UEFA Europa League debutants Manchester United FC, 2010 winners Club Atlético de Madrid and FC Metalist Kharkiv recorded convincing away wins as the round of 32 first legs drew to a close on Thursday.
After both of Tuesday's games resulted in victories for the visiting side, the trend largely continued as only three of the 14 remaining opening fixtures were won by the home team. After transferring from the UEFA Champions League, United defeated AFC Ajax 2-0 in their first match in the competition, Ashley Young and Javier Hernández scoring second-half goals.
The Red Devils' neighbours, Manchester City FC, also enjoyed away success. Roberto Mancini's side went a goal down at holders FC Porto but fought back after the break, with Sergio Agüero hitting the winner five minutes from time. Falcao was the star of last year's edition when he helped Porto to glory in the Dublin final. He was at it again for Atlético, scoring twice as Diego Simeone's men came from a goal down to win 3-1 at S.S. Lazio.
Metalist were the night's most emphatic victors. After scoring in the first minute, they went to register three more in a resounding 4-0 success at FC Salzburg. Sporting Clube de Portugal − the first side to progress from the group stage − came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw at Legia Warszawa, while PSV Eindhoven also earned a good result on the road, winning 2-1 at Trabzonspor AŞ.
Elsewhere, Valencia CF and FC Twente registered 1-0 away wins while AZ Alkmaar, FC Lokomotiv Moskva and Hannover 96 all managed to prise a first-leg advantage from their home games, even if all three only hold a one-goal lead going into next week's deciders.
Round of 16 draw
Salzburg/Metalist v Rubin/Olympiacos
Legia/Sporting v Porto/Man City
Steaua/Twente v Plzeň/Schalke
Wisła/Standard v Hannover/Club Brugge
Stoke/Valencia v Trabzonspor/PSV
AZ/Anderlecht v Udinese/PAOK
Lazio/Atlético v Braga/Beşiktaş
Ajax/Man United v Lokomotiv Moskva/Athletic
Ties to be played on 8 and 15 March.
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