Europa League: Klopp’s Liverpool rekindle confidence with away win in Kazan

From left: Liverpool's Lucas Leiva, Mamadou Sakho and head coach Jurgen Klopp during the UEFA Europa League's group stage match between Rubin Kazan and Liverpool. © Maksim Bogodvid
A full card of Europa League fixtures on Thursday night threw up some intriguing fixtures and goals galore across the continent.

The second-tier European tournament has regained some prestige given that the winners qualify for the Champions League, with a host of significant teams looking for glory.

Dembele growing in stature at Tottenham

Tottenham took the threat of Belgian side Anderlecht seriously at White Hart Lane, especially given their defeat on the road two weeks prior.

In an even affair, the hosts stole the spoils at the death thanks to a superb strike from talented but inconsistent midfielder Mousa Dembele.

One of the main criticisms of the former Fulham man since his switch to Spurs has been a lack of goals, with only five strikes in over 90 Premier League games for the north Londoners.

However, Dembele's cameo and goal from the bench against his countrymen complemented strong recent performances, with the star starting to have more of an impact at Spurs.

Klopp restores Liverpool's feel-good factor

The pressure on new Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to deliver is sizeable, but so far the German trainer has lived up to his reputation.

A 1-0 away win over Russians Rubin Kazan continues the former Dortmund coach's unbeaten start at Anfield after a win over Chelsea last weekend.

Perhaps more importantly, the manner in which Klopp embraced match-winner Jordon Ibe after the game signifies the new man's influence.

If the renowned man-manager can continue the feel-good factor in the squad, the Reds will be a dangerous proposition in 2015-16.

Napoli boasts strength in depth

The biggest win of the night came at the Stadio San Paolo, as Napoli crushed Danish outfit FC Midtjylland 5-0 in an impressive performance.

Maurizio Sarri's side has been in strong form of late, rising up the Serie A table with some progressive football.

However, with key figures rested last night, fringe men such as Italy international Manolo Gabbiadini, Omar El Kaddouri and Mirko Valdifiori had the chance to shine.

Soldado's English nightmare already forgotten

After a nightmare 24 months at White Hart Lane, Spanish striker Roberto Soldado looks reborn back in his homeland for Villarreal.

Soldado proved the difference as the La Liga outfit came from a goal down to beat Dinamo Minsk 2-1 on the road, with the substitute scoring the equalizer and seeing a deflected shot hit the back of the hosts' net to decide the clash.

The 30-year-old has played an important role in Villarreal's progressive start to the new campaign and has put his travails from England behind him.

Aubameyang just as lethal as Lewandowski

Borussia Dortmund strolled to a 4-0 victory over Qabala at Signal Iduna Park, with the Bundesliga side thriving under Thomas Tuchel.

Dortmund struggled last term after Robert Lewandowski's defection to Bayern Munich, but the African attacker is now filling the void.

Aubameyang's goal last night was the striker's 21st in his last 20 games in all competitions, with the former St Etienne man one of Europe's most lethal forwards.

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