PARIS (AFP) - Liverpool and Manchester City enjoyed a Europa League cruise as a tournament often derided as the Champions League's poor relation gorged on a feast of 78 goals and three hat-tricks.
England midfielder Joe Cole scored the quickest European goal in Liverpool's history - after just 25 seconds - as his team enjoyed a 4-1 victory over fellow former European champions Steaua Bucharest at Anfield.
Roberto Mancini's expensively-assembled Manchester City won 2-0 at Red Bull Salzburg while mighty Juventus were held to a 3-3 draw at home by unfashionable Polish side Lech Poznan.
Poznan's Latvian striker Artjoms Rudnevs grabbed all of his side's three goals while Patrick Helmes of Bayer Leverkusen and Alexandr Kerzhakov of Zenit St Petersburg also hit hat-tricks.
Cole's early strike was his first for Liverpool since joining on a free transfer from Chelsea in the summer.
Cristian Tanase equalised in the 13th minute but David Ngog scored twice and substitute Lucas hit the other to ensure manager Roy Hodgson's decision to leave out Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard did not backfire.
"It's important you make decisions and make them for the right reasons," said Hodgson, who made a total of eight changes from the team which drew 0-0 with Birmingham at the weekend.
"I had no doubt that, given the fact we have so many players who play international football, this was the moment to give them a rest and allow them to prepare properly for Sunday's game (against Manchester United)."
David Silva grabbed his first goal for Manchester City since his 30 million euro move from Valencia as Mancini's team took the lead in Austria after just eight minutes.
The goal was set up by Brazilian striker Jo, who went on to score the second in the 63rd minute after Salzburg keeper Gerhard Tremmel failed to hold a 20-metre drive from Carlos Tevez.
City's Belgian defender Vincent Kompany said he knew Silva would quickly open his goal account.
"He is an amazing player - and like every foreign player he needs time to settle in the Premier League," said Kompany.
"We've seen in training he's an amazing player - he'll be very important for us at times this season."
City share the same Group A as Juventus, the former two-time European champions who were given a huge scare by Poznan.
The Polish visitors were 2-0 ahead after 30 minutes thanks to Rudnevs.
Juve centre-back Giorgio Chiellini pulled one back on the stroke of half-time and then levelled the score five minutes later.
Veteran skipper Alessandro Del Pierro looked to have sealed Juve's comeback by making it 3-2 after 68 minutes with his 52nd career goal in European competition.
But Poznan rallied to grab a point when Rudnevs completed his hat-trick in the last minute.
Defending champions Atletico Madrid suffered a 1-0 defeat at Aris Salonika with Spanish striker Javito hitting a long-distance winner on the hour mark.
The win extended Aris's record of never having lost at home in Europe - a run of 22 games.
In the same Group B, 26-year-old Helmes was the toast of Leverkusen in their 4-0 mauling of Norway's Rosenborg. Stefan Reinartz scored the other goal for the German side.
CSKA Moscow, who won the old UEFA Cup in 2005, began their campaign with a 3-0 win at Lausanne with Brazilian striker Vagner Love scoring two of the goals.
Russia's Zenit Saint Petersburg, the 2008 champions, won 3-1 at Anderlecht with Kerzhakov hitting a first-half hat-trick.
Sevilla, the 2006 and 2007 UEFA Cup champions, lost 1-0 at home to Paris Saint-Germain while FC Porto, the 2004 Champions League winners, saw off Rapid Vienna 3-0.
|Barcelona announce record revenues for 2015-16|
|Moyes enjoys Sunderland win as Palace beat Colchester|
|Stoke complete Allen signing|
|Roma coach Spalletti warns suitors off Manolas|
|Cresswell out for up to four months with knee injury|
|Burnley fan banned by club for racist abuse|
|Dad won´t let me play at the Olympics - Larsson Sr pulls rank|
|Kostic joins Hamburg on five-year deal|
|Tevez: I´d turn down Chelsea and Napoli to stay at Boca|
|Mayoral inspired by Benzema for Wolfsburg stint|
|Allardyce straight into competitive action with England|
|Liverpool, Sevilla fined for Europa League final incidents|
|Barcelona seal Guillemenot signing as part of new Servette deal|
|Niersbach handed one-year ban over World Cup corruption|
|Chelsea and Everton ´still interested´ as Koulibaly eyes Napoli exit|
|´Still working hard´ - Balotelli trains with Liverpool kids|
|Winter breaks, long-ball football and the World Cup: Allardyce in his own words|
|Inter warn Napoli Icardi is not for sale|
|Zanetti wants Simeone back at Inter|
|Stoke snap up Sobhi|
|PSG tougher under Emery - Lucas Moura|
|Totti not ready for retirement - Pallotta|
|Confident Allardyce reveals plan for England success|
|Pochettino to discard three Tottenham players|
|Allardyce: Rooney must wait for captaincy decision|
|Aubameyang: I will only leave Dortmund for Real Madrid|
|Allegri silences questions on Pogba|
|Bruce stands by decision to quit Hull City|
|Pochettino: Not the right time for Argentina job|
|Inter yet to approach De Boer with Mancini exit rumoured|
|Ancelotti trusts me more than Guardiola - Ribery|
|Wijnaldum rejected Everton for Klopp|
|Pre-season Manchester derby cancelled|
|Coutinho excited by ´fast´ Liverpool recruits|
|Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor step into the ring together|
|Mancini coy on reports linking Icardi to Napoli|
|Nolito reveals why he chose Man City over Barcelona|
|Inter 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Icardi absence in defeat fuels Napoli talk|
|MLS Review: Wright-Phillips double inspires Red Bulls to New York derby rout|
|James seeks more game time at Madrid|
|Rooney: I want to be a manager|
|Mignolet welcomes Karius challenge in Liverpool number one battle|
|Batshuayi buoyed by winning vibes at Chelsea|
|Moyes and Sunderland players diverted after plane fault|
|´Loved´ Varane targets long Madrid stay|
|Kostic set for Hamburg medical|
|Leicester crying over Kante sale - Ranieri|
|Schurrle the perfect Mkhitaryan replacement - Tuchel|
|West Ham face anxious wait on Cresswell injury|
|Mourinho will accept criticism from United legends|
|Bertolacci desperate for fresh start after underwhelming first season at Milan|
|Hoops hand Toure one-year deal|
|Origi ready to fight for Liverpool spot|
|Emery wants PSG stay for ´fantastic´ Matuidi|
|No Barcelona offer for Vietto - Cerezo|
|Burnley apologise for racist abuse from supporter|
|Guardiola will not rush Kompany comeback|
|Of course I´ll shake Guardiola´s hand, snaps riled Mourinho|
|Watzke: No more signings for Dortmund|
|Roma expect Manolas to snub Premier League move|
|Adriano set to leave Barcelona for Besiktas|
|Manchester United in worst possible situation - Mourinho|
|Sporting would have to sell stadium to afford Van Persie - Jesus|
|Jonas´ agent confirms Barcelona approach|
|No problem with Mourinho, insists Guardiola ahead of derby in China|
|Toronto´s hat-trick hero Giovinco: I´m back|
|Drogba revels in ´special night´, dedicates hat-trick to family|
|MLS Review: Hat-tricks for Drogba and Giovinco as stars shine|
|Whelan backs Liverpool for top-four finish|
|Pellegrini still waiting for right offer|
|Ronaldo deserves to win Ballon d´Or - Vazquez|
|Phelan wants Hull job|
|Alaba saddened by Gotze exit|
|Morgan: Vardy right to re-sign|
|Maradona ´hurting´ as Higuain closes on Juventus move|