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Champions League wrap: Third round ties set

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The early battlers of the UEFA Champions League are two rounds from the group stage following Wednesday’s second qualifying round second legs.

[ UCL TUESDAY: Celtic, Basel advance ]

Check the scorers, and the third round slate, below:

HJK Helsinki 2-1 (2-3 agg.) Red Star Belgrade

A win for the Finnish hosts wasn’t enough to outlast the favorites, as Dusan Jovancic’s 56th minute goal made the difference over two legs.

AIK 3-2 (4-4 agg) Maribor

The thriller of the round saw Per Karlsson and Sebastian Larsson sandwich goals around Andrej Kotnik’s to force extra time in Sweden.

Tarik Elyounoussi’s 93rd minute marker looked set to be enough for AIK to squeeze into the next round, but Alexandru Cretu scored three minutes from time to push Maribor through on away goals.

Qarabag 3-0 (4-1 agg.) Dundalk

Former Udinese and Cordoba strike Jaime Romero scored twice as Qarabag had little need for the away goal it secured in Ireland.

Rosenborg 2-0 (3-2 agg.) BATE Borisov

Down 2-1 after one leg, Pal Andre Helland and Alexander Soderlund struck twice in the final 20 minutes to send the Norwegians into a meeting with Maribor.

Copenhagen 1-0 (3-0 agg.) The New Saints

The Welsh visitors fought hard, but couldn’t overcome a 2-0 deficit and saw the result salted away by Greek international Zeca’s 52nd minute tally.

UCL third qualifying round (Aug. 6-7 and 12-13)
CFR Cluj v. Celtic
APOEL Nicosia v. Qarabag
PAOK v. Ajax
Dinamo Zagreb v. Ferencvaros
Red Star Belgrade v. Copenhagen
Maribor v. Rosenborg
Istanbul Basaksehir v. Olympiacos
Krasnodar v. Porto
Club Brugge v. Dynamo Kiev
Basel v. LASK

Liverpool 3-0 Maribor: Reds waltz to win

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  • Reds lead Sevilla by one point
  • Salah nets deciding goal
  • Can, Sturridge also score

It wasn’t 7-0, but it’ll do.

Maribor held a bit firmer on the road, but Liverpool stayed atop its UEFA Champions League group with a 3-0 win at Anfield on Wednesday.

Emre Can, Daniel Sturridge, and — surprise, surprise — Mohamed Salah scored for the Reds.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Liverpool’s first half was unfortunately all too familiar to the Anfield faithful, as the Reds dominated play but couldn’t find the back of the net.

How dominant were Jurgen Klopp‘s men? How about 84 percent possession and a 12-1 advantage in shot attempts.

If it was going to take something special to beat Jasmin Handanovic, and Salah provided just that. Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s cross was turned into a goal by what essentially a back-heeled volley.

Handanovic then stopped a James Milner penalty attempt drawn by Roberto Firmino.

Can got Liverpool’s second in the 64th minute to help Klopp and Co. breathe easier at Anfield, while Sturridge salted the result away.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Maribor 0-7 Liverpool: Reds finally finish

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Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool has been frustrated on English soil, and let loose its misery on Maribor with a 7-0 win in UEFA Champions League play on Tuesday.

Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah nabbed braces, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Philippe Coutinho also scored for the Reds.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Liverpool finishes the day atop Group E thanks to Spartak Moscow’s blowout of visiting Sevilla.

The Reds took a 3-0 lead before the match was 20 minutes old, and led 4-0 at the break at Ljudski Vrt in Slovenia.

VIDEO: Spartak Moscow section fires flare 50-plus yards at referee

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What’s Russian for “behind closed doors?”

Spartak Moscow may find out after one of their supporters fired a flare from the end line to the midfield stripe, barely missing referee Deniz Aytekin.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap-up ]

Maribor and Spartak drew 1-1, but UEFA repercussions are almost certainly coming for the Russian visitors.

That could benefit Liverpool, who visits Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow on Sept. 26. The Reds drew Sevilla 2-2 on Wednesday.

Champions League: Napoli, Sevilla move on

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Celtic’s 8-4 aggregate win over Astana earlier Tuesday was just the tip of the iceberg.

[ MORE: 426 world clubs, ranked weekly ]

Eight more goals came calling in a quartet of UEFA Champions League playoff round second legs on Tuesday, as Sevilla, Napoli, Maribor, and Olympiacos joined the Bhoys in the group stage.

Sevilla 2-2 (4-3 agg.) Basaksehir

When Sevilla brought two away goals back to Spain, this leg threatened absolute boredom. That couldn’t have been more off base, as the Turkish visitors took a 1-0 through Eljero Elia to put the match back in the balance and didn’t quit once the Istanbul side made it 4-2. But Edin Visca’s 83rd minute goal was all they’d muster, and Sevilla avoided a massive upset to reach the UCL group stage.

Nice 0-2 (0-4 agg.) Napoli

There will be no Mario Balotelli reunion with Anfield in the UEFA Champions League, as Napoli got an early second half goal from Jose Callejon to bury any hopes of the Ligue 1 side coming back from a 2-0 first leg hole. Lorenzo Insigne scored in the 89th minute to make the final moments even less dramatic. He hit the ball really well.

Maribor 1-0 (2-2 agg.) Hapoel Be’er Sheva

It’s cliche to say there were “scenes” in any given big game, but the Ljudski vrt spent the final 15 minutes building to a crescendo. If there was a lid on the place, it would’ve blown at the final whistle as the Slovenian side knocked its Israeli visitors into the Europa League.

Rijeka 0-1 (1-3 agg.) Olympiacos

Not much drama here, as ex-Chelsea winger Marko Marin scored in the 25th minute to put Croatia’s Rijeka in a pretty deep hole.

Still to come Wednesday
All matches at 2:45 p.m. ET

Copenhagen vs. Qarabag (Qarabag leads 1-0)
CSKA Moscow vs. Young Boys (CSKA leads 1-0)
Slavia Prague vs. Apoel Nicosia (Apoel leads 2-0)
Liverpool vs. Hoffenheim (Liverpool leads 2-1)
Steaua Bucharest vs. Sporting CP (First leg 0-0)