Sporting Clube de Portugal made progress at the earlier possible stage after UEFA Europa League matchday three while RSC Anderlecht and PSV Eindhoven maintained their perfect group stage records and a number of sides broke from the pack to take up the running in their sections.
After Sporting made it three wins from three with a comfortable 2-0 success against FC Vaslui, the fact that every other game in Group D has been drawn means they are guaranteed a top-two finish and a round of 32 berth. Anderlecht also scored two without reply at SK Sturm Graz to reach nine points while PSV boast the same total following a 1-0 triumph at Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC.
Udinese Calcio left it late, but struck twice in the last few minutes to register a 2-0 home win against 2010 champions Club Atlético de Madrid and open up a three-point lead over their visitors in Group I. Tottenham Hotspur FC also extricated themselves from a two-way tie at the top of their pool with a 1-0 win against FC Rubin Kazan, although PAOK FC beat Shamrock Rovers FC 2-1 to keep within two points.
FC Schalke 04's start to their Group J campaign had been steady rather than spectacular, but the section leaders turned on the style at AEK Larnaca FC, winning 5-0 – their biggest away win in UEFA competition. The group's other game featured the same scoreline, Maccabi Haifa FC getting the better of nine-man FC Steaua Bucureşti on a night where all three Romanian sides lost.
Other notable results included both FC Metalist Kharkiv and FC Twente winning 4-1 away to take the lead in their respective pools and Athletic Club battling back from 2-0 down to pick up a point at home against FC Salzburg. A goal in the tenth minute of added time put Birmingham City FC joint top of Group H, and FC Dynamo Kyiv also struck late to beat Besiktas JK.
View all the matchday three results.
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