UEFA Europa League Wrap: Sevilla, Swansea earn big wins
Two-time UEFA Europa League winners Sevilla took control of their third round qualifying tie as Swansea made a stunning debut on Thursday.
The Spanish side earned a 3-0 victory and comfortable aggregate advantage over Mladost Podgorica with help from close-season arrivals Carlos Bacca and Daniel Carrico at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Meanwhile, Swansea also had a recent acquisition to thank for their 4-0 win over Malmo, with Wilfried Bony netting twice to lead the Welsh club to a fantastic result in the first Europa League fixture in their history.
A number of other high-profile clubs were also in action on Thursday, with the qualification rounds of this year's competition littered with big names.
Among them, Standard Liege earned a 2-1 away win over Xanthi, Saint-Etienne thrashed Milsami 3-0 at home, Udinese beat Siroki Brijeg 3-1 in Bosnia Herzegovina, and Trabzonspor gained a crucial away goal in a 1-0 win over Dinamo Minsk.
Across the Belarusian capital, Dinamo's city rivals FC Minsk were also in action, but went down to a shock 1-0 defeat to Scottish side St Johnstone.
Hadjuk Split, Motherwell and Hacken joined Minsk in suffering the disappointment of losing in front of their own fans, going down to Dila Gori, Kuban Krasnodar and Thun respectively.
Other clubs of note taking part in qualification on Thursday included Club Brugge, Bursaspor, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Stuttgart, Maccabi Haifa and Vitesse.
Brugge slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Slask Wroclaw in Poland as Bursaspor drew 2-2 with Vojvodina, but Hapoel, Maccabi, Stuttgart and Vitesse all posted away draws at Pandurii Targu Jiu, Ventspils, Botev Plovdiv and Petrolul Ploiesti.
In other results, Aktobe beat Breidablik 1-0, Trencin lost 3-1 at home to Astra Giurgiu, Jablonec defeated Stromsgodset 2-1 and Qarabag earned a 1-0 victory over Gefle.
Meanwhile, Chornomorets Odesa, Rubin Kazan, Zalgiris, Tromso, Rijeka, Kukes and Slovan Liberec are all in control after first-leg meetings with Red Star, Randers, Lech Poznan, Differdange, Zilina, Metalurg Donetsk and Zurich.
However, Asteras Tripolis' clash with Rapid Vienna and Estoril's tie against Hapoel Ramat Gan are finely poised after 1-1 and 0-0 draws respectively.