West Ham United’s UEFA Europa League adventure is over even before the start of their domestic season after a 4-3 aggregate defeat by Astra Giurgiu, while Thomas Tuchel’s first home game in charge of Borussia Dortmund ended in a dominant victory.
Slaven Bilic’s West Ham went to Romania after throwing away a two-goal in the first leg to draw 2-2, and while Manuel Lanzini’s third-minute opener gave the small band of travelling supporters reason for optimism, it all fell apart before the break.
The Premier League side named an understrength side and it told, with Constantin Budescu netting twice in four minutes just after the half-hour mark to turn the tie on its head.
Dortmund handled their tie in a far more professional manner, thumping Austrian side Wolfsberger 5-0 in Germany, securing a 6-0 aggregate triumph thanks to an avalanche of goals in the second half.
Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened up a two-goal lead and then Henrikh Mkhitaryan took over, netting his first in the 73rd minute, before completing a hat-trick 13 minutes later, giving Tuchel a fine home debut as Dortmund coach.
Southampton were almost as comfortable over their two legs against Vitesse, with Thursday’s 2-0 win taking it to 5-0 on aggregate, though Sampdoria crashed out despite beating Vojvodina 2-0 away from home, with a 4-0 defeat in their first meeting doing the damage.
Saint-Etienne slumped to a surprise 2-1 reverse at home to Romanian minnows Targu Mures, though a 3-0 win away from home saw them through regardless and they will be joined by fellow Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, who beat AEK Larnaca 4-0 over their two outings.
There was mixed emotions for the Belgian sides in action, as Sporting Charleroi were comfortably swept aside by Zorya, while Standard Liege cruised past Zeljeznicar.
Although Vitesse found themselves in trouble, Eredivisie rivals AZ had few problems against Istanbul Basaksehir, who were joined in being dumped out by compatriots Trabzonspor, losing rather humiliatingly 2-1 on aggregate to Rabotnicki of Macedonia.
However, Athletic Bilbao, Rubin Kazan, PAOK, Krasnodar, Hajduk Split, Belenenses, Legia Warsaw and Rosenborg all avoided shocks in order to progress.
Odd, Qabala, Zilina, Vaduz, Czech pair Jablonec and Slovan Liberec, Kairat, Rheindorf Altach, Dinamo Minsk and Omonia Nicosia also prevailed, securing play-off places.