Inter stunned by Beer-Sheva, United beaten by Feyenoord
Three times European Champions Inter Milan were stunned 2-0 at home by Israeli side Hapoel Beer-Sheva
Three times European Champions Inter Milan were stunned 2-0 at home by Israeli side Hapoel Beer-Sheva and Manchester United were floored by a late goal from Feyenoord as the Europa League group stage got underway on Thursday.
The Israeli champions scored twice through Miguel Vitor and Maor Buzaglo in the second half to silence a sparsely populated San Siro and inflict a painful defeat on Inter manager Frank de Boer in his first European game at the club.
Competition favorites United’s trip to Rotterdam turned sour when Feyenoord’s Tonny Trindade applied a slide-rule finish late in the second half to secure a 1-0 win in Group A following a poor display from Jose Mourinho’s star-studded side.
Zenit St Petersburg pulled off one of the most impressive fightbacks in European competition history when they came back from 3-0 down against Maccabi Tel Aviv to win 4-3 with all the Russian side’s goals coming from the 77th minute onwards.
AS Roma were held to a 1-1 draw at Viktoria Plzen, while fellow Italians Sassuolo, who are making their European debut, enjoyed a superb 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.
Beer-Sheva, playing in the Europa League after falling into Europe’s second-tier competition following a Champions League playoff defeat by Celtic last month, largely dominated a sluggish Inter side.
Inter are continental royalty and boss De Boer has European pedigree, as a player at least, having won the UEFA Cup and Champions League with Ajax Amsterdam in the 1990s, but his team were picked apart and fell behind nine minutes after the break.
Portuguese defender Vitor tapped in the opener from a cross by Lucio Maranhao and Buzaglo curled home a free kick after 69 minutes to wrap up the win, leaving their players celebrating a remarkable result with a small group of ecstatic fans.
For Manchester United it was a second defeat in six days after they lost to rivals Manchester City in the Premier League, and it ended Mourinho’s honeymoon period after he began the season with four straight wins including the Community Shield.
United, playing in the Europa League group stage for the first time, never really looked like scoring even after striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was introduced in the second half and they were picked off on the counter in the 79th minute.
Nicolai Jorgensen looked offside when he burst clear on the right flank but he crossed low for Trindade to slide the ball past David De Gea with a precise sidefooted finish.
Thursday’s action featured the quickest goal in the competition’s history when Slovan Liberec’s Jan Sykora scored after 10.69 seconds in a 2-2 draw with Qarabag but late goals were the order of the day as Zenit fought back in Israel.