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Everton issue statement over hooligan attacks in Lille

Everton have issued a statement following the news that fans were left with injuries after being attacked by hooligans in Lille ahead of the Europa League clash tonight.

A statement issued on Everton's official website on Thursday morning said: "The club has been made aware of an isolated incident in a bar in Lille on Wednesday evening in which a number of Evertonians were attacked by a group of around 50 local men.

"The club understands that two Everton fans suffered minor facial injuries and were taken to the local hospital and that this was the only incident in what was otherwise a good-natured evening in the city centre.

"The club are in continual contact with Merseyside police officers who are in Lille today and the city's police representatives.

"Supporters travelling to tonight's match are advised to utilise the travel information provided on the official website where updates on any safety matters will also be provided."

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Benitez targets Europa League glory after Champions League exit

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez has set his sights on Europa League glory - despite becoming the first Champions League holders to exit at the group stage.

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

The Blues beat FC Nordsjaelland 6-1 at Stamford Bridge, but were knocked out as Juventus' victory at Shakhtar Donetsk condemned them to third place in Group E.

The Europa League now awaits the west Londoners, whose manager Benitez collected his first win since replacing Roberto di Matteo.

He said: "You ask me if I will take the Europa League seriously; every competition is important for us so we will try to do our best and win if we can.

"We know that it is an important competition and we want to go as far as we can and if we can win the competition, we will try to do that."