Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Villarreal and Shakhtar all have one eye on the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals after taking notable first-leg leads in their round of 16 ties.
Article top media content
Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Villarreal and Shakhtar closed in on the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals with significant victories on Thursday.
Dortmund were the biggest round of 16 first-leg winners, prevailing 3-0 against Tottenham with the help of two Marco Reus goals. Liverpool, meanwhile, came out on top in the evening's highest-profile fixture, Daniel Sturridge's first-half penalty and Roberto Firmino's close-range effort handing them the advantage over domestic rivals Manchester United in the clubs' first-ever European meeting.
Athletic Club edged the first instalment of another one-country tie, against Liga rivals Valencia, with Fenerbahçe winning by the same 1-0 scoreline against Braga, Mehmet Topal striking late. Basel are still in with a chance of reaching a home final after drawing 0-0 with holders Sevilla in Switzerland.
Dortmund, Liverpool, Villarreal – 2-0 victors against Bayer Leverkusen – and Shakhtar, who defeated Anderlecht 3-1, will be particularly confident of progressing. Only four times in the history of the competition has a side won the first leg by more than one goal and failed to advance.
ROUND OF 16 FIRST LEGS
Shakhtar 3-1 Anderlecht
Basel 0-0 Sevilla
Dortmund 3-0 Tottenham
Fenerbahçe 1-0 Braga
Villarreal 2-0 Leverkusen
Athletic 1-0 Valencia
Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United
Sparta Praha 1-1 Lazio