Liverpool, Atletico lose in Europa League
Anzhi Makhachkala's Christopher Samba (R) fights for the ball with Liverpool's Joe Cole. Pic: Reuters

Europa League holders Atletico Madrid came a cropper in Portugal on Thursday, beaten 2-0 by Academica Coimbra, but with three wins already under their belt, are safely through to the knockout stages.

A goal in each half from Wilson Eduardo, the second from the penalty spot, gave Acaedmica a comfortable win but it was little more than consolation as they bowed out of the competition.

The goalscoring performance of the night came in Naples where Uruguay's Edinson Cavani hit all four of Napoli's goals against Ukrainian outfit Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk to bring them back from the brink after they found themselves 2-1 down after 52 minutes in their Group F tie.

It was revenge for the surprise 3-1 defeat in Ukraine a fortnight ago and the Italians' cause was further helped by PSV Eindhoven slipping up in Sweden, going down 1-0 to AIK Solna, who had held them in the Netherlands two weeks ago.

There is still everything to play for in Group A, where Anzhi Makhachkala moved to the top, leapfrogging Liverpool with a 1-0 win thanks to a lone Lacina Traore goal in freezing temperatures in Moscow.

Having beaten Anzhi 1-0 at Anfield two weeks ago, Liverpool surrendered a two-point lead over their Russian rivals and are now a point adrift after four games.

But Udinese failed to cash in when they went down 3-2 at home to Switzerland's Young Boys, setting up a nail-biting final round of matches.

Tottenham are second in Group J after a Jermain Defoe hat-trick helped the Londoners beat Slovenian side NK Maribor 3-1.

In Group C, England's bad boy Joey Barton seemed to have set Marseille on their way to victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach, cancelling out Mike Hanke's 20th minute opener with a classic goal direct from a corner before Andre Ayew made it 2-1 after 67 minutes.

But deep into injury time, the German side's Juan Arango capitalised on a defensive mix-up to earn a draw which leaves the second qualifying spot up for grabs.

Turkey's Fenerbahce are already through, clinching their place with a 2-0 win over little AEL Limassol of Cyprus, Dirk Kuyt grabbing the first inside 11 minutes and Moussa Sow wrapping it up before half-time.

Newcastle kept their hopes alive with a come-from-behind draw away to Brugge in Belgium.

The home side were two goals to the good after 19 minutes through Ivan Trickovski and Jesper Jorgensen, only for two goals in as many minutes just before the interval from Vurnon Anita and Shola Ameobi to level things for Alan Pardew's side.

Newcastle are now just a point clear of Bordeaux, who had David Bellion's 16th minute goal to thank for victory over Portuguese side Maritimo Funchal.

The West Australian

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