FC Zenit St. Petersburg, VfB Stuttgart and PFC CSKA Moskva maintained their perfect records on Matchday 4 to progress to the round of 32, where they will be joined by FC BATE Borisov.
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FC Zenit St. Petersburg, VfB Stuttgart and PFC CSKA Moskva maintained their perfect records on Matchday 4 to secure places in the round of 32 along with FC BATE Borisov, who will enjoy springtime UEFA competition for the first time.
In their 100th match in UEFA competition, CSKA Moskva scored three goals for the fourth game running to beat US Città di Palermo 3-1 and ease into the knockout stages with two matches remaining. Zenit matched their domestic rivals as they also triumphed to guarantee top spot in Group G. However, they had to resist a spirited second-half fightback from HNK Hajduk Split, holding on to win 3-2.
BATE went into their home meeting with FC Sheriff knowing victory, combined with a win for FC Dynamo Kyiv against AZ Alkmaar in Group E's other game, would put them into the last 32. That is exactly how the evening panned out as two goals in the last 20 minutes from Aleksandr Pavlov and Renan Bressan clinched a 3-1 home win for the Belarusian side.
Stuttgart continued their startling European form, winning for the fourth successive matchday. Goals from Ciprian Marica – who was later sent off – Timo Gebhart and Martin Harnik helped them to a 3-0 success at Getafe CF. FC Porto also qualified following a 1-1 home draw with Beşiktaş JK.
Sporting Clube de Portugal failed to join their fellow Portuguese side, though, as KAA Gent ended their 100% record with a 3-1 home win. Meanwhile, several teams saw their European hopes end prematurely, FC Lausanne-Sport , Debreceni VSC and FC Karpaty Lviv among them.
Elsewhere, a late Steven Gerrard hat-trick helped Liverpool FC come from behind and beat SSC Napoli 3-1 to take charge of Group K, while KKS Lech Poznań overtook Manchester City FC at the Group A summit after a victory by the same margin.