Seven more UEFA Europa League round of 32 slots were filled on Wednesday, BSC Young Boys leading the way with a dramatic second-half turnaround against VfB Stuttgart.
The Bundesliga outfit were already assured of progressing from Group H but nevertheless held a 2-1 lead with nine minutes left in Switzerland. Young Boys turned the match – and the section – on its head with three swift goals and therefore progressed thanks to Getafe CF's 1-1 draw with Odense BK. Both those sides are now out.
Group A is another section to have been decided, with three-time UEFA Cup winners Juventus eliminated following a 1-1 draw with KKS Lech Poznań. The Polish outfit will therefore be in the hat along with Manchester City FC, Mario Balotelli scoring twice in their 3-0 win against FC Salzburg.
UC Sampdoria – so close to reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage in the summer – will be without European football in the new year after losing 2-1 to PSV Eindhoven, who are through. FC Metalist Kharkiv join them in emerging from Group I having struck two minutes from time to win 2-1 against already eliminated Debreceni VSC.
Sergio Koke struck a double of his own, but it was team-mate Nikos Lazaridis who scored the odd goal in five to give Aris Thessaloniki FC victory at Club Atlético de Madrid. The holders now trail Aris on head to head, meaning the Greek side are well placed to move onwards with Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 1-0 winners at Rosenborg BK.
Sporting Clube de Portugal can also start planning for the draw having beaten LOSC Lille Métropole 1-0. The Portuguese side had been halted in their tracks by defeat against KAA Gent last time out and Francky Dury's side picked up from where they left off by prevailing 1-0 over PFC Levski Sofia to go second.
HNK Hajduk Split are out of Group G contention having lost 3-1 to AEK Athens FC. The Greek outfit now need just a point on Matchday 6 to progress alongside FC Zenit St Petersburg, who beat RSC Anderlecht by the same scoreline to maintain their perfect record.
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