McGinn delivers big, late for Villa vs Zrinjski; Liverpool scoot past Union SG (video highlights)

Two Premier League sides in European competitions got clean sheet home wins on Thursday, but the differences between the wins are dramatic.

Really dramatic.

[ MORE: Europa, Conference League tables | Brighton held, West Ham win ]

Yes, both Liverpool and Aston Villa dominated possession and delivered wins over less-celebrated sides to their home crowds.

Liverpool, however, led at the break of their 2-0 win over Belgian visitors Union Saint-Gilloise in Europa League play, while Aston Villa needed almost every moment of the clock to outlast upstart opposition and win 1-0.

Aston Villa 1-0 Zrinjski Mostar: McGinn to the (stoppage time) rescue

Hailing from the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zrinjski proved its mettle on Matchday 1 when it came back from 3-0 down to visiting AZ Alkmaar to deliver a 4-3 win to an ecstatic Stadion Bijeli Brijeg.

They showed a different kind of fortitude on Thursday.

Aston Villa took shot after shot after shot but needed its final one, No. 26, to deliver a goal and a win over their very underdoggy visitors and their former MLS goalkeeper.

Ex-Houston Dynamo man Marko Maric made eight saves and had 10 recoveries before this happened at Villa Park.

Liverpool 2-0 Union Saint-Gilloise: Reds have to work for it

The Belgian visitors ceded possession in hopes of scoring on the counter, and there were a few times Union Saint-Gilloise had big chances to get past Alisson Becker.

But Alisson was his strong self in those moments — Union SG only kept 27% possession — and Liverpool rode Ryan Gravenberch’s goal into the final moments, when Diogo Jota delivered a stoppage-time equalizer to boost the Reds group record to 2-0-0.

A fun side note: Not only does Alexis Mac Allister have an older brother that must deliver only 365 “Home Alone” jokes per year, but Kevin Mac Allister plays for Union SG.

Next up? Two with Toulouse, who are 11th in Ligue 1 but have claimed four points from their pair of UEL outings.


Recommended For You

About the Author: soccernews