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Swansea, Wigan both held at home

ESPN staff
October 24, 2013 « Evra escapes punishment for 'parasites' outburst | Chartbeat test »
Michu steals in to open the scoring for Swansea © Getty Images
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Swansea City were dealt a blow in their Europa League aspirations as Djibril Cisse's stoppage-time penalty saw Kuban Krasnodar deny them victory at the Liberty Stadium.

Michu looked to have put the home side on course for a third straight Group A win when he grabbed his sixth goal of the season, and fourth of this European campaign, by sliding the ball beyond Aleksandr Belenov in the 68th minute.

But the visitors snatched a 1-1 draw and a valuable point when Swans keeper Gerhard Tremmel brought down substitute Ibrahima Balde, and former Liverpool forward Cisse calmly scored from the spot.

The result means Swansea remain top of Group A and move on to seven points, but this was a distinctly unimpressive display from the Welsh club against a limited opponent with just one win from their previous nine games.

Valencia's romp to a comprehensive victory over St Gallen in tonight's other group fixture moves the Spanish team onto six points, and Swansea have plenty of work to do to reach the last 32.

Elsewhere, midfielder Nick Powell scored for the second successive European outing as Wigan Athletic maintained their unbeaten record in the competition.

The teenager fired home just before half-time to cancel out Aleksandr Prudinikov's opener in a 1-1 draw at home to Rubin Kazan.

That goal kept Latics in second place in Group D, two points behind last season's quarter-finalists but more importantly two ahead of Maribor, who registered their first win against Belgium's Zulte Waregem.

Powell is on a season-long loan from Manchester United and watching Red Devils first-team coach Phil Neville will have taken plenty of useful information back to Old Trafford with him.

The 19-year-old, who has made just six appearances for United since his £4 million move from Crewe Alexandra in June 2012, scored his third goal of the competition in a display full of positivity.

Earlier in the evening, Tottenham Hotspur won 2-0 at Sherriff Tiraspol with Jermain Defoe entering Spurs' European history books.

Villas-Boas' side stand top of Group K with nine points from nine, leaving them five points clear of second-placed Anzhi Makhachkala, who claimed their first win in this season's Europa League as they beat Tromso 1-0. The Russian side were in need of victory after claiming just one point from their opening two games and they secured it thanks to a first-half goal from Nikita Burmistrov. Morten Moldskred enjoyed Tromso's best chances in the second half but they never really threatened and sit bottom of the group

Lyon claimed their first win in Group I thanks to Clement Grenier's second-half score as they defeated Rijeka 1-0 at the Stade de Gerland. Grenier's 66th-minute header ended Lyon's two-game winless streak in European competition to keep them firmly in the hunt for qualification.

Elsewhere in the group, a goal from Alvaro Vadillo earned Real Betis their first victory in this season's group stage, 1-0 at the expense of Guimaraes. The Primera Division club had dropped points from draws with Lyon and Rijeka but, although their performance in the 1-0 win was far from convincing, they held firm against a Guimaraes side who had been looking to stay top of the group.

Lazio were held to a goalless draw by Apollon Limassol in Thursday's Group J match in Nicosia. The result in Cyprus will be of little comfort for Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic, whose side went into the game looking to end a four-match winless run in all competitions. The Italians were the better side but wasted a hatful of chances and had to settle for a point.

The result has left Lazio second in the pool, two points adrift of group leaders Trabzonspor, who won 2-0 over bottom-side Legia Warsaw. An early goal from Marc Janko set the Turkish side on course to reach a healthy tally of seven points and Olcan Adin's free-kick defused a late Legia fightback to confirm the win.

Dynamo Kiev finally recorded their first win in Group G with a 3-0 success against Swiss side Thun. The Ukrainians were the top seeds in the draw but were in fourth place going into Thursday's game after taking just one point from matches against Genk and Rapid Vienna. But Andriy Yarmolenko's stunning first-half strike set them on their way and Dieumerci Mbokani and Oleg Gusev made the game safe in the second period.

Genk dropped their first points in Europa League Group G as Rapid Vienna came from behind to draw 1-1 in Belgium. Julien Gorius put Genk ahead in the 20th minute and the home side seemed to be on track to claim their third consecutive win in the tournament before Marcel Sabitzer's late goal saw the points shared.

Machin Vitolo's late equaliser ensured Sevilla remained top of Group H as they earned a 1-1 draw at Slovan Liberec. Until substitute Vitolo's 88th-minute contribution, the Czech side were heading to pole position themselves thanks to Michael Rabusic's first-half opener. They protected it well and rarely looked like conceding after it, but when goalkeeper Premysl Kovar was sent off it changed the game and gave Sevilla a route back in.

Freiburg and Estoril remain winless in Group H after Seba's second-half strike earned the visitors a point in Germany. Vladimir Darida had fired Freiburg ahead after 11 minutes but Seba levelled soon after the interval, and the teams cancelled each other out thereafter to finish tied at 1-1.

PAOK Salonika came from two goals down to claim a 3-2 win over Maccabi Haifa to move clear at the top of Europa League Group L. Goals from Dino Ndlovu and Eyal Golasa put Haifa in the driving seat but a frenetic period at the end of the first half saw the home side level through Miguel Vitor and Sotiris Ninis, while Miroslav Stoch also had two penalties saved by visiting goalkeeper Bojan Saranov. Dimitris Salpingidis then completed the turnaround as PAOK maintained their unbeaten record and left Haifa still searching for a first win.

Also in Group L, Shakhter Karagandy were unable to hold onto their early lead as they took a point from their meeting with AZ Alkmaar. Andrey Finonchenko opened the scoring for Shakhter in the 11th minute before Aron Johannsson levelled for the Dutch side before the half-hour mark. The 1-1 draw meant group leaders AZ dropped points while Shakhter, who started the game bottom of the standings, missed a good chance to boost their chances of progressing to the knockout stages.

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