Inter suffer more Europa woe, Totti shines for Roma
By Toby Davis
LONDON (Reuters) - Inter Milan's aversion to Europa League soccer continued with a 3-1 defeat at Sparta Prague, while AS Roma ended a continental hoodoo stretching back seven games with a 4-0 home win over Romanian side FC Astra on Thursday.
The second round of group stage matches featured a string of high-scoring encounters as Fiorentina, Zenit St Petersburg and Krasnodar all hit five in comprehensive victories.
Yet while the goals flowed freely throughout the continent, Manchester United were made to sweat as they edged to a 1-0 win over Ukrainian outfit Zorya at Old Trafford.
It is six years since Inter last won the Champions League but they have not played in Europe's top club competition since 2012 and have now got a losing habit in its second-tier cousin.
They are already facing a difficult task to escape from their group after suffering a second straight defeat this season, which was their fourth in a row in the competition.
The three times European champions have made a good start to Serie A under new manager Frank de Boer but came into Thursday's encounter looking to rebound from a shock defeat in their opening Group K game at home to Israel's Hapoel Beer-Sheva.
Their hopes were hit within 25 minutes, however, as they fell two goals behind after a double strike by Vaclav Kadlec.
Rodrigo Palacio pulled one back in the 71st but any hopes of a recovery ended when Andrea Ranocchia was sent off four minutes later and Mario Holek restored the Czechs' two-goal advantage. Continued...