Premier League leaders Manchester City and Manchester United got off to winning starts in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Knocked out of the more prestigious Champions League along with its crosstown rival, Manchester City rallied for a 2-1 win at Porto. After Silvestre Varela put the hosts ahead in the 27th minute, Yaya Toure's long pass in the 55th hit defender Alvaro Pereira on the back and bounced into the net. Sergio Aguero got the go-ahead goal in the 84th.
Playing its first European match outside the Champions League in 17 years, United won 2-0 at Ajax on goals by Ashley Young in the 59th minute and Javier Hernandez in the 85th. United winger Antonio Valencia injured a hamstring, and the team said he will be sidelined for four weeks.
City leads United by two points in the Premier League, a title far more coveted than the Europa League, the continent's No. 2 club tournament — and the only major title United hasn't won in a quarter-century under manager Alex Ferguson. The second legs of the total-goals, second-round matchups are next week.
Spain's Atletico Madrid, the 2010 champion, won 3-1 at Lazio as Radamel Falco scored in the 37th and 63rd minutes, giving him 22 goals in his last 21 Europa League games. After Miroslav Klose put the hosts ahead in the 19th minute, Adrian tied it in the 25th.
Valencia won 1-0 at Stoke on a long-range goal by Mehmet Topal in the 36th.
American midfielder Jermaine Jones, serving an eight-week suspension in the Bundesliga for intentionally stepping on the foot of an opponent, played his first match for Schalke since Dec. 21 in a 1-1 tie at Viktoria Plzen. Vladimar Darida put the hosts ahead in the 22nd, but Klaas-Jan Huntelaar tied it in the 75th.
AZ Alkmaar, with American forward Jozy Altidore entering in the 76th, won 1-0 at home against Belgium's Anderlecht, which started U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan. Sporting Lisbon, which started American defender Oguchi Onyewu, tied 2-2 at Legia Warsaw.
Ukraine's Metalist Kharkiv defeated Salzburg 4-0, taking the lead after 20 seconds. Udinese was held to a 0-0 tie at home by PAOK. Hannover's 2-1 win at home against Club Brugge was marred by pre-match fighting in the city center, with police saying they had to intervene to prevent around 700 fans from clashing.
One Hannover fan was arrested for allegedly provoking and threatening Belgian fans. There were no injuries, though several cars were damaged from thrown bottles.
American defender Steve Cherundolo started for Hannover,