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.
|Falcao nets as brilliant Monaco hit Montpellier for six|
|Guardiola pleads patience for injury ravaged Kompany|
|No hard feelings as Mourinho focuses on Chelsea task|
|Guardiola: I don´t want City to play like Barcelona|
|Valencia fans´ Alcacer anger normal - Luis Enrique|
|Neymar: Playing for Barca is easy now|
|EPFL terminates agreement with UEFA|
|Aguero keeps Argentina spot, Messi returns|
|Donnarumma eyes Milan captaincy|
|Napoli fans banned from Juve trip|
|Mertesacker hails ´hungry´ hat-trick hero Ozil|
|Suarez says Barcelona renewal talks ´really advanced´|
|Lack of European football can aid Liverpool´s title bid - Pulis|
|European breaks do not benefit Chelsea - Conte|
|Pardew backs Leicester to ´come through´ tough start|
|Pochettino one of ´the very best´ coaches, says Howe|
|Puel backs Manchester City for Premier League title|
|Abramovich and I were not friends - Mourinho|
|It was not mutual consent, I was sacked by Chelsea - Mourinho|
|Brazil recall Douglas Costa, Marcelo and Casemiro for Argentina clash|
|Luis Enrique: If Messi is at his best, nobody knows how to stop him|
|Ramos deserves more than he earns - Perez|
|Neymar renewal proves Barcelona team spirit, says Luis Enrique|
|Bravo mistakes will be on the front page - Guardiola|
|I would sign Modric as Scholes´ successor - Giggs|
|At last! Neymar signs new Barcelona contract|
|Ronaldo injury helped Portugal to Euro 2016 success, says Abidal|
|Ronaldo injury helped Portugal to Euro 2016 success, says Abidal|
|Rummenigge blasts Premier League clubs for ´kidnapping´|
|Prandelli awed by Messi but ´dreaming big´ against Barcelona|
|Guardiola fumes at Aguero rumours after Barcelona omission|
|Conte: Mourinho deserves maximum respect|
|Moses happy for Conte chance after Mourinho struggle|
|Garcia dreaming of glory with lowly Marseille|
|Dawson back as Phelan expects Hull reaction|
|Conte declares Terry fit to face Mourinho´s United|
|Pardew: Why would I leave Palace for England?|
|Montella wants San Siro to strike fear into Juventus|
|Guardiola criticism ´political´, says Del Bosque|
|Ancelotti ready to unleash rampant Robben once more|
|Chelsea in a good position - Mourinho|
|Tuchel heartened by Reus return|
|Allegri wary of AC Milan after Inter ´whack´|
|Koeman hopes for Barkley ´wake-up call´|
|Melbourne City 2 Perth Glory 3: Keogh hat-tricks decider thriller|
|Dybala delighted to stay at Juve after rejected offer|
|Hughes eager to test Hull fragility|
|Carrasco extends Atletico contract|
|Moyes: I am under pressure - just like Guardiola|
|Wenger talks up Arsenal´s title credentials|
|Fuchs signs new Leicester contract|
|Guardiola doesn´t communicate - Benatia|
|Magical Messi from another planet, says awestruck Digne|
|Wenger pleased to see Ozil on goal trail as talks continue|
|Evra hails old rival Suarez as ´the best number 9´|
|Ranieri: I feel like a hybrid car|
|Falcao returns for Monaco|
|De Bruyne defends Guardiola tactics|
|Del Bosque: I rejected €10m offer from China|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pumas, Dallas reach QFs|
|Alli like ´wild horse´ - Pochettino|
|Nani hails ´special´ Messi|
|Serious knee injury sidelines Hull´s Odubajo for six months|
|Mkhitaryan edging closer to comeback - Mourinho|
|Klopp: United game good prep for West Brom|
|Pogba praises Rooney after resounding win|
|Under-fire De Boer driven by reaching knockout stages|
|Pogba no longer Premier League´s ´worst´ player, mocks Mourinho|
|Austria Vienna spoil Totti milestone|
|Manchester United 4 Fenerbahce 1: Van Persie nets on return as Pogba stars|
|Puel rues unfortunate Inter defeat|
|Inter 1 Southampton 0: Candreva seals fortunate win for Inter|
|Buffon rules out club management after retirement|
|Mazzarri ´very happy´ about Holebas-Capoue row|
|Non-European city could host Champions League final - UEFA|
|Bradley calls for players to reconnect with fans|
|Pochettino lauds ´fantastic´ Howe|
|Frankfurt´s Russ eyeing return after tumour disease all-clear|
|Karanka insists Middlesbrough will not sit back against Arsenal|
|Atletico Madrid cannot sign players in January after FIFA deal|
|Koeman calls for greater Lukaku support|
|Suarez: Two goals at the Bernabeu were my best|
|Pochettino delivers mixed news on injury front|
|Karius has Klopp´s confidence|
|Suarez hopes to finish his career at Barcelona|
|Burnley suffer Defour injury blow|
|Marseille confirm Garcia appointment|
|No concerns for Ranieri as Vardy, Morgan and King miss training|
|Tony Pulis is Tony Pulis - Klopp not expecting surprises from West Brom|
|Garcia´s Roma contract terminated amid Marseille reports|
|Injured Pique ruled out for three weeks|
|Moyes the builder will fix Sunderland, says chief exec Bain|
|Walcott impressed by the ´new, aggressive´ Ozil|
|Bilic eyes Ayew injury boost|
|Bonaventura on Icardi saga: I´ll wait until I´ve won something before writing a book!|
|Van Persie: I may still be at Man Utd if Ferguson was in charge|
|Emery wants more from PSG despite victory|
|Muller: Bayern enjoyed PSV rout|
|Barcelona lose Alba and Pique to injury|
|Nolito: Messi made the difference|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pachuca edge through, Timbers out|
|Ozil has ´taste´ for goals - Wenger|
|Renard, Morocco prepared for AFCON test|
|Guardiola: Barca loss not my worst|
|Luis Enrique hails ´decisive´ Messi|
|Pulisic, Green & Morris´ youth movement delight USMNT legend Jones|
|Clinical Barca point the way for Sterling and City|
|Sarri: Napoli making life hard for ourselves|
|That´s life for goalkeepers - Ter Stegen on Bravo woe|
|Schubert delighted with mature Gladbach display|
|Gunes not getting carried away after Besiktas upset Napoli|
|Lucas praises PSG response to stuttering start|
|Luis Enrique happy to rule in game of errors|
|Vitoria: Benfica face three more finals|