FC Zürich made it two wins from two UEFA Cup Group E games as goals from Hannu Tihinen and Rafael Araujo ended the hopes of former UEFA Champions League qualifiers Toulouse FC.
The visitors had lost four and drawn two of their six European encounters this season and were on their way to a fifth reverse here – and third in the group – once Tihinen opened the scoring late in the first half. Rafael then converted a penalty to take Zürich two points clear of both AC Sparta Praha and next week's hosts FC Spartak Moskva, who share second place.
The hosts were on top early on and Rafael shot wide while Almen Abdi's effort was blocked by defender Dominique Arribagé. Achille Emana threatened for the Ligue 1 side who rallied as Nicolas Dieuze had a header diverted to safety by Zürich defender Alain Rochat and Johan Elmander also came close. But three minutes before half-time Elmander conceded a free-kick and Rochat's delivery set up Tihinen to side-foot in from close range.
After the interval Fodé Mansare missed a good opportunity, and when he was on target soon after, goalkeeper Johnny Leoni made the save for the Swiss title-holders. Nicolas Douchez then frustrated Yassine Chikhaoui although the next time the Toulouse keeper was put to the test, he ended up fishing the ball out of the net. Nkongolo Ilunga handled in the box and Rafael made no mistake from the spot.
One point away
Douchez did well to prevent a third goal when he blocked a shot from Chikhaoui while Leoni stopped an attempt to reduce the deficit by Toulouse's Fabinho. Another point for Zürich in Moscow and they are into the Round of 32 with a game to spare.