Everton FC secured entry to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League for the first time on Sunday - but elsewhere the race for a place in Europe's premier competition looks set to go down to the wire.
Everton defeated Newcastle United FC 2-0 on Saturday to consolidate their hold on fourth spot in the English Premiership, and their first European Champion Clubs' Cup appearance since 1970/71 was confirmed the following day when fifth-placed Liverpool FC lost to Arsenal FC. "It's been a long haul but it feels terrific getting there," Everton manager David Moyes said. "It's a dream come true and a massive achievement for Everton Football Club."
Olympique Lyonnais will return as champions again after beating AC Ajaccio on Sunday to claim their fourth consecutive French title. With three games to play, the battle for the second direct qualifying place is between LOSC Lille Métropole and AS Monaco FC, with the losers set to settle for a place in the third qualifying round.
In Serie A, next week's showdown at the Stadio Friuli between Udinese Calcio and UC Sampdoria will likely decide Italy's fourth qualifier. Both sides are locked on 59 points after weekend wins. Udinese are aiming to enter the Champions League for the first time, while Sampdoria are hoping to make just their second European Cup appearance after reaching the final in 1992.
In Spain, Sevilla FC lost at Real Betis Balompié to throw the race for third position wide open. Sevilla are level on 58 points in third with Villarreal CF who defeated Málaga CF, and with three matches remaining, RCD Espanyol, Betis and Valencia CF are also in the hunt. Like Udinese, Villarreal have never featured in Europe's top club tournament. Sevilla were quarter-finalists in their only European Cup campaign in 1957/58.
In Germany, the competition for European places is providing a thrilling climax to the season long after FC Bayern München's title celebrations ended. FC Schalke 04 currently hold second spot, but VfB Stuttgart, three-times German representatives in the European Cup, are pushing them hard for the second direct qualifying berth. Hertha BSC Berlin, Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen are also in contention.
Elsewhere, AFC Ajax, FC Dynamo Kyiv, Maccabi Haifa FC, NK Gorica, Anorthosis Famagusta FC, NK Zrinjski, FK Rabotnicki, Sliema Wanderers FC and KF Tirana all claimed places in next season's competition this week.
The following list is subject to ratification by the individual national associations
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