MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Valencia and PSV Eindhoven slumped to humiliating home losses as the Europa League threw up some early surprises in the opening round of group-stage matches on Thursday.
Languishing near the bottom of the Spanish league, Valencia's woes deepened by losing 3-0 to Swansea in Group A, sparking a brief walkout by a section of fans midway through the match in protest at the team's poor performances.
Swansea secured its greatest ever result by capitalizing on the 10th-minute sending-off of Valencia center back Adil Rami to score through Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan de Guzman at the Mestalla.
"I am so pleased for everybody because now they know they can play against the biggest clubs in the biggest stadiums without any problem," said Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, who fielded six Spanish players in his lineup — more than Valencia.
Bulgarian minnow Ludogorets Razgrad provided a second upset of the night by scoring twice in the final half hour to win 2-0 at PSV, which was European champion in 1988 and also won the UEFA Cup 10 years earlier.
Tottenham, among the favorites this season having embarked on a summer spending spree, restored some normality by cruising past Tromso 3-0 thanks to two first-half goals by Jermain Defoe, while Fiorentina beat Pacos Ferreira 3-0, Lazio defeated Legia Warsaw 1-0, two-time former champion Sevilla won 2-1 at tournament debutant Estoril, and Real Betis drew 0-0 with Lyon.
All 48 teams were in action across 12 groups in Europe's second-tier competition, but there was no doubt where the standout scoreline was.
Valencia went down to its biggest home loss in Europe since a 5-1 defeat to Inter Milan in 2004, adding another chapter to Swansea's remarkable rise from a financially troubled fourth-tier club in the English league 10 years ago to a first major trophy (last season's League Cup) and then this famous European win.
The writing was on the wall as soon as Rami was given a straight red for pulling back Bony when the striker was through on goal. Swansea toyed with the hosts at times with its easy-on-the-eye passing game and Bony finished off a flowing move in the 14th minute to put the Welsh team ahead.
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