Anderlecht, APOEL, Athletic, Genk, Krasnodar, Olympiacos, Roma, Sparta Praha and St-Étienne qualified for the round of 32 on Thursday night when three time European Cup winners Inter Milan crashed out of the tournament.
Qualified as group winners (6): Ajax, Roma, Schalke, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sparta Praha, Zenit
Also qualified (7): Anderlecht, APOEL, Athletic, Genk, Krasnodar, Olympiacos, St-Étienne
Still in contention (22): Astra, Austria Wien, AZ, Braga, Celta, Dundalk, Fenerbahçe, Feyenoord, Fiorentina, Gent, Hapoel Beer-Sheva, Liberec, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Manchester United, Osmanlıspor, PAOK, Qarabağ, Southampton, Standard Liège, Steaua, Villarreal, Zürich
Eliminated (13): Astana, Gabala, Inter Milan, Konyaspor, Mainz, Nice, Panathinaikos, Rapid Wien, Salzburg, Sassuolo, Viktoria Plzeň, Young Boys, Zorya
While the nine teams who booked their progress enjoyed relatively low-key evenings, there was drama aplenty elsewhere. Hapoel Beer-Sheva, for example, overturned a two-goal deficit to condemn Inter to bottom spot in Group K. Fiorentina looked to have pulled off an impressive comeback of their own in Group J, but – on the brink of qualification – lost to PAOK in added time.
Manchester United kept themselves in contention with the help of Wayne Rooney’s record 39th UEFA goal for the Red Devils, one more than Ruud van Nistelrooy. He also now has 248 goals in all competitions for United, just one off Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time record. Roma’s Edin Džeko is another in-form UEFA Europa League striker, having plundered a hat-trick to make it 11 goals in his last ten club appearances.
All four sides who had qualified on matchday four, meanwhile – Ajax, Schalke, Shakhtar and Zenit – picked up victories, the Eredivisie club doing so with four teenagers making their competition debuts.