Third qualifying round first legs (click for details)
The game of the night came in Belgium, where early goals from Emmanuel Bonaventure and Stefano Denswil put Club Brugge 2-0 up at home to İstanbul Başakşehir. However, three goals in 16 second-half minutes from Mossoró (2) and Eljero Elia turned the match on its head – but just as the visitors were starting to dream of their first European victory at the seventh attempt, Denswil’s low free-kick ensured a pulsating encounter ended all square.
Astana and Dynamo both earned 3-1 first-leg home wins, the former getting the better of 2016/17 group-stage participants Legia in Kazakhstan while captain Andriy Yarmolenko supplied a goal and an assist as Switzerland’s Young Boys were beaten in Ukraine. Hapoel Beer-Sheva also prevailed by a two-goal margin, overcoming Bulgaria’s Ludogorets 2-0 thanks to Anthony Nwakaeme and Michael Ohana.
Maribor were 1-0 winners at home to Iceland’s FH, which was also the scoreline as Viitorul of Romania edged out APOEL to claim their first ever European victory. Celtic and Rosenborg shared a goalless draw – Yann-Erik De Lanlay and Nicklas Bendtner passing up good chances for the visitors – while Salzburg were held 1-1 at home by Rijeka. It was also 1-1 at the Stade de Nice, where Mario Balotelli’s opener was cancelled out by a volley from Ajax’s Donny van de Beek.
Vanquishers of Malmö in the previous round, Vardar are on the verge of another Nordic scalp after a 1-0 home win against København. Jonathan Balotelli’s volley earned the Macedonian side victory over FCK, group stage contenders last season.
Meanwhile both CSKA Moskva goals, headers by Alan Dzagoev and Pontus Wernbloom, in their 2-0 triumph at AEK Athens came from corners delivered by Vitinho. Another Greek team Olympiacos prevailed in Belgrade against Partizan, thanks largely to El Fardou Ben Nabouhane’s double.
Elsewhere FCSB rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 down to draw with visitors Viktoria Plzeň, and BATE Borisov limited Slavia Praha to only one goal despite playing for 70 minutes with ten men after the dismissal of centre-back Evgeni Yablonski for bringing down Michal Frydrych in the area.