Ten-man FC Zürich came from behind to seal a fine away victory and leave AC Sparta Praha without a win in their past 12 home European matches.
End of drought
Miroslav Slepička finally ended Sparta's scoring duck - his first-half strike was the Czech club's first goal in eight home games in continental competition - but goals either side of the interval from Oumar Kondé and Alexandre Alphonse ensured a win for the Swiss Super League outfit, who clung on to take the points despite substitute Eric Hassli's late dismissal.
Sparta almost took the lead as early as the fourth minute when Jan Rezek's cross found Libor Došek in the centre of the penalty area, but his weak header went the wrong side of the post. However, Sparta went ahead in the 24th minute when Slepička fired Michal Kadlec's cross into the top-left corner from 12 metres. The hosts seemed in complete control, but as the first half drew to a close, Zürich began to threaten and, on 38 minutes, equalised.
Yassine Chikhaoui's cross found Kondé in the middle of the penalty area and he beat Tomáš Poštulka with a raking shot. Sparta almost regained the lead 30 seconds into the second half when Došek's powerful 20-metre strike was well saved by Johnny Leoni and ten minutes later the impressive Miroslav Matušovič drilled a fierce effort over.
Zürich took advantage of Sparta's profligacy and Alphonse put them in front on 62 minutes with his fourth goal in the last four European games. Chikhaoui's pinpoint cross left the Frenchman with an easy tap-in from seven metres. On 80 minutes Hassli, who had been on for barely three minutes, was shown a red card for a foul on Tomáš Řepka, but although they threw everything forward, Sparta could not reply.