
Willian Jose put up a brace to lift the Copa del Rey holders into a straightforward 2-0 win at Finland’s HJK in their Group C opener, spoiling a massive performance by its goalkeeper Conor Hazard.
The Brazilian forward took the Verdiblancos ahead with a cooly-taken spot kick in the first-half stoppage time, sending the Northern Irishman the opposite way after William Carvalho was fouled by Nassim Boujellab.
In the 64th minute, Jose then doubled their lead after he plucked home a loose ball from a six-yard scramble and fired it into the empty net.
At the headline tie, La Real escaped Old Trafford with a 1-0 win over a star-studded Manchester United side to join Moldovan outfit Sheriff Tiraspol as Group E winners on the opening day.
It was the first win by the San Sebastian club over the three-time European Champions in five attempts, with the Red Devils won two of their previous four matchups
Brais Mendez took care of the business from the penalty spot in the 59th minute, which was aided by Lisandro Martinez’s handball which was confirmed by the VAR.
United came close with Cristiano Ronaldo and new signing Casemiro, but Erik Ten Hag’s men saw their four-game winning run snapped.