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Stuttgart keeps perfect Europa League record

Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart recorded their third Europa League win Thursday night, beating Spain's Getafe CF 1-0. Germany's other teams, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, came away with draws in the group stage.

Ciprian Marica scores

Stuttgart show different form in the Europa League

At home in the Bundesliga, VfB Stuttgart couldn't look any worse than their position in last place in the table. But in the group stage of the Europa League, Stuttgart is emerging as one of the top teams, winning 1-0 against Spanish side Getafe CF Thursday night.

Jens Keller

Keller started off on the right foot internationally

It was the international coaching debut of Stuttgart's new coach Jens Keller, who replaced the recently fired Christian Gross. Keller couldn't have asked for a better start as Stuttgart recorded their third straight Europa League win.

Stuttgart's goal came in the 29th minute from Romanian striker Ciprian Marica. Fielding a pass from Cacau, a sprinting Marica was all alone and put a shot past Getafe's keeper Oscar Ustari.

After the game, head coach Keller said he was more than satisfied and hoped his team's momentum would carry over into the Bundesliga.

"We reached our stated goal," Keller said after the game. "We'll take a little bit of confidence with us for our game on Sunday [against St. Pauli]."

The win puts Stuttgart on top of their group with a spotless nine points, while Getafe remains in third with three.

Draws for Dortmund, Leverkusen

While Stuttgart seems to send a different team onto the pitch for the Europa League than the one that is lounging in the basement of the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund's dominance in the German league hasn't quite been reflected internationally.

Thursday's 1-1 draw at home against Paris St. Germain was by no means a bad result, but their position in their group could have been much better had they not conceded a late goal that spoiled a win.

Nuri Sahin celebrates his goal with teammates

Sahin's goal was equalized near the end of the game

Five minutes after half time, Dortmund was awarded a penalty kick when PSG's Mamadou Sakho fouled Jakub Blaszczykowski in the penalty area. Nuri Sahin converted the penalty to give Dortmund the lead, which looked like it would be enough for a victory.

But in the 87th minute, PSG substitute Clement Chantome saved a point for the French side, scoring easily from five meters.

Despite nearly coming away with a win - which would have put Dortmund even on points with the group leaders, PSG and Sevilla - Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp was optimistic about the draw.

"It's not so bad that we only played to a draw," Klopp said. "We got a point and saw that we can beat this team on the road."

Rounding out Thursday's Europa League results, Bayer Leverkusen drew 0-0 on the road against Greek side Aris Saloniki. Leading their group with five points, Leverkusen are now one point ahead of Saloniki and Atletico Madrid and two points ahead of Rosenborg BK.

Author: Matt Zuvela (sid, AFP)
Editor: Ian P. Johnson

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