Goals either side of half time saw RC Strasbourg saunter to a 2-0 victory against Tromsø IL as they opened up a three-point lead at the top of Group E.
The French side have yet to win a Ligue 1 game in 13 attempts in 2005/06, but that had little bearing on their performance at La Meinau in the UEFA Cup this evening. Mickaël Pagis broke the deadlock seven minutes before half-time and although Stephen Ademolu hit the crossbar for the visitors, Salim Arrache added a second midway through the second period to set the home side on course for an impressive victory.
Jacky Duguépéroux's side beat FC Basel 1893 2-0 in Switzerland on Matchday 1 and they picked up where they left off against Tromsø. Pagis could have broken the deadlock as early as the second minute but shot wide from ten metres before Arrache forced a fine save from goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld. Pagis should have done better when he sent a shot from ten metres sailing over the crossbar, and he also headed a presentable chance wide before finally finding his range in the 38th minute with a neat right-footed finish.
The visitors offered little in return and could have been further behind by half-time as Guillaume Lacour and the lively Arrache threatened. The interval did not quell Strasbourg's verve, with Amara Diane and Pagis having early chances, but Tromsø gave a stark warning of the precariousness of the home side's one-goal lead when Ademolu's shot cannoned back off the post in the 57th minute. The home side quickly responded and Arrache slotted in nine minutes later to seal the points.