Beşiktaş JK and Olympiacos FC justified their billing as the biggest sides in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round, recording comfortable first-leg wins against Vikingur and KS Besa respectively.
Bernd Schuster's first game as the Black Eagles' coach ended in a 3-0 home win against their Faroese guests with Nihat Kahveci scoring twice. The Turkish international headed in Rodrigo Tabata's cross from the right after 19 minutes, and gathered a ball from Erhan Güven to strike the second with 25 minutes to go. New arrival Ricardo Quaresma was involved in the third at the death, crossing for Bobô to tee up substitute Márcio Nobre for a diving header.
Another German coach, Ewald Lienen, had an even more impressive debut with Olympiacos, the deposed Greek champions scoring five without reply in Albania. Spanish striker Óscar González found the target twice in the first half-hour, with Dudu – who set up the second goal − making it 3-0 just after the break with a fine shot from outside the box. Fellow Brazilian Diogo effectively killed the tie off with strikes in the 70th and 84th minutes.
With 40 games on each matchday, the two legs of the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round represent the busiest nights in the UEFA club competition calendar. The ties conclude next Thursday, but Beşiktaş and Olympiacos will not be the only sides who already have an eye on Friday's draw for the third qualifying round, when the likes of Liverpool FC and Juventus come into contention.
Czech club FC Baník Ostrava visited FC WIT Georgia having not won a European away game since beating Galatasaray AŞ 1-0 in Istanbul on 23 October 1991. They left with a 6-0 victory that matched their best ever UEFA club competition result, at home against Orduspor in the 1979/80 UEFA Cup. Coach Miroslav Koubek concluded: "We dominated possession, controlled things and can already think about the next round."
APOEL FC, 3-0 winners against FK Tauras in Lithuania, and Randers FC, victors by the same margin at ND Gorica, are in a similarly happy position, while PFC Levski Sofia can also feel optimistic after beating the Republic of Ireland's Dundalk FC 6-0 at home. A 3-0 triumph at KR Reykjavík augurs well for FC Karpaty Lviv, while modest Croatian outfit HNK Šibenik secured a great 2-0 victory at 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage contenders Anorthosis Famagusta FC.
Finally, twin brothers had reason to celebrate in Lithuania, with Paweł (78) and Piotr (80) Brożek scoring within two minutes of each other as Wisła Kraków built up a 2-0 lead at FC Šiauliai.