EUROPA LEAGUE: Playoffs first-leg update


English Premier League sides Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur cruised through their playoff first-leg with emphatic victories, and barring a miracle, both will be drawn out of the hat in the group stage draw next Friday.

Europa League - Swansea City v FC Petrolul Ploiesti, Michu


The impending departure of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid did not falter Spurs charge into the Europa League, easily disposing of Dinamo Tbilisi by 5-0 on early Thursday evening. After a five-hour flight over to Georgia midweek, Andres Villas-Boas’ men did not show any sign of jetlag scoring their first goal on 12 minutes through Man-of-the-Match Andros Townsend. Spanish striker Roberto Soldado showed his great finishing prowess by snatching a double with Paulinho and Danny Rose adding to the tally.

After eliminating Eredivisie side Vitesse in the last round, Romanian’s FC Petrolul fell heavily 5-1 at Swansea City. The ultra-fast winger Wayne Routledge netted a first-half brace, Spanish duo Michu and Alejandro Pozuelo also got on the scoresheet. Petrolul’s Portuguese goalkeeper Peçanha unfortunately added a fifth for the Welshmen. However, the goal of the night was scored by the Romainian side with 22-year-old striker Gheorghe Grozav scoring a wonderful overhead kick past Swans’ ‘keeper Michel Vorm late on.

Dutch giants Feyenoord were defeated 1-0 in Russia by Kuban Krasnodar. Senegalese striker Ibrahima Baldé got the only goal of the game on the hour mark. This is Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord fourth successive defeat already this season.

The shock of the round came as Udinese tasted a 3-1 defeat at home to Czech side Slovan Liberic. Cedric scored a 86th minute winner for La Liga side Real Betis at they came out 2-1 victors at FK Jablonec. Ukrainian’s Dynamo Kiev emerged as 3-2 winners in a five-goal thriller against Kazakhstan side FC Aktobe.



Aktobe 2-3 Dynamo Kiev

Qarabag 0-2 Eintracht Frankfurt

Jablonec 1-3 Real Betis

Kuban Krasnodar 1-0 Feyenoord

Dinamo Tbilisi 0-5 Tottenham Hotspur

Maccabi Haifa 2-0 FK Astra

Atromitos 1-3 AZ Alkmaar

Minsk 0-2 Standard Liege

Salzburg 5-0 Zalgris

St. Gallen 1-1 Spartak Moscow

Molde 0-2 Rubin Kazan

Esbjerg 4-3 AS Saint-Etienne

Kalju 1-3 Dnipro

Kukes 0-2 Trabzonspor

FH 0-2 Genk

Elfsborg 1-1 Nordjaelland

Tromso 2-1 Besiktas

Pandurii 0-1 Braga

Apollon 2-0 Nice

Swansea City 5-1 FC Petrolul

Maccabi Tel-Aviv P-P PAOK

Rijeka 2-1 Stuttgart

Chornomorets Odesa 1-0 Skenderbeu

Partizan Belgrade 1-0 FC Thun

Vojvodina 1-1 Sheriff

Udinese 1-3 Slovan Liberec

Zulte Waregem 1-1 APOEL

Grasshoppers 1-2 Fiorentina

Rapid Vienna 1-0 Dila

Sevilla 4-1 Slask Wroclaw

Estoril 2-0 Pasching



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