Europe’s second club competition, the Europa League is well and truly off the mark, with goals scored in many centers across the continent.
Italian giants, AC Milan, Zenit St. Peterborough and French side, OGC Nice lead the pack, following their impressive away wins.
For Premier League representatives Arsenal and Everton, while the Gunners survived an early scare from Cologne, the Toffees were tore apart in Italy.
Austria Wien 1-5 AC Milan
It’s been three years since Milan last played in Europe, but what a way to mark your comeback.
Three goals in the space of twenty minutes helped the Rossoneri demolition their hosts, Wien, 5-1 in Austria to start their campaign with a win.
Hakan Calhanoglu put Milan ahead in the 7th minute, before setting up two goals for Ander Silva, who went on to score a hat-trick.
Suso completed the rout, while Borkovic scored the consolation for Wien early in the second half.
In Belgium, Ligue 1 side, OGC Nice’s newly found form continued as they went to Belgium, saw and conquered their hosts, Zulte Waregem 5-0.
After putting four goals past French champions Monaco at the weekend, Nice recorded another high scoring result, thanks to goals from Alassane Plea, who scored brace, and one goal apiece from Dante, Saint-Maximin and Italy international, Mario Balotelli.
Leya Iseka’s goal early in the second half for Zulte was the home side’s only consolation.
It was a comfortable and convincing win at the end for the French side, whose first win in four UEFA away games earned them a winning start to the Europa League.
Arsenal 3-1 Cologne
Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side survived a scare from Koln to get off Europa League campaign off to a winning start at the Emirates stadium.
Arsenal’s first adventure in the Europe’s second tier club competition got off to the worst possible start as a stunning Cordoba effort put the visitors 1-0 up in a very poor first half display by Wenger’s men.
But it was a much better Arsenal side in the second half, and it didn’t take long for substitute, Kolasinac to get them back on level terms as he scored a very lovely volley, before Alexis Sanchez put them 2-1 up with another excellent effort.
Bellerin completed the comeback win, reacting quickest to a rebound to slot home, after the Koln goalkeeper had initially saved a Theo Walcott effort.
Atlanta 3-0 Everton
For the other Premier League representative, Everton, their trip to Italy ended in an embarrassing collapse, following a 3-0 thrashing by Atlanta.
Three goals in the space of eighteen minutes from Masiello, Gomez and Constante handed the hosts all three points as their return to Europe after a 26-year absence was marked in spectacular fashion.