PARIS, France (AFP) - In a meeting of two former European champions in crisis, Ajax and Marseille drew 3-3 in "a crazy game" while Liverpool and West Ham were also winners Thursday in the opening round of Europa League group games.
Liverpool fell behind for the fourth time in five matches this season but fought back to beat LASK 3-1 in Linz to make Jurgen Klopp the first coach to win 50 European games at the Merseyside club.
West Ham, who won the Conference League last season, also hit back to beat visiting Serbian club TSC Backa Topola 3-1
Brighton, making their European debut in the Europa League, and Aston Villa returning to Europe, after 12 years, in the Conference League, both fell behind early and although they each equalised twice, lost 2-3.
In Amsterdam, Ajax, who have won just two games all season and sit 12th in the Dutch league met Marseille who are third in Ligue 1.
However, after a meeting between Marseille fan representatives and the club's hierarchy reportedly turned nasty, coach Marcelino, only appointed in June, resigned on Tuesday after just seven games in charge.
On Thursday, both teams tore into the game.
Ajax carved open the visiting defence in the first 20 minutes and took a two-goal lead with goals by Carlos Borges and Steven Berghuis.
"I knew the players would get back into the game and we'd score the goal that would set us free. It was a crazy game, but I also think we were in control," said interim Marseille coach Jacques Abardonado.
Jonathan Clauss and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit back before half-time.
As both sides peppered the opposing goals, Kenneth Taylor restored the home edge but Aubameyang levelled again with 12 minutes left. Marseille finished with 25 attempts on goal.
"It could have been 6-6," said Ajax coach Maurice Steijn. "I don't want to talk about a crisis, I saw a great match in a full stadium."