Europa League: Alkmaar stuns Napoli despite missing 13 players due to COVID-19

Dutch side AZ Alkmaar overcame the loss of 13 players with positive COVID-19 tests to secure a shock 1-0 win at Napoli as the Europa League got underway on Thursday.

Dani de Wit of AZ Alkmaar (left) celebrates after scoring the decisive goal to upset SSC Napoli at home in its first Europa League encounter this season.   -  Getty Images

AZ Alkmaar overcame the loss of 13 players with positive COVID-19 tests to secure a shock 1-0 win at Napoli as the Europa League group stage got underway on Thursday.

The Dutch side was under pressure for the whole game as Napoli dominated possession and peppered its goal but Dani de Wit scored in the 57th minute for a stunning victory in Group F.

Arsenal, who has not claimed a European trophy since lifting the old Cup Winners' Cup in 1994, went behind at Rapid Vienna but defender David Luiz and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck late goals for a 2-1 Group B win.

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AS Roma also managed to come back from a goal down to beat Swiss side Young Boys 2-1 away thanks to two goals in five second-half minutes by Bruno Peres and Marash Kumbulla to get its Group A campaign off to a winning start.

Bayer Leverkusen went on the rampage against French side Nice in a 6-2 victory that saw winger Karim Bellarabi score twice late on for the home side in Group C.

Spanish clubs Granada and Real Sociedad enjoyed 2-1 and 1-0 away wins over PSV Eindhoven and Croatian side Rijeka in Group E and F respectively, while Benfica chalked up a 4-2 victory over Lech Poznan and Rangers won 2-0 at Standard Liege in Group D. 

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