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Aug 25, 2011

Roma crash out, Scots sent packing

Slovan Bratislava produced a spirited display at the Stadio Olimpico to cause the biggest upset of Thursday's Europa League play-off round by eliminating Italian giants Roma with a 2-1 aggregate victory.

• Europa League Gallery Photo Gallery

Simone Perrotta put Roma ahead early on but, just as the game looked to be heading into extra-time, the Slovakians grabbed a vital leveller eiight minutes from time, courtesy of substitute Peter Stepanovsky.

Sevilla were also high-profile casualties of the play-off round after drawing 1-1 at home to Hannover. Mohammed Abdellaoue gave the German side the lead and an Emanuel Pogatetz own goal was not enough for the Spaniards, who went out 3-2 on aggregate.

Last season's Champions League semi-finalists Schalke avoided the same fate as Roma and Sevilla, overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit to thrash HJK Helsinki 6-1; Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was the star of the show, netting four goals in the rout.

A nightmare evening for Scottish football saw Celtic, Rangers and Hearts all dumped out of the Europa League at the play-off stage.

Hearts' progress always looked unlikely after their 5-0 first-leg defeat to Tottenham and a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane against a second-string Spurs side confirmed their exit.

Celtic crashed out after losing 3-1 to FC Sion on the night and on aggregate after Daniel Majstorovic was sent off just three minutes into the game having given away a penalty. Pascal Feindouno converted from the spot before doubling the lead on 63 minutes. Charlie Mulgrew gave Celtic a late lifeline, but Giovanni Sio put the result beyond doubt.

Rangers were the closest of the SPL clubs to advancing but despite dominating NK Maribor for most of the game, it was the Slovenian side who held on for a 1-1 draw, which secured a 3-2 aggregate victory. Dalibor Volas gave NK the lead and though Carlos Bocanegra equalised with 15 minutes to go, the Gers could not find the crucial second.

Stoke held a narrow 1-0 lead over FC Thun from the first leg, but the Potters ran riot with a 4-1 win at Britannia Stadium. Matthew Upson scored his first goal for Stoke to open proceedings before Kenwyne Jones extended Stoke's lead before half-time with a diving header from a Jermaine Pennant cross.

Glenn Whelan made it 3-0 before Jones headed in his second, but they failed to keep a clean sheet as Andreas Wittwer scored a consolation.

Birmingham may be playing in English football's second tier this season, but the Carling Cup holders booked their place in the group stages with a convincing 3-0 win over CD Nacional de Madeira. First half-goals from Nathan Redmond and David Murphy gave the Blues a two-goal advantage at the break, before Chris Wood sealed an impressive win with four minutes remaining.

Fulham were the only English club to suffer defeat, but a 1-0 loss to Dnipro was enough to seal their progress with a 3-1 aggregate win. Evgeny Shakhov hauled Dnipro back into the tie in the 22nd minute, but Fulham hung on in Ukraine on to secure the tie.

Lazio ensured there will be at least one club from the Italian capital competing in the group stage after wrapping up a 3-1 win over Rabotnicki in Macedonia for a 9-1 aggregate victory, with Tommaso Rocchi scoring twice.

Shamrock Rovers became the first Irish side to reach the group stages of a European competition as Stephen O'Donnell's extra-time penalty gave them a famous 3-2 aggregate win over Partizan Belgrade.

Sochaux were stunned 4-0 at home by Metalist after last week's goalless draw in Ukraine, but Paris St Germain wrapped up a 6-0 aggregate win over Differdange of Luxembourg with a 2-0 home stroll.

Dutch side AZ Alkmaar overturned last week's 2-1 reversal to Norway's Aalesund in style, winning 6-0 in Alkmaar. Martin Hinteregger's strike was not enough for Salzburg, who went out on away goals to Omonia Nicosia despite a 1-0 win on the night.

Stade Rennes sealed qualification with a ruthless 4-0 demolition of former European champions Red Star Belgrade, while Atletico Madrid comfortably progressed thanks to a 4-0 victory away to Guimaraes and PSV also cruised - hammering Austrian minnows SV Josko Ried 5-0.

Full round-up of scores:

Dinamo Bucuresti 2 - 3 Vorskla (agg 3-5)
Spartak Moscow 2 - 3 Legia Warsaw (agg 4-5)
Stade Rennes 4 - 0 Crvena Zvezda (agg 6-1)
PSV Eindhoven 5 - 0 SV Josko Ried (agg 5-0)
AEK Larnaca 2 - 1 Rosenborg (agg 2-1)
Alania Vladikavkaz 2 - 0 Besiktas (agg 2-3)
Dynamo Kiev 1 - 0 Liteks Lovetch (agg 3-1)
FC Spartak Trnava 1 - 1 Lokomotiv Moscow (agg 1-3)
Gaz Metan 1 - 0 Austria Vienna (agg 2-3)
Dinamo Tbilisi 1 - 1 AEK Athens (agg 1-2)
CSKA Sofia 1 - 1 Steaua Bucuresti (agg 1-3)
Hapoel Tel-Aviv 4 - 0 FK Ekranas (agg 4-1)
Young Boys 2 - 2 Braga (agg 2-2, Braga win on away goals)
Rapid Bucuresti 1 - 1 Slask Wroclaw (agg 4-2)
Sparta Prague 1 - 0 FC Vaslui (agg 1-2)
Helsingborg 1 - 3 Standard Liege (agg 1-4)
Panathinaikos 2 - 1 Maccabi Tel-Aviv (agg 2-4)
Schalke 04 6 - 1 HJK Helsinki (agg 6-3)
Anderlecht 2 - 2 Bursaspor (agg 4-3)
Club Brugge 2 - 0 FC Zestafoni (agg 5-3)
Dnipro 1 - 0 Fulham (agg 1-3)
FC Sion Sitten 3 - 1 Celtic (agg 3-1)
Guimaraes 0 - 4 Atl├ętico Madrid (agg 0-6)
Partizan Belgrade 1 - 2 Shamrock (agg 2-3)
Rangers 1 - 1 NK Maribor (agg 2-3)
AS Roma 1 - 1 Slovan Bratislava (agg 1-2)
AZ Alkmaar 6 - 0 Aalesund (agg 7-2)
Birmingham 3 - 0 CD Nacional de Madeira (agg 3-0)
Rabotnicki Kometal 1-3 Lazio (agg 1-9)
Sochaux 0 - 4 FC Metalist Kharkiv (agg 0-4)
Stoke City 4 - 1 FC Thun (agg 5-1)
Karpaty Lviv 1 - 1 PAOK Salonika (agg 1-3)
Paris Saint-Germain 2 - 0 FC 03 Differdange (agg 3-5)
Tottenham Hotspur 0 - 0 Heart of Midlothian (agg 5-0)
Sevilla FC 1 - 1 Hannover 96 (agg 2-3)
SV Salzburg 1-0 Omonia Nicosia (agg 2-2, Salzburg win on away goals)

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