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Europa League Dundalk beaten again as Tottenham and Arsenal record comfortable wins

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Rapid Vienna’s Ercan Kara struck twice as Dundalk slipped to a 3-1 defeat (Peter Morrison/PA)

Rapid Vienna’s Ercan Kara struck twice as Dundalk slipped to a 3-1 defeat (Peter Morrison/PA)

Rapid Vienna’s Ercan Kara struck twice as Dundalk slipped to a 3-1 defeat (Peter Morrison/PA)

Dundalk remain without a point in the Europa League following a 3-1 home defeat to Rapid Vienna.

Christoph Knasmullner and Ercan Kara powered Rapid into a 2-0 half-time lead but the hosts had a good chance to reduce the deficit only for Nathan Oduwa to miss his penalty.

Kara then added his second before Chris Shields make it 3-1 from another penalty in the 63rd minute, although it was not enough to deny the Austrian side.

Knasmullner put Rapid ahead with a powerful 30-yard strike in the 11th minute, before Kara struck his first goal of the game.

Oduwa had a chance to drag Dundalk back in the game early in the second half after his side were awarded a penalty, but his spot-kick went wide of the target.

Just before the hour-mark, Kara curled the ball past Gary Rogers to give the visitors a three-goal lead.

With their second penalty of the match, Shields did pull one back for Dundalk with a shot into the top corner, but it proved just a consolation for the Irish side.

The result leaves Dundalk bottom of Arsenal’s Group B without a point from their first four matches.

Elsewhere in that group, Arsenal voss Mikel Arteta was delighted to see Nicolas Pepe’s positive reaction to his criticism as the winger opened the scoring in his side's Europa League victory in Molde.

Pepe was sent off in Sunday’s draw at Leeds and Arteta said afterwards that he had let down his team-mates – but the club-record signing responded as Arsenal eased to a 3-0 win to qualify for the knockout stages.

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Arsenal's Reiss Nelson celebrates scoring his side's second goal with Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah. Photo: Reuters

Arsenal's Reiss Nelson celebrates scoring his side's second goal with Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah. Photo: Reuters

Arsenal's Reiss Nelson celebrates scoring his side's second goal with Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah. Photo: Reuters

The result means Arsenal are through to the round of 32 and can assure themselves top spot in Group B with a positive result at home to Rapid Vienna next week – a game which will see 2,000 supporters return to the Emirates Stadium for the first time in nine months.

Arsenal's London rivals Tottenham also took a giant leap towards the next phase of the competition, as they recorded a comfortable 4-0 win over Ludogorets in Group J of the Europa League.

Carlos Vinicius scored his first two goals before Harry Winks added a third after half-time from close to the halfway line – although there were doubts over whether he meant it – before Lucas Moura wrapped up the scoring late on to keep Spurs on course for the knockout phase.

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Tottenham's Gareth Bale. Photo: Reuters

Tottenham's Gareth Bale. Photo: Reuters

Tottenham's Gareth Bale. Photo: Reuters

Meanwhile, Rangers suffered another late collapse against Benfica as Steven Gerrard’s side missed out on the chance to plant one foot in the Europa League’s last 32.

Gerrard’s men looked to be on course for a famous scalp in what would have been the Ibrox club’s 150th European win after Scott Arfield and Kemar Roofe put them ahead.

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