Former European champions Marseille and PSV Eindhoven took a step closer to becoming the first UEFA Europa Conference League winners with solid wins on Thursday, but Celtic had no way back as the Glasgow giants were stuck in Bodø/Glimt.
Elsewhere, Partizan confirmed their place in Friday’s round of 16 tie on an upside-down night for Ricardo Gomes, while Slavia Praha moved on to the next stage after a second 3-2 victory against Fenerbahce.
Randers 1-3 Leicester City (agg: 2-7)
A spectacular brace from James Maddison helped Leicester to an aggregate victory in Denmark. Harvey Barnes put the Foxes ahead after just two minutes, before the hosts grew bigger and Kasper Schmeichel was forced to dismiss Stephen Odey in fine fashion.
However, Maddison struck a delicious free-kick and sweet curling effort in the space of four minutes in the second half, before Randers reduced the deficit late, Odey capitalizing on a defensive confusion.
Key stat: Barnes’ first goal was Leicester’s first goal in European competition.
Bodø/Glimt 2-0 Celtic (agg: 5-1)
Bodø/Glimt’s European adventure continues after finishing the job they started so well last week in Glasgow. This time their 2-0 win over Celtic was more professional, with a goal after nine minutes from Ola Solbakken putting them in control before Hugo Vetlesen made sure of it by completing a good team move after the break.
The Scottish side never looked like they would force a comeback in the draw and Bodø/Glimt were the comfortable winners in Norway.
Key stat: The Norwegian champions have won ten of their 12 European home games this century (D1 L1), including seven of seven in the UEFA Europa Conference League this season.
Slavia Prague 3-2 Fenerbahce (agg: 6-4)
Yira Collins Sor scored his first two goals for Slavia as his side secured a second 3-2 victory over the Yellow Canaries.
Ivan Schranz stole Slavia in front, before Sor swooped in to finish the post. Mert Hakan Yandaş hit a good curler to give Fenerbahçe hope but Slavia were outstanding after the break with Sor hammering the roof of the net to make it 3-1 after his side missed a crowd of occasions. Mërgim Berisha’s stoppage-time goal was a consolation for Fenerbahçe.
Key stat: Slavia have taken 21 shots on goal in this game and have lost only one of their last 13 European matches in Prague.
Qarabag 0-3 Marseille (agg: 1-6)
A clinical Marseille extended their first-leg advantage over Qarabağ to seal a place in the round of 16 with minimal fuss. The Azerbaijani hosts came out with intent but after weathering the early storm they were undone when Pape Gueye blasted OM after latching on to a fine ball from Dimitri Payet.
The visitors sat deep and protected their buffer as Qarabağ pursued relentlessly, with Matteo Guendouzi and Konrad De La Fuente finally ending their hopes late.
Key stat: Qarabağ was appearing in a UEFA spring knockout game for the first time in his 18 continental campaigns.
After that ?
The winners will take their place in Friday’s Round of 16 draw, where they will not be seeded.
The top seeds are AZ Alkmaar, Basel, Copenhagen, Feyenoord, Ghent, LASK, Rennes and Roma.
Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-1 PSV Eindhoven (agg: 1-2)
The Dutch team suffered a slightly nervous finish in Israel but still booked their place. PSV looked at home and were watered down after Yorbe Vertessen’s late deflected goal rewarded their dominance, but were forced through an unforeseen storm when Enric Saborit’s 91st-minute header found the way nets.
Second-best for much of the evening, Maccabi had narrowed to 0-0 when Stipe Perica deftly fired a shot at the post shortly after the restart.
Key stat: Belgian youngster Vertessen has scored 11 goals for club and country this season.
Partizan 2-1 Sparta Prague (agg: 3-1)
Ricardo Gomes scored twice and was sent off as the dominant Partizan forged. The hosts’ brilliant start was rewarded when Gomes ignored a defender and fired in, then headed in from a corner for his 26th goal of the season.
Slobodan Urošević had a header ruled out for offside before Gomes was sent off for simulation after falling in the box. Adam Hložek offered Sparta a late consolation against the ten men.
Key stat: Partizan have not progressed beyond the round of 16 in UEFA competition since 1989/90, when they were knocked out of the European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals by Dinamo Bucureşti.
PAOK 2-1 Midtjylland (agg: 2-1, PAOK win 5-3 at pens)
Alexandros Paschalakis’ save on Max Meyer proved crucial for PAOK. Meyer took the first penalty of the shootout for his team after the tie ended, but was denied by the home goalkeeper, and PAOK then converted all five penalties into progress.
PAOK took the lead on the night when Andrija Živković stepped in from close range, and Vieirinha put them ahead on aggregate with a superb long-range effort. However, the visitors forced extra time when Meyer brought in fellow substitute Daniel Høegh to score with a header.
Key stat: PAOK won a penalty shoot-out in UEFA competition for the first time, having lost four times.
Speed 2-0 Rapid Vienna (agg: 3-2)
Ex-Rapid Wien trainee Adrian Grbić struck the first blow early on, rushing Eli Dasa’s fine, weighted pass to nullify the visitors’ first-leg advantage. Dasa again delivered for the second on 19 minutes, Matúš Bero twisting his ball high before finishing low to put the hosts ahead in the draw.
Vitesse had chances to settle the game after the break; Dasa had a shot blocked and Maximilian Wittek slipped an effort against the post, but Rapid failed to exploit the hosts’ nerves.
Key stat: Vitesse entered this game without having won for six games (D1 L5), conceding 19 goals in the process.