LONDON: Both Spain’s Villarreal and Germany’s Borussia Monchengladbach secured their places in the last 32 of the Europa League after closing their Group A campaigns with convincing wins.
Gladbach, once dominant in the competition’s previous existences as Fairs Cup and UEFA Cup, sealed top spot in the pool thanks to a 3-0 victory at home to FC Zurich.
Patrick Herrmann tucked home the first just after half-an-hour and Branimir Hrgota added two more early in the second half, the second a cheeky scooped finished over goalkeeper David Da Costa.
It was no less than the Germans deserved for an utterly dominant performance.
Villarreal finished a point behind Gladbach after first-half goals from Gerard Moreno and Luciano Vietto earned a 2-0 win away to Apollon Limassol.
Torino finished Group B in emphatic fashion as they came from behind to win 5-1 at nine-man FC Copenhagen, but still had to settle for second place behind Club Brugge.
Daniel Amartey put the Danes ahead after six minutes, but Josef Martinez levelled on the quarter-hour.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts when Mikael Antonsson was sent off after half-an-hour and Mathias Jorgensen saw red 10 minutes later for a foul in the area.
Amauri netted the resulting penalty and three more Torino goals inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half ended the match as a contest.
Martinez added a second and Matteo Darmian and Gaston Silva were also on target.
Club Brugge held on to top spot as they edged a 2-1 home win over HJK Helsinki.
Felipe Gedoz’s penalty put the the Belgians in front, but Macoumba Kandji struck a second-half leveller. Lior Rafaelov struck an 88th-minute winner for the hosts.
Dnipro claimed the second qualifying spot in Group F after a 1-0 win over St Etienne in Ukraine.
Artem Fedetskiy’s goal midway through the second half lifted the hosts, who had started the day bottom of the pool, above their opponents and Azerbaijani side Qarabag, who drew 0-0 at home to group winners Inter Milan.
Salzburg completed Group D with five wins and a draw thanks to a 5-1 win overAstra Giurgiu in their final game.
Already confirmed as pool winners, the Austrians went ahead after only nine minutes through Marcel Sabitzer.
Kevin Kampl and Alan both scored twice, Gheorghe Florescu pulling one back to briefly make it 3-1, as Salzburg finished with 21 goals from their six group games.
Celtic, the other side through in the group, lost a thriller 4-3 to Dynamo Zagreb, for whom Marko Pjaca scored a hat-trick.
Pjaca opened the scoring and then made it 2-2 before half-time after goals from Kris Commons and Stefan Scepovic had turned the match around.
Goals from Marcelo Brozovic and Pjaca again had Dinamo 4-2 up five minutes into the second half, with Scepovic getting Celtic’s third late on.
Dinamo Moscow made it six wins from six in Group E as Aleksei Ionov’s 90th-minute winner earned a 1-0 success at second-placed PSV Eindhoven.
Panathinaikos drew 1-1 at home to Estoril in the other game, Kleber’s late equaliser for the visitors cancelling out Nikolaos Karelis’ effort.
In Group C, Besiktas knocked Tottenham out of first with a 1-0 win over the Premier League side in Turkey in a match twice delayed by floodlight failure.
With both sides already qualified, Spurs needed just a point to guarantee top spot, but they could not manage it as Cenk Tosun’s 59-minute goal condemned them to defeat.
Partizan Belgrade and Asteras Tripoli drew 0-0 in the other game in the pool.