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Europa League Recap: Liverpool Win, Newcastle Held to Draw

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 23:  Fabio Borini of Liverpool celebrates scoring against Hearts during UEFA Europa League play-off first leg match between Hearts and Liverpool at Tynecastle Stadium on August 23, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2012

On Thursday, two Premier League clubs took to the pitch in the UEFA Europa League play-off round.

Both Liverpool and Newcastle United were on the road for the first of their two-legged match-ups.

Liverpool made the short trip to Scotland to take on Hearts at the Tynecastle Stadium.

The Reds were less than impressive during their 1-0 win in Edinburgh on the night but got a fortunate bounce in the 78th minute when Andy Webster scored an own goal.

The goal was originally credited to Fabio Borini but replays showed that the ball came off of Webster and into the back of the net.

Towards the end of the match, Hearts pressured Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina in to making a save or two but they were unable to overturn the deficit.

The best chance against Reina came from Callum Paterson, whose angled shot late in the game forced the Spanish keeper into action after an otherwise boring night in the Liverpool net.

The win extended the Reds’ winning streak in the Europa League this season to three games as they beat FC Gomel in the third qualifying round earlier this month.

The two clubs will meet at Anfield in one week’s time to determine who will advance to the group stage.

Liverpool will have other things on their mind before Thursday as Manchester City comes to Anfield on Sunday in EPL play.

Earlier Thursday night in Greece, Newcastle United was only able to manage a 1-1 draw against Atromitos in their Europa League season debut.

After beating Tottenham in their EPL opener on Saturday, Alan Pardew’s club could not get past their Greek opponents.

Ryan Taylor equalized for the Magpies in the 45th minute after they gave up a goal to Denis Epstein in the 24th minute.

Taylor's goal could prove to be crucial as the club has a slight advantage heading into the second leg at the Sports Direct Arena next Thursday because it was an away goal.

Before they look to advance to the group stage in the competition, Alan Pardew's club faces a tough test in the EPL at Chelsea on Saturday.

In other notable results from Thursday's matches, last season's runner-up Athletic Bilbao won 6-0 over HJK while Anzhi took down AZ Alkmaar 1-0 and Inter Milan won in Romania, 2-0, over Vaslui.

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