Two goals from Heung-Min Son and a late strike from Erik Lamela gave Tottenham a 3-1 victory over Qarabag in their opening Europa League Group J clash at White Hart Lane.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’ Europa League gamble almost paid off as the club’s young guns were held to a 1-1 draw in Bordeaux.
Adam Lallana’s brilliant-but-simple goal midway through the second half was the highlight of a dogged display as the England midfielder capped his first appearance for a month after injury but was cancelled out by substitute Jussie nine minutes from time.
However, it was the performance of the club’s next generation which caught the eye.
Rodgers made eight changes from the defeat against Manchester United at the weekend – leaving six regulars at home – and after less than half an hour there was another alteration as Kolo Toure was forced off with a leg injury inflicted by his own goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
On the positive side it presented a debut to academy graduate Pedro Chirivella and brought the average age of the side down to 21.7 with 18-year-olds Joe Gomez, Jordan Rossiter and Chirivella, alongside Jordon Ibe (19) and Divock Origi (20).
Another academy star Cameron Brannagan was handed his debut with 10 minutes to go, replacing Rossiter who visibly grew into his central midfield role.
A late goal from substitute Lasse Schone gave Ajax a 2-2 draw against Celtic at the Amsterdam ArenA where Hoops left-back Emilio Izaguirre was sent off.
In an absorbing encounter, right-back Mikael Lustig headed the Parkhead men into an interval lead in the 42nd minute after Danish midfielder Viktor Fischer had cancelled out midfielder Nir Bitton’s eighth minute opener.
Celtic looked assured after the break but when Izaguirre was dismissed in the 74th minute by referee Luca Banti for picking up his second yellow of the night with a foul on Anwar El Ghazi, the home side came storming back with Schone scoring a free-kick in the 84th minute and Ronny Deila’s side hanging on for a point.