Arsenal led a list of nine clubs who grabbed a second win in as many games in the Europa League group phase as France striker Olivier Giroud scored his 100th goal for the club in a 4-2 win at BATE Borisov on Thursday.
AC Milan, Braga, Dynamo Kiev, Lazio, Nice, Ostersund, Steaua Bucharest and Zenit St Petersburg also won again to add to their success from the opening matchday on Sept. 14.
Former Portugal international Manuel Fernandes scored a hat-trick in the first 17 minutes as Lokomotiv Moscow beat Czech club Zlin 3-0 in Group F.
He opened with a second minute penalty, scored again after six minutes and missed a sitter in the 13th before getting his third.
Giroud’s milestone was achieved from the penalty spot soon after halftime as Arsenal’s experimental side had little problem in Belarus with Theo Walcott chiming in with two against BATE.
Everton conceded a late equaliser to a header by defender Hector Yuste from a free kick as they suffered an embarrassing 2-2 home draw with Cypriot club Apollon Limassol a fortnight after a 3-0 thumping at Atalanta in their opening Group E game.
Atalanta forced a 1-1 draw at Olympique Lyonnais.
The referee had to stop play after an hour of Milan’s match against HNK Rijeka as fireworks rained down from the high stands at San Siro and there was more drama when the Italian giants won 3-2 with almost the last kick of the Group D clash.
Milan were cruising after goals from Andre Silva and Mateo Musacchio but they allowed the Croats to pull level with two late goals before snatching victory with a stoppage time winner from Patrick Cutrone.
A first half penalty from Iraqi international Brwa Nouri handed Ostersund a gutsy 1-0 home win over Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin as they continued a fairytale first campaign in Europe two years after being promoted to the Swedish top flight.
Lazio made heavy work of beating Belgium’s Zulte Waregem 2-0 with Felipe Caicedo netting after 18 minutes but had to wait until Ciro Immobile scored in stoppage time for their second.
They were joined at the top of their section by Nice, who beat Vitesse Arnhem 3-0 after floodlight failure caused a 15-minute delay in the second half.
They were already 2-0 up by then with their second goal on the stroke of halftime from forward Allan Saint-Maximin, who picked off a stray pass in his own half and burst downfield to score. Alassane Plea added his second goal after the delay.
Zenit went three points clear in Group L with a 3-1 home win over Real Sociedad, while European Cup winners Steaua came from a goal behind to win 2-1 at Lugano in Switzerland in Group G.
Dynamo Kiev’s Brazilian forward Junior Moraes came on at halftime to score twice as they came back from 2-0 down at the break to win 3-2 at Partizan Belgrade and top Group B.
Braga head Group C after another Brazilian, Fransergio, snatched their late winner at home to Turkish side Basaksehir.
Upset victories saw Zorya of the Ukraine win 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao while Cologne were beaten by the same scoreline at home to Red Star Belgrade, with Ghana’s Richmond Boakye scoring in the first half. The Serbian club are two points behind Arsenal.
There was more German ignominy as Hoffenheim, second in the Bundesliga, suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat by Ludogorets Razgrad in Bulgaria, giving up a second minute lead to go down after a stunning late winner from Jody Lukoki.
Olympique Marseille also lost with Salzburg’s Munas Dabbur taking advantage of a cut-back to slide the ball home for the hosts, who take over at the top of Group I with four points.