Villa suffer shock defeat to Rapid Vienna in Europa league playoffs
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Aston Villa's manager Martin O'Neill has a lot of work to do, as his team lost their playoff first leg against Rapid Vienna Thursday 1-0. Elsewhere, French side Toulouse saw off Turkey’s Trabzonspur with a decisive 3-1 win.
AFP - Aston Villa have work to do in the Europa League after losing their playoff first leg on Thursday away to Austria's Rapid Vienna 1-0.
The Austrians caught Villa cold as Nikica Jelavic netted the only goal in the opening minute to floor the English Premier League side, who began their league campaign last week with a surprising home loss to Wigan.
Another top flight English side, Everton, were later taking on Czech club Sigma Olomouc in their first game of the Europa League, a revamped version of the UEFA Cup.
Slovakian side Kosice meanwhile gave glitzy Italian rivals AS Roma a fright as they shared six goals with the hosts' Jan Novak baging a brace, to add to a four-goal haul last week in a league loss to Spartak Trnava.
Francesco Totti also hit a double for Roma.
Kosice will now hope to pull off a shock in the Italian capital next week in the return leg.
One side almost guaranteed the win over two legs, and a place in the group stages, are Germany's in-form Hamburg, who swamped Guingamp 5-1 in France with Croatian playmaker Mladen Petric scoring a hat-trick.
Jose Paolo Guerrero, who set the ball rolling in the seventh minute, and Marcus Berg were the Germans' other scorers while Guingamp eked out a consolation when visiting keeper Wolfgang Hesl out through his own net.
There looks to be no fairytale for Irish side St Patricks Athletic, on the evidence of their 3-0 loss away to Romania's former European champions Steaua Bucharest.
Further afield, there were 150 arrests at the match between Czech hosts Slavia Prague and visiting Red Star Belgrade.
Spain's former Champions League semi-finalists Villarreal and Switzerland's Basel both scored 3-1 away successes at Holland's NAC Breda and Azeri outfit Baku respectively - Marco Streller took the plaudits for Basel with at two-goal show.
French side Toulouse also emerged with a 3-1 win, in their case at Turkey's Trabzonspor.
Two Israeli sides enjoyed contrasting fortunes as Hapoel Tel Aviv won 2-1 with a last-gasp winner at Czech opponents Teplice but city rivals Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv went down to an Ibrahim Afellay goal as PSV Eindhoven clinched a 1-0 away leg success.
Elsewhere, Dutch side Heerenveen would apear to be in the driving seat after a 1-1 draw away to PAOK Salonika of Greece.
Litex Lovetch of Bulgaria won by the only goal at Belarus rivals BATA Borisov and the Austria versus Ukraine matches between Sturm Graz and Metalist Kharkov and Metalurgs Donetsk and Austria Vienna both ended in scoring draws.
CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria and Dinamo Moscow ended a goalless stalemate in the Bulgarian capital.
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