MIKAEL LUSTIG was the architect of Gent’s 2-1 Europa League play-off triumph over Aberdeen’s conquerors Rijeka in Belgium last night.
The former Celtic fans’ favourite, who left Parkhead after eight years at the end of his contract in the summer, set up the winner against the Croatians after the Belgians had trailed at the interval to a 40th-minute effort from Tibor Halilovic.
Laurent Depoitre levelled in the 57th minute before Swedish international Lustig carved open the visitors’ defence with a sweeping cross and the same player applied the finishing touch for a crucial first leg victory.
Elsewhere in the competition, AEK Athens, who obliterated the Hoops’ Champions League hopes last season, were thrashed 3-1 in the Greek capital by Turkish outfit Trabzonspor who could even afford the luxury of a squandered penalty-kick.
Marko Livaja gave the home side the lead, but the visitors piled on the misery with a fabulous hat-trick from Caleb Ekuban. Jose Sosa was the spot-kick culprit as he smashed his drive off the crossbar.
And there was bad news for new Bhoy Hatem Abd Elhamed’s old side, Hapoel Be’er Sheva, who collapsed to a 3-0 loss against Ferencvaros in Hungary.