The Europa League has reached its final qualifying round, and teams are vying for spots in the Group Stage. It’s still a massive group of teams that are vying for 21 spots among the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Marseille, Bayer Leverkusen, and others who are already confirmed among the groups.
A number of lopsided scorelines have given teams a hefty advantage after leg number one, while other results are still very much in doubt.
Premier League side Burnley suffered a 3-1 defeat to Greek giants Olympiakos. 25-year-old midfielder Konstantinos Fortounis scored a pair, including the backbreaker from the penalty spot after Ben Gibson was sent off for a handball in the box that resulted in his second yellow card. At the time, the score was 2-1 with Chris Wood having scored for Burnley from the spot and former Nottingham Forest midfielder Andreas Bouchalakis but Olympiakos back in front.
La Liga side Sevilla pulled out a late 1-0 win over Czech club Sigma Olomouc thanks to an 84th minute goal from Pablo Sarabia on a brilliant through-ball from Andre Silva.
Zenit St. Petersburg put three past Norwegian club FK Molde – all in the final 19 minutes – to take a 3-1 first leg lead. Molde had gone in front just before halftime and held it past the 70-minute mark, but Russian international Artem Dyzuba leveled the score. New signing Anton Zabolotny put Zenit with 10 minutes to go, before defender Miha Mevlja put the game away in the 90th minute.
Swedish club Malmo wasted a 2-0 lead at home, slumping to a 2-2 draw against Danish side FC Midtjylland. 35-year-old Malmo captain Markus Rosenberg struck first in the 12th minute, before former Blackburn and Leeds striker Marcus Antonsson doubled the lead in the 24th minute.
Scottish side Celtic scored three minutes into its match against Lithuanian club FK Suduva, but couldn’t manage another as they drew 1-1. 22-year-old French youth international Olivier Ntcham opened the scoring on the road, with a bullet header off a brilliant curling cross from 19-year-old Michael Johnston. However, Suduva leveled things in the 13th minute via Ovidijus Verbickas who got his head on the end of a long-range free-kick.
Turkish club Besiktas drew 1-1 with Serbian club Partizan Belgrade in a weird match that featured both goals scored within a minute of each other early on that almost perfectly mirrored each other. Cape Verde international Ricardo Gomes gave Partizan the lead at home in the 14th minute on a back-post header, before 28-year-old Tolgay Arslan scored a minute later on a nearly identical header from the opposite flank.
French side Bordeaux, with manager Gus Poyet suspended, drew 0-0 with Belgian club KAA Genk and saw Jules Koundé sent off in added time. RB Leipzig was also held to a 0-0 draw on the road, despite a man advantage for nearly the entire match after Ukranian club Zorya Lugansk’s winger Bogdan Lednev was sent off in just the 16th minute. Italian club Atalanta also finished 0-0 with Danish club FC Copenhagen.