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Astra and Zimbru toast surprise first-leg wins

FC Astra Giurgiu rallied to defeat Olympique Lyonnais at Stade de Gerland on a night when FC Zimbru Chisinau upset PAOK FC and Marcus Berg scored four goals.

FC Zimbru Chisinau shock PAOK FC 1-0, FC Astra Giurgiu upset Olympique Lyonnais
FK Partizan, 2-0 down, beat Neftçi PFK 3-2 with two own goals
Kardemir Karabükspor triumph 1-0 against AS Saint-Étienne
Panathinaikos FC's Marcus Berg scores four against FC Midtjylland, Amine Chermiti hits a hat-trick for FC Zürich
Óscar Cardozo on target on his Trabzonspor AŞ debut

FC Zimbru Chisinau surprised PAOK FC, Kardemir Karabükspor recorded their maiden European victory and FC Astra Giurgiu came from behind to defeat Olympique Lyonnais in France as the UEFA Europa League play-offs reached the halfway stage.

View Thursday's first-leg results

Moldovan side Zimbru – who started their campaign in the first qualifying round – have the upper hand going into the away second leg against PAOK thanks to Ştefan Burghiu's 80th-minute header from Anatoli Cheptine's corner. Astra also profited from a late goal to produce a first-ever Romanian club win in France, captain Constantin Budescu converting a penalty for a 2-1 win at Lyon following a foul on Kehinde Fatai by OL substitute Clément Grenier.

Having eliminated Rosenborg BK on away goals last time out, continental debutants Kardemir Karabükspor upset St-Étienne 1-0 in Turkey, Dominick Kumbela landing the decisive first-leg blow with a right-footed shot from the edge of the area that went in off the far post. 

The individual performance of the night was provided by Marcus Berg. The Sweden forward scored four goals, three of them before the break, in Panathinaikos's 4-1 home victory over early Danish league leaders FC Midtjylland.

Substitute Erik Lamela set up Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane as Tottenham Hotspur FC triumphed 2-1 in Larnaca against AEL Limassol FC, who had taken an early lead.

Like Panathinaikos, Villarreal CF were also three-goal winners, former Tottenham player Giovani dos Santos on target in the Yellow Submarine's 3-0 away success over FC Astana.

While FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk lost 1-0 in the Netherlands to Adam Maher's deflected goal for PSV Eindhoven, domestic rivals FC Dinamo Minsk continued their march towards a first group stage appearance. The Belarusian club, who overcame CFR 1907 Cluj in the third qualifying round, kept their fifth clean sheet in as many European games this season as they beat CD Nacional 2-0.