Marcos Reus scored a hat-trick as Borussia Dortmund cruised into the Europa League group stage on Thursday with Athletic Bilbao and Ajax also advancing alongside Azerbaijani clubs Qarabag and Gabala, but England`s Southampton crashed at the first hurdle
Athletic Bilbao need to turn around a first leg home loss in Thursday`s Europa League play-off second leg action to book their spot in the group stage with Borussia Dortmund, Southampton and Ajax also looking to advance.
Four-time European champions Ajax have been eliminated at the third qualifying round stage of the Champions League after a humiliating 3-2 second-leg defeat to Rapid Vienna on Tuesday as Monaco advanced with a 4-0 win over Swiss side Young Boys.
Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc and his players say they are not taking the visit of Dutch side Ajax lightly as they face off in Champions League Group F action, despite the fact they have already qualified for the second round.
Ajax trounced Heerenveen 4-1 in the Dutch championship after recovering from an early setback to turn the game around when the visitors were reduced to 10 men before halftime at the Amsterdam Arena on Saturday.
Two defeats in as many games has not been the dream start Luis Suarez sought to life as a Barcelona player, but one of his old hunting grounds offers the chance to get up and running as the Catalans travel to Ajax on Wednesday.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho deserves all the credit for his emergence as one of the leading coaches in world football, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said as he prepares for the pair`s meeting at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Ajax coach Frank de Boer has warned his players not to focus only on Zlatan Ibrahimovic when the Swedish international marks his return to Amsterdam to play against the club where he first made his mark. "It does not revolve only around Zlatan," De Boer said about the French champions` top scorer on the eve of the Group F match in which Ajax will hope to shrug off a stuttering start to the season.