Holders Sevilla maintained their Europa League challenge with a 1-0 win over Rijeka in a winner-takes-all clash on Thursday as the competition`s arduous group stage wound down with a glut of goals but few surprises.
AS Roma`s premature Champions League exit, following Wednesday`s home defeat to Manchester City, was a painful reminder that they are still well short of the European elite despite their domestic upturn in the last 18 months.
Everton will soon benefit from an "intense" start to the season in which they have struggled to juggle the rigours of the Europa League with a Premier League campaign, manager Roberto Martinez said on Friday.
Tottenham Hotspur have been charged by UEFA after their Europa League game against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday was suspended for several minutes following three separate pitch invasions which appeared to be part of an online prank.
Feyenoord`s Karim El Ahmadi scored a superb goal to help them reach the Europa League last 32 with a 2-0 win over Sevilla on Thursday that left the holders facing a winner-takes-all final game to stay in the competition.
Premier League duo Everton and Tottenham Hotspur both won to clinch qualification for the knockout phase of the Europa League on Thursday, while Celtic also progressed despite losing at home to Salzburg.
More muscle, fewer injuries, and a helping hand from experienced players like Kaka and Denilson have helped Paulo Henrique Ganso return to top form with a Sao Paulo team in the hunt for two trophies as the South American season moves to a close.
European football governing body UEFA on Monday opened disciplinary proceedings against Slovan Bratislava and Sparta Prague over violence between rival fans when the teams met Thursday in the Europa League.