Wisla profit as PSG, Fulham exit
Paris Saint-Germain were eliminated from the UEFA Europa League today, despite a 4-2 win over already-qualified Athletic Bilbao at the Parc des Princes.
It was Bilbao's first loss of the tournament, but the win was not enough for PSG as Salzburg won 3-2 at Slovan Bratislava to see the Austrians take second place in Group F. Now, there is no chance for the Parisians to get an attractive knockout round date with UEFA Champions League dropouts Manchester United when Friday's draw is made at Nyon.
PSG coach Antoine Kombouare was candid afterwards about his men's shortcomings. "It's a big disappointment, we really should have got through this group. But we weren't able to do what we had to - now we have to get over it and do better in the league and French Cup."
PSG sporting director Leonardo denied that the axe would fall on the man in the dugout and told reporters: "That was one of our season targets. So we are disappointed. It cannot be good for us to be eliminated - we wanted to go right through to the end."
Fulham fall out
Also on the European scrapheap are English Premier League side Fulham, runners-up in 2010, but who squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home with Denmark's Odense.
The Danes bagged their leveller in the third minute of added time at Craven Cottage through substitute Djiby Fall's header after Hans Henrik Andreasen had reduced the deficit following goals from Clint Dempsey and Kerim Frei.
The result put Poland's Wisla Krakow through to the last 32 instead after they defeated group winners FC Twente of the Netherlands.
Elsewhere, Lazio reached the last 32 with a 2-0 win over Group D winners Sporting Lisbon. Meanwhile, English Premier league side Stoke City went down 3-1 at Besiktas despite Ricardo Fuller giving them the lead but had already qualified from Group E.
Manuel Fernandes equalised with a penalty after Matthew Upson was sent off for felling Hugo Almeida, and substitutes Mustafa Pektemek and Edu secured the win at Inonu Stadium, leaving the Turkish side as group winners.