Europa League roundup: Everton, Napoli off to winning starts

Steven Naismith (R) of Everton celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Group H match between Everton and VFL Wolfsburg on September 18, 2014
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Everton, Napoli and Fiorentina are among those to get their Europa League campaign off to a winning start.

Everton kicked off their Europa League campaign in style by thumping Wolfsburg 4-1 in their Group H opener at Goodison Park tonight.

Roberto Martinez's side effectively killed off the contest inside 47 minutes, as Seamus Coleman added to an earlier own goal from Ricardo Rodriguez as the Toffees led 2-0 at the break.

Leighton Baines then converted a penalty two minutes after the interval, before Kevin Mirallas added gloss to the scoreline with a fourth in the closing stages.

Rodriguez bagged a consolation for the Bundesliga outfit, but the night belonged to Everton, who sealed a solid return to European competition after a five-season absence.

The Premier League side move top of their pool after Lille were held to a 1-1 draw with FC Krasnodar in France.

Krasnodar, who knocked Real Sociedad out in the preliminary stages, continued to enhance their reputation as Ricardo Laborde fired the Russians ahead in the first half.

However, Denmark international Simon Kjaer popped up with an equaliser midway through the half to salvage a point for the Ligue 1 club.

The highest-scoring game of the night came in Greece where PAOK bashed Dinamo Minsk 6-1 in Group K.

Stefanos Athanasiadis struck a first-half hat-trick as the Greek side led 4-0 at the break, with Nemanja Nikolic scoring a fourth-minute own goal.

Two more goals from Dimitrios Papadopoulos and Theofanis Tsandaris followed either side of a Slobodan Simovic red card, before Nikolic repented for his earlier error by adding a consolation late on.

Steaua Bucuresti also enjoyed a goal-laden victory after thumping 10-man Aalborg BK 6-0 in Romania.

Oddly, the first half passed without a goal as Lucean Sanmartean opened the scoring on 51 minutes.

The floodgates opened six minutes later when Aalborg stopper Nicolai Larsen was sent off for a foul in his box, before Raul Rusescu slotted the resulting penalty to double Steaua's lead.

The Romanians soon capitalised on their numerical advantage in ruthless fashion, as Claudio Keseru struck an 11-minute hat-trick before Rusescu added a sixth.

Italian outfits Napoli and Fiorentina both followed Inter Milan - who beat Dnipro earlier in the evening - in ensuring that Serie A enjoyed a respectable start to the competition.

Dries Mertens hit a second-half brace for Napoli as Rafael Benitez's side came from a goal down to beat Sparta Prague 3-1 in Naples, while strikes from Juan Vargas, Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi gave the Viola a 3-0 win over Guingamp.

Results in full: Sevilla 2-0 Feyenoord, Standard Liege 2-0 Rijeka, Everton 4-1 Wolfsburg, Lille 1-1 FC Krasnodar, Napoli 3-1 Sparta Prague, Young Boys 5-0 Bratislava, Rio Ave 0-3 Dynamo Kiev, Steaua Buceresti 6-0 Aalborg, Fiorentina 3-0 Guingamp, PAOK 6-1 Dinamo Minsk, Legia 1-0 Lokeren, Metalist Kharkiv 1-2 Trabzonspor

Seamus Coleman (R) of Everton celebrates with teammate Leighton Baines of Everton after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League against Wolfsburg on September 18, 2014
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