Olympique Lyonnais, Real Sociedad de Fútbol and PSV Eindhoven were among the big names to establish first-leg leads in the third qualifying round.
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There were handsome first-leg wins for Olympique Lyonnais, Torino FC and Club Brugge KV as a host of big names entered the fray in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
• Real Sociedad, Lyon and Torino comfortable victors
• PSV, Mainz and Club Brugge also earn first-leg wins
• Rio Ave triumph at Göteborg in first European game
• Fatai scores hat-trick for Astra
• Ties conclude next Thursday
In the group stage for the last two years, Lyon will be confident of making at least the play-offs this time around after a 4-1 win in the Czech Republic at FK Mladá Boleslav, with Mohamed Yattara scoring two. Torino's Marcelo Larrondo matched that tally and the Granata will also take a three-goal advantage into a home second leg thanks to a 3-0 win against IF Brommapojkarna. Both sides ended with ten men.
PSV Eindhoven and 1. FSV Mainz 05 laboured to 1-0 home wins while Real Sociedad de Fútbol will be confident of completing the job next Thursday after a 2-0 triumph against Aberdeen FC in San Sebastian. Club Brugge saw off Brøndby IF 3-0 while an added-time Daniel Kolář equaliser rescued a 1-1 draw for last year's round of 16 participants FC Viktoria Plzeň at FC Petrolul Ploieşti.
Portugal's Rio Ave FC are well placed after a 1-0 win at former champions IFK Göteborg in their first ever game in European competition. Fellow first-timers Hull City and Kardemir Karabükspor both drew 0-0 and Ermis Aradippou FC of Cyprus fell 1-0 at BSC Young Boys.
After scraping through the last round on penalties, things should be easier this time for IF Elfsborg, who lead FH Hafnarfjördur 4-1 at the tie's halfway stage. AC Omonia and FC Astra recorded 3-0 home wins against FK Metalurg Skopje and FC Slovan Liberec respectively, Kehinde Fatai scoring the only hat-trick of the night for Astra.
Croatia's HNK Rijeka cruised to a 5-1 win at Víkingur and FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk pulled off an eye-catching 5-2 success at SV Zulte Waregem. On a good night for Belarusian sides, FC Dinamo Minsk also claimed a notable result with a 1-0 home victory against CFR 1907 Cluj.