Rapid hold Ajax, Celtic, Basel, Salzburg win

Basel, Celtic and Salzburg won their third qualifying round first legs but Rapid Wien came from two down to deny Ajax while HJK drew with Astana and Steaua held Partizan.

Celtic celebrate Dedryck Boyata (centre) scoring against Qarabağ
Celtic celebrate Dedryck Boyata (centre) scoring against Qarabağ ©Getty Images

Celtic, Basel and Salzburg celebrate third qualifying round first-leg wins
Rapid Wien trail Ajax by two at half-time but come back to draw 2-2
Steaua score late to hold Partizan and Astana draw 0-0 at HJK Helsinki
Second legs next Tuesday and Wednesday; play-off draw 12.00CET, 7 August

League route
Rapid Wien 2-2 Ajax

• Rapid are aiming to reach the group stage for the third time but it looked bleak for them at the break in the Vienna stadium where Ajax won the 1995 final. The visitors led 2-0 through two Davy Klaasen goals, the first from close range, the second a header after a sustained period of pressure.
• However, Florian Kainz pulled one back early in the second half and, despite Stefan Schwab's red card just before the hour initially stifling Rapid's recovery, Robert Berić equalised from inside the box with 14 minutes left to give them every chance in Tuesday's Amsterdam second leg.

Champions route
Celtic 1-0 Qarabağ

• Dedryck Boyata earned Celtic a priceless advantage ahead of Wednesday's visit to Azerbaijan when he headed in a Kris Commons corner with eight minutes left after a display in which the Belgian defender showed his brilliance but also youthful naivety.
• Virgil van Dijk previously had the best chance, his header forcing a great save from Ibrahim Šehić while Dani Quintana impressed for the visitors though the Spanish playmaker could not fashion any clear-cut opportunities.

Michael Lang scores for Basel
Michael Lang scores for Basel©Getty Images

Lech Poznań 1-3 FC Basel
• Basel's bid for a fifth group appearance in seven seasons began well in Poland even though Michael Lang's 34th-minute header from a corner was quickly cancelled out by Denis Thomalla, pouncing after Szymon Pawłowski's shot hit the crossbar.
• Lech's Tomasz Kędziora was dismissed on 66 minutes and though Jasmin Burić saved the resultant penalty by Shkelzen Gashi, substitutes Marc Janko and Davide Callà ensured Basel profited from the extra man before they themselves had an added-time red card shown to Taulant Xhaka, who had not long before set up the third with an excellent pass.

Steaua Bucureşti 1-1 Partizan
• Steaua needed an 81st-minute goal from captain Fernando Varela, nodding in Jugurtha Hamroun's free-kick, to secure a home draw against Partizan.
• The visitors were always dangerous on the counter and from one such beautiful move they went in front on 62 minutes, Andrija Živković's exquisite pass met by a powerful, low diagonal shot by impressive right-back Miroslav Vulićević.
• Both teams had chances to win it in the last minute ahead of next Wednesday's return, Darko Brašanac firing over the bar for the Serbian champions when unmarked in the box, then at the other end Hamroun seeing his shot brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Živko Živković.

Salzburg celebrate
Salzburg celebrate©AFP/Getty Images

Salzburg 2-0 Malmö
• Twelve months after winning 2-1 at home to Malmö in the play-offs only to lose 3-0 in Sweden, Salzburg have a bigger first-leg lead to defend a week tonight despite a solid display from the visitors, for whom Markus Rosenberg had a 15th-minute strike ruled out for offside.
• Defender Andreas Ulmer broke the deadlock with a 25-minute thunderbolt in off the bar in the 51st minute.
• Salzburg duo Felipe Pires and Naby Keita both rattled the woodwork before Martin Hinteregger capped a fine showing by converting a late penalty following a foul by Felipe Carvalho on home substitute Havard Nielsen.

HJK Helsinki 0-0 Astana
• There were few openings in a tight game, with defences well on top.
• In the second half, Demba Savage had the best two opportunities to give HJK an advantage to take to Kazakhstan next Wednesday.

Reporters: Ernst Schneider, Emmanuelle Hingant, Kacper Zieliński, Stoyan Georgiev, Rok Šinkovc & Jukka Malm

Shakhtar and Fenerbahçe are level at 0-0
Shakhtar and Fenerbahçe are level at 0-0©Getty Images

Tuesday's first legs:
League route

Panathinaikos 2-1 Club Brugge
Fenerbahçe 0-0 Shakhtar Donetsk
Young Boys 1-3 AS Monaco*
CSKA Moskva 2-2 Sparta Praha

Champions route
Milsami Orhei 0-2 Skënderbeu

Midtjylland 1-2 APOEL*
Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-2 Viktoria Plzeň
Videoton 1-1 BATE Borisov

Dinamo Zagreb 1-1 Molde*
All second legs next Wednesday except *Tuesday

Top