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Football

Dortmund, Napoli seal Europa League last 32 spots (Updated)

Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates after scoring a goal during their Europa League group C soccer match in Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund and Napoli were the headline acts to qualify for the Europa League knock-out stage as both sides plundered a glut of goals in Thursday’s early group matches.

Dortmund brushed aside Azerbaijani outfit FK Qabala 4-0 in Germany while Napoli went one better with a 5-0 home thrashing of Danish side Midtjylland.

They will be joined in the last 32 by Molde, who beat former European champions Celtic 2-1 away and Rapid Vienna, who won by the same score at Viktoria Plzen.

Braga and Sion, however, will have to wait after missing out on the chance of moving forward with two group matches to spare.

There were some superb finishes to savour as Dortmund eased past Qabala with Germany forward Marco Reus scoring first with an unstoppable low drive after 28 minutes to ensure the Germans had found the net in each of their last 31 competitive games.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the lead with a left-foot effort before halftime and a Sergei Zenjov own goal made it 3-0.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan rounded off the scoring with a shot that thundered into the net off the bar with 20 minutes remaining, leaving Dortmund top of Group C with 10 points.

NAPLES WALTZ

Napoli waltzed into the knockout rounds and equalled their record European victory with goals from Omar El Kaddouri, a Manolo Gabbiadini double, Christian Maggio and Jose Callejon.

The Italians are now unbeaten in 14 matches across all competitions and sit top of Group D with an unblemished 12 points from their four games.

Mohamed Elyounoussi and the 40-year-old Daniel Hestad were on target for Norwegian champions Molde as they extended their Group A lead and secured their spot in knock-out stage.

There were also celebrations for Rapid Vienna who scored a goal in each half through Philipp Schobesberger to beat Plzen and maintain their 100 per cent record in Group E.

New Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made it three wins from his last three matches with a 1-0 success at Rubin Kazan in Russia that left them second in Group B, two points behind Sion.

Jordon Ibe netted his first goal for Liverpool, latching on to a neat pass from Roberto Firmino to power into the penalty area and fire right-footed into the bottom corner.

Sion had the chance to secure an early spot in the last 32 with a win over Girondins Bordeaux, but needed a 94th-minute own goal from Clement Chantome to snatch a 1-1 draw.

Braga were also denied an early qualification party as they suffered their first defeat in 10 games and lost their 100 per cent record in Group F after a 1-0 defeat at Olympique de Marseille with Georges-Kevin N’Koudou scoring in the 39th.

 

Results from Europa League games:

Ajax 0 – 0 Fenerbahçe

Celtic 1 – 2 Molde

FK Qarabag 1 – 1 Monaco

FC Sion 1 – 1 Bordeaux

Rubin Kazan 0 – 1 Liverpool

Bor Dortmd 4 – 0 FK Qabala

FK Krasnodar 2 – 1 PAOK Salonika

Napoli 5 – 0 FC Midtjylland

Dinamo Minsk 1 – 2 Villarreal

Viktoria Plzen 1 – 2 Rapid Vienna

FC Groningen 0 – 1 Slovan Liberec

Marseille 1 – 0 Sporting Braga

Besiktas 1 – 1 L’motiv Moscow

Tottenham 2 – 1 Anderlecht

Sparta Prague 1 – 1 Schalke

Ath Bilbao 5 – 1 P’zan Belgrade

FC Augsburg 4 – 1 AZ Alkmaar

Rosenborg 0 – 2 Lazio

St Etienne 3 – 0 Dnipro D’trovsk

S’kbeu Korce 3 – 0 Sporting

Belenenses 0 – 2 FC Basel

Lech Poznan 0 – 2 Fiorentina

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