Champions Atletico Madrid Booted Out Of Europa League

Holders Atletico Madrid suffered a humiliating first-stage or group-stage exit from the Europa League after being held 1-1 by Bayer Leverkusen in their final game that were played on Thursday.

Hector Cuper's Aris Salonika went through at Atletico's expense by beating Rosenborg 2-0 to finish second in Group B with 10 points from six games, two ahead of the Spaniards. Leverkusen had already qualified. Atletico followed in the footsteps of Juventus who had already been eliminated and who drew 1-1 at home with Manchester City in their final Group A outing, their sixth draw in as many games.

Lille beat KAA Gent 3-0 to leapfrog the Belgian side and finish second in Group C behind already-qualified Sporting. Anderlecht took second spot in Group G with a 2-0 win over Hajduk Split, helped by a brilliant goal from Argentine forward Matias Suarez. Anderlecht pipped AEK Athens on their head-to-head record after the Greeks, needing only a draw at home, ended up losing 3-0 to already-qualified Zenit St Petersburg.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Sevilla sneaked into the last 32 of the Europa League with a 2-2 draw at home to Borussia Dortmund as the German side failed to translate their devastating domestic form into European success. The Spanish side joined PAOK Salonika and Napoli in securing their berths to the knockout round.

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