SPORTS

AEK thrashed 4-1 by Anderlecht in Europa League

AEK made a terrible start to their Europa League campaign on Thursday, losing 4-1 to Anderlecht in Belgium.

Despite the Yellows? forward Leonardo scoring the best goal of the night, the performance in Brussels left coach Manolo Jimenez with plenty to ponder, particularly his team?s poor defending.

Matias Suarez opened the scoring for the home side on 16 minutes after pursuing defender Traianos Dellas stumbled and goalkeeper Dimi Constantopoulos hesitated.

Former Liverpool midfielder Milan Jovanovic made it 2-0 in the 34th minute before a sudden burst of speed and trickery from Leonardo two minutes later led to the Brazilian running free into the box and curling a sweet shot into the corner.

AEK?s hopes of getting back into the game were short-lived as Suarez struck with an exquisite curling shot of his own on 40 minutes.

The Argentinean got his hat-trick in the 85th minute with a fine header.

By that time, AEK were playing with 10 men as defender Kostas Manolas had been sent off on 77 minutes after picking up a second yellow card.

In Group L?s other game, Lokomotiv Moscow beat Sturm Graz 2-1 in Austria.

AEK play the Austrians next, at the Olympic Stadium in Athens on September 29.