Lyon earn CL play-off berth

Lyon beat Grasshoppers 1-0 to secure a Champions League play-off spot, while FC Basel and Fenerbahce also progressed.

Last Updated: 06/08/13 at 23:40 Post Comment

Alexandre Lacazette: In action for Lyon away to Grasshoppers

Alexandre Lacazette: In action for Lyon away to Grasshoppers

Lyon sealed their berth with a 2-0 aggregate win over their Zurich opponents, an 82nd-minute strike from Clement Grenier at the Letzigrund securing the French side a second 1-0 victory on Tuesday night.

They will join Arsenal as one of the seeded teams in the non-champions section of the draw.

Basel survived a major scare before booking their spot in the play-off stage at the expense of Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The Swiss club, last season's Europa League semi-finalists, had looked to be cruising through their third-round qualifying tie after netting three times in the opening 32 minutes through Fabian Schar (penalty), Mohamed Salah and Marcelo Diaz to extend their aggregate lead to 4-0.

However, hosts Maccabi hit back and an own goal from Schar (34) plus efforts from Eran Zahavi (37) and Maharan Radi (55) saw the Israeli side draw level at 3-3 on the night.

Maccabi could not find any more goals though and Swiss champions Basel held on to progress through.

Fenerbahce, who started the summer with a two-year suspension from European competition for alleged involvement in match-fixing before having that ban suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, are also through after beating Red Bull Salzburg 4-2 on aggregate.

After earning a 1-1 draw from their trip to Austria, Fener completed the job on home soil on Tuesday night, although they needed to come from a goal down to do it.

Jonathan Soriano's fourth-minute effort put Salzburg ahead but the Turkish outfit scored three times in the next half-hour through Raul Meireles, Moussa Sow and Pierre Webo to take the win.

In Albania, visiting Shakhtyor Karagandy saw their 3-0 first-leg lead wiped out by Skenderbeu inside the opening 30 minutes, only for the Kazakh champions to recover and earn a 5-3 aggregate triumph.

Goals from Zeljko Tomic (nine) and Bledi Shkembi (20 and 29, both penalties) had Skenderbeu dreaming of a fairytale fightback, but Shakhtyor ended those hopes through goals from Sergey Khizhnichenko (38) and Maksat Baizhanov (67).

Bulgarian side Ludogorets' Champions League adventure continued as they knocked out Partizan Belgrade 3-1 on aggregate following a 1-0 win in Serbia. Hristo Zlatinski netted the only goal of the game from an 88th-minute penalty after Partizan defender Nikola Gulan had been sent off.

Steaua Bucharest, leading 2-0 from the first leg, won through against Dynamo Tbilisi following a 1-1 home draw. Iasmin Latovlevic's early goal extended Steaua's aggregate lead and Dynamo's only response was a 55th-minute goal from Ustaritz Aldekoaotalora.

Finally on Tuesday, a scoreless second leg in Slovenia was enough to send hosts Maribor through on away goals against Apoel Nicosia, the first leg having finished 1-1 in Cyprus.

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ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

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f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

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