Tottenham Hotspur had two goals disallowed in a 0-0 draw at home to Serie A joint leaders SS Lazio in their opening game of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, while defending champions Atletico Madrid cruised to a 3-0 win at Hapoel Tel Aviv.
US international Clint Dempsey had a goal ruled out for offside halfway through the first period, before Steven Caulker saw his header struck off for a push on Lazio’s Stefano Mauri.
Dempsey disagreed with the referee’s decision, which prevented him from scoring his first goal for Spurs since signing from Fulham on Aug. 31, transfer deadline day.
“I thought I was level with the line,” Dempsey said. “It was a good ball from [Gareth] Bale and as it went in I thought I’d opened my account, but it was waved offside. That’s the way it goes sometimes, they defended well, set up to counterattack and were tough to break down, but we had some chances and were unlucky not to get the goal tonight.”
Alvaro Gonzalez hit the post in the first half for Lazio, who failed to win for the first time this season.
“Playing against this team in London, on their pitch, isn’t so easy,” Lazio coach Vlado Petkovic said. “I think today we showed our capacity for suffering, as well as assuming responsibility at certain moments.”
In Israel, Cristian Rodriguez, Diego Costa and Raul Garcia all scored as Atletico made easy work of Hapoel, despite playing without star striker Radamel Falcao, who was rested for the Group B opener.
Elsewhere, three-time winners Liverpool beat BSC Young Boys 5-3 in a thrilling match in Switzerland, while Inter needed a last-minute equalizer to draw 2-2 at home to Rubin Kazan and French league leaders Olympique de Marseille scraped a similar 2-2 draw at Fenerbahce SK.
Substitute Jonjo Shelvey scored Liverpool’s fourth goal only 10 minutes after coming off the bench, before sealing the result two minutes from time.
Teenager Andre Wisdom scored Liverpool’s second on his debut, after an own-goal by Juhani Ojala had given the English Premier League side an early lead.
Sebastian Coates added Liverpool’s other goal in his first European match.
Raphael Nuzzolo, Ojala and Gonzalo Zarate found the net for Young Boys, who briefly led in the second half.
“We have come away with a young team into a European game and I want to talk about the five goals we scored, which were absolutely magnificent,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. “Of course we could have defended better and there is no question the three goals we gave away were disappointing.”
Inter, another club seeking a fourth title, needed a stoppage-time goal as they twice came from behind against Rubin.
The Russian side took a shock lead when Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic saved Bibras Natkho’s spot-kick, only for the rebound to fall to Aleksandr Ryazantsev, who lashed it home.
Teenager Marko Livaja leveled with his first goal for Inter, but Salomon Rondon looked to have given Rubin a historic win at the San Siro before Yuto Nagatomo’s equalizer.
“I’m angry because so many things went well, but unfortunately we didn’t manage to win,” Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni said. “It really annoys me not to have given the joy of a win to the fans. It will seem simplistic, but unfortunately we were punished by two episodes.”
Marseille had to score twice in the final eight minutes to rescue a draw in Turkey.