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Europa Conference League round-up: Villa, Fiorentina lead seven through

Seven more clubs sealed a top-two placing as the 2023/24 UEFA Europa Conference League group stage set up a dramatic finale.

Álex Moreno celebrates his winner
Álex Moreno celebrates his winner Getty Images

There were goals galore and landmarks equalled as seven more clubs booked their places in the knockout stage on an exhilarating Matchday 5 of the 2023/24 UEFA Europa Conference League group stage.

UEFA.com rounds up the Thursday night action.

Who is through to the knockout stages?

Aston Villa, Bodø/Glimt, Club Brugge, Eintracht Frankfurt**, Fiorentina, Gent, Lille, Maccabi Tel Aviv, PAOK*, Servette***, Slovan Bratislava, Viktoria Plzeň*
*Confirmed as group winners, into round of 16
**Confirmed as group runners-up, into knockout round play-offs
***Transferring from UEFA Europa League, into knockout round play-offs

Aston Villa 2-1 Legia Warszawa

Highlights: Aston Villa 2-1 Legia

Aston Villa secured qualification but fell just shy of making sure of first place in Group E after beating Legia.

Moussa Diaby's solo run and finish put the hosts ahead inside four minutes but Ernest Muçi levelled with a sublime curling finish.

After the break, Gil Dias looped a header onto the bar for the visitors but Álex Moreno volleyed in an inviting Douglas Luiz free-kick to win it.

Villa, who needed to win by a two-goal margin to seal first place, came close to adding another, but Leon Bailey's lofted attempt came back off the underside of the crossbar.

Key stat: Villa have won five of their last seven home European matches.

Fiorentina 2-1 Genk

Highlights: Fiorentina 2-1 Genk

Fiorentina came from behind to secure qualification with a game to spare thanks to a late penalty winner.

Joris Kayembe gave Genk the lead through a late first-half strike, but Lucas Martinez Quarta pounced on a rebound to equalise just before half-time.

The Viola controlled the second half and, when Mujaid Sadick brought down Michael Kayode, Nicolás González calmly slotted home the resulting spot kick.

Key stat: Fiorentina have now qualified from their group on each of their last six appearances in UEFA club competition.

Frankfurt 1-2 PAOK

Highlights: Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 PAOK

PAOK secured top spot in Group G after edging out Frankfurt, who had Kristijan Jakić sent off in stoppage time.

The contest burst into life in the second half, Tomasz Kędziora opening the scoring for the visitors and Frankurt's Omar Marmoush levelling shortly after. But the Andrija Živković sealed the points for PAOK 17 minutes from time.

Key stat: Frankfurt suffered successive home defeats for the first time since September 2022.

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Best of the rest

Highlights: Nordsjælland 6-1 Fenerbahçe

• Nordsjælland secured an impressive 6-1 defeat of Fenerbahçe, which put them top of Group H. Substitute Benjamin Nygren's hat-trick helped the Danish side, appearing in a UEFA group stage for only the second time, clinch the win that sets up a three-way tussle for the section's two qualification berths on Matchday 6, when Nordsjælland visit second-placed Ludogorets.

• Juraj Kucka's double gave Slovan Bratislava a comeback win away to KÍ Klaksvík, ensuring qualification in the process. The Faroese side, who needed to avoid defeat to maintain their hopes of a top-two finish, took the lead in the 17th minute before the 36-year-old Slovakian international midfielder scored in each half, the first time he had struck twice in a match since May 2010.

• Thiago's two goals helped Club Brugge record a 5-0 victory at Beşiktaş to equal the Blauw-Zwart's biggest winning margin away from home in UEFA club competition. Ronny Deila's men, who were one of a quartet of sides to book their place in the next stages on Matchday 4, also inflicted the Turkish Super Lig side's joint-heaviest loss in Europe on their own ground.

All the Matchday 5 results

Group A: Olimpija Ljubljana 0-2 LOSC Lille, KÍ Klaksvík 1-2 Slovan Bratislava
Group B
: Gent 4-1 Zorya Luhansk, Breidablik 1-2 Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Group C
: Astana 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb, Ballkani 0-1 Viktoria Plzeň
Group D
: Bodø/Glimt 5-2 Lugano, Beşiktaş 0-5 Club Brugge
Group E
: AZ Alkmaar 1-0 Zrinjski, Aston Villa 2-1 Legia Warszawa
Group F
: Fiorentina 2-1 Genk, Čukarički 1-2 Ferencváros
Group G
: HJK Helsinki 2-2 Aberdeen, Frankfurt 1-2 PAOK
Group H
: Nordsjælland 6-1 Fenerbahçe, Spartak Trnava 1-2 Ludogorets

All the Matchday 6 fixtures (14 December)

Group A: Slovan Bratislava vs Olimpija Ljubljana (21:00), LOSC Lille vs KÍ Klaksvík (21:00)
Group B
: Maccabi Tel-Aviv vs Gent (21:00), Zorya Luhansk vs Breidablik (21:00)
Group C
: Viktoria Plzeň vs Astana (21:00), Dinamo Zagreb vs Ballkani (21:00)
Group D
: Club Brugge vs Bodø/Glimt (21:00), Lugano vs Beşiktaş (21:00)
Group E
: Legia Warszawa vs AZ Alkmaar (18:45), Zrinjski vs Aston Villa (18:45)
Group F
: Genk vs Čukarički (18:45), Ferencváros vs Fiorentina (18:45)
Group G
: PAOK vs HJK Helsinki (18:45), Aberdeen vs Frankfurt (18:45)
Group H
: Ludogorets vs Nordsjælland (18:45), Fenerbahçe vs Spartak Trnava (18:45)

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