Liverpool earns draw as violence mars Napoli match

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In a match marred by clashes among fans inside and outside San Paolo Stadium in Naples, Liverpool tied Napoli 0-0 Thursday night to maintain its Group K lead in the Europa League.

Three people were reportedly arrested and up to 10 people injured in clashes on the eve of the match, while five police officers were hurt around kickoff time as they sought to maintain order.

“These are the things you don’t want to see in football,” Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson said. “We’ve had our share in England but you see it much less these days.

“We don’t want violence on the pitch or off the pitch, and we certainly don’t want situations where supporters don’t want to go and support their team because they are frightened of getting injured.”

Villarreal beat visiting PAOK Thessaloniki 1-0 on Marco Ruben’s 38th-minute goal, a right-footed shot off a deflected through-ball from New Jersey’s Giuseppe Rossi. American forward Jozy Altidore replaced Ruben in the 82nd minute and had a shot saved by goalkeeper Dario Kresic in injury time.

American midfielder Sacha Kljestan returned from a layoff caused by an ankle injury, playing the full match in his first appearance since Aug. 21 as Belgium’s Anderlecht beat visiting AEK Athens 3-0. Mbark Boussoufa scored in the 31st minute after Kljestan’s shot rebounded off goalkeeper Sebastian Saja, and Romelu Lukaku (71st minute) and Roland Juhasz (75th) added goals.

Zenit St. Peterburg, Stuttgart, Sporting, FC Porto and CSKA Moscow all won to maintain their perfect starts but Juventus is still without a victory in Group A after tying 1-1 at Red Bull Salzburg.

Milan Krasic scored in the 47th minute for Juventus, offsetting Dusan Svento’s 36th-minute goal int he Group A match.

Defending champion Atletico Madrid beat Rosenborg 3-0 to climb from last to second in Group B, getting goals from Diego Godin, Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa, Manchester City leads the group following a 3-1 home win over Lech Poznan behind three goals from Emmanuel Adebayor’s.

In Naples, there were reports of knives and rocks being used in clashes between fans and police on the eve of the game.

Napoli’s supporters made themselves heard throughout and Edinson Cavani was the team’s main threat, the Uruguay striker drawing a save out of Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina and also heading wide in the second half.

Marek Hamsik had a shot cleared off the line by Liverpool defender Paul Konchesky as the English team, which rested first-team regulars Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, withstood heavy pressure.

Liverpool was bought last week by New England Sports Ventures, the parent of the Boston Red Sox. The Reds are 19th in the 20-team Premier League.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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