Feyenoord defeated Fenerbahçe SK while there were away wins for AJ Auxerre and AEK Athens.
A hard-fought victory for Feyenoord and wins on the road for AJ Auxerre and AEK Athens FC stood out in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round last night.
Ono on top
The most anticipated encounter was Fenerbahçe SK's trip to Rotterdam to face UEFA Cup holders Feyenoord. Shinji Ono gave the Dutch club a 1-0 victory at the Feijenoord stadium but it may not be enough for progression with the return in Istanbul in two weeks' time.
Auxerre won 1-0 at Boavista FC thanks to a goal from Djibril Cissé while AEK won by the odd goal in five against APOEL Nicosia FC. The first-leg victories mean both sides have taken a giant step towards securing a place in the first group stage.
Big guns enter
Five games in all were played last night, with eleven more to follow tonight featuring the likes of Manchester United FC, FC Bayern München and FC Barcelona. The 16 winners of the two-legged ties will join the 16 automatic qualifiers in the competition proper.
Auxerre, who finished third in France last season, impressed in a tough-looking outing in Porto. Boavista, the 2001 Portuguese champions, reached the second group stage last season but had no answer to Cissé, who celebrated his inclusion in the France squad to face Tunisia later this month with a well-taken goal.
Greek runners-up AEK had to come back from a goal behind in a 'derby' match in Cyprus against APOEL. They had to wait for their winner, with Themistoklis Nikolaidis scoring three minutes into injury time.
Moons on fire
AC Sparta Praha, another team who reached the second group stage last season, also had a disappointing night. They were beaten 2-0 by Belgian champions KRC Genk after goals from Bernd Thijs and Mirsad Besilja. The real hero, though, was goalkeeper Jan Moons who kept the Czech Republic team at bay throughout.