It was a Spanish clean sweep in the UEFA Cup first round as RC Celta de Vigo, RCD Espanyol and CA Osasuna all won their ties to join holders Sevilla FC - 6-1 aggregate winners over Atromitos FC - in the group stage. It was also a good night for three former winners as England's Tottenham Hotspur FC and Dutch duo AFC Ajax and Feyenoord all advanced.
RC Celta de Vigo 3-0 R. Standard de Liège (agg: 4-0)
Celta put behind them a poor run of three defeats in four league matches to progress comfortably. Already 1-0 ahead from the opening 90 minutes in Belgium, Fernando Baiano set them on their way at the Balaídos midway throught the first half from Antonio Núñez's cross. After Celta goalkeeper Esteban Suárez saved a penalty from Milan Jovanović in the second half the Spanish outfit killed the tie with Fabián Canobbio (69 minutes) and a second Baiano strike (82) assuring their progress.
RCD Espanyol 3-1 FC Artmedia (agg: 5-3)
Two Walter Pandiani goals helped Espanyol secure their group stage place as Artmedia, despite Jan Buryán's sixth-minute opener, failed to repeat the heroics that took them to the UEFA Champions League group stage last season. Pandiani equalised on 19 minutes, then Ferrán Corominas deflected in Pandiani's powerful shot (66) before the Uruguayan striker headed in his second of the night (80) to make it 3-1.
CA Osasuna 0-0 Trabzonspor (agg: 2-2)
It was a case of third time lucky for Osasuna as they finally managed to progress to the group stage of a UEFA club competition after defeats by Stade Rennais FC in the UEFA Cup first round last year and Hamburger SV in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round this season. Cuco Ziganda's side earned a 2-2 draw in Bratislava a fortnight ago and those away goals proved crucial as Osasuna repelled Trabzonspor's late attacks to go through in a game of few openings.
Blackburn Rovers FC 2-0 FC Salzburg (agg: 4-2)
Blackburn saw off Salzburg 4-2 on aggregate thanks to goals from Benni McCarthy and David Bentley at Ewood Park. The English team pressed from the start and after Shabani Nonda had fired into the side-netting South African McCarthy opened the scoring with a fine solo goal 13 minutes before half-time. Bentley then capped Blackburn's domination of affairs eleven minutes after the break with a stunning volley into the top corner.
Newcastle United FC 2-1 FC Levadia Tallinn (agg: 3-1)
Obafemi Martins broke his St James' Park duck with two goals in three minutes to guarantee a safe passage for Glenn Roeder's side. After a goalless first half Newcastle's summer signing from FC Internazionale Milano struck on 47 and 50 minutes to give Newcastle a 3-0 aggregate advantage. Indrek Zelinski pulled a goal back midway through the second half but it proved no more than a consolation.
Tottenham Hotspur FC 1-0 SK Slavia Praha (agg: 2-0)
A second narrow victory was enough for Tottenham as Robbie Keane scored the only goal of the second leg at White Hart Lane. The Irish international missed three good chances before finally getting his first goal of the season ten minutes from time with a drilled low shot into the bottom corner. Slavia rarely threatened with their best chance a Pavel Fořt header that was saved by Paul Robinson.
AFC Ajax 4-0 IK Start (agg: 9-2)
Ajax showed their opponents no mercy at the Amsterdam ArenA as they turned their 5-2 first-leg advantage into a 9-2 aggregate victory. Swedish striker Markus Rosenberg set the Dutch side on their way with two goals in the opening 25 minutes before Czech defender Zdeněk Grygera gave them a 3-0 advantage going into the break. Young striker Ryan Babel came on at half-time and he rounded off a comfortable win with a fourth goal (68).
Feyenoord 0-0 PFC Lokomotiv Sofia (aet, agg: 2-2, Feyenoord win on away goals)
Feyenoord edged past Lokomotiv Sofia after a tense goalless draw in Rotterdam put them through on the away-goals rule. Tsvetan Genkov went closest to claiming victory for the visitors late in the first half but Feyenoord put their poor domestic form behind them to keep a clean sheet and progress courtesy of the two goals they scored in the first leg in Sofia.
Paris Saint-Germain FC 2-0 Derry City FC (agg: 2-0)
Derry failed to threaten the PSG goal at the Parc des Princes as the Northern Irish club's brave run came to an end. Edouard Cissé's header broke the deadlock six minutes into the first half before captain Pauleta added a second three minutes before the break. The Ligue 1 side continued to push for further goals in the second half but despite missed opportunities from substitute Cristian Rodriguez, Derry were not breached a third time.
Rangers FC 2-0 Molde FK (agg: 2-0)
First-half goals from Thomas Buffel and Barry Ferguson secured Rangers' progress at the expense of Molde. Belgian international Buffel got them off to a perfect start by guiding Steven Smith's cross past Jan Larsen from close range (13). Marel Balvindsson should have equalised for the Norwegian team just before the half-hour when he headed wide from six metres, but Rangers captain Ferguson eased any nerves among the home support with the second goal (45) after slotting in Kris Boyd's cutback.
AC Sparta Praha 0-0 Heart of Midlothian FC (agg: 2-0)
A goalless draw was enough for Sparta to edge through after the 2-0 win they achieved in Edinburgh two weeks ago. The home side dominated the opening exchanges with midfielder Daniel Kolář striking the bar and Zdeněk Pospěch seeing a shot cleared off the line. At the other end, Jamie Mole had Hearts' best opportunity but after the mix-up in the home defence Tomáš Řepka cleared off the line.
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