Bayern Munich led a quartet of German clubs into the last 16 of the UEFA Cup when the competition favourites thumped Aberdeen 5-1 on Thursday.
Bundesliga leaders Bayern, who next play Anderlecht, went through 7-3 on aggregate after a one-sided contest at the Allianz Arena.
They were joined in the second knockout round by Bayer Leverkusen, who enjoyed a 5-1 demolition of Galatasaray, and now meet league rivals Hamburg SV, who dispensed with FC Zurich.
Werder Bremen cruised through 4-0 on aggregate against Braga. The four German sides to progress occupy the top four positions in the Bundesliga.
It was a perfect night for British sides with Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Bolton Wanderers all progressing. Zenit St Petersburg, Getafe, Olympique Marseille, PSV Eindhoven, Benfica, Fiorentina and Sporting also booked their places.
Bayern made the breakthrough against Aberdeen after 12 minutes when Lucio thumped home a vicious free kick and they doubled their advantage nine minutes before halftime with defender Daniel van Buyten’s powerful header.
Podolski added two more with a close-range finish on 71 minutes and a header six minutes later. Steve Lovell pulled one back for the Scottish side before Mark van Bommel’s strike took Bayern’s tally in the competition to 22 so far this season.
Leverkusen, one place and two points behind third-placed Hamburg in the Bundesliga, tore Galatasaray apart at the BayArena after a goalless first leg in Istanbul.
Two goals from Bosnian forward Sergej Barbarez and another from Stefan Kiessling had the 1988 winners 3-0 up by halftime. Leverkusen threatened to run riot with Karim Haggui and Bernd Schneider making it 5-0 after 61 minutes before the Turkish side stopped the rot with Ahmed Barusso’s late penalty.
Hamburg eased through with a goalless draw at home to FC Zurich after winning the first leg 3-1.
Spanish striker Nacho Novo’s goal nine minutes from time sent Rangers through on away goals after a 1-1 draw in Athens against Panathinaikos.
The Greek side failed to clear a driven cross from Chris Burke and Novo pounced to drill home from eight metres. A superb strike on the half-volley from Yiannis Goumas after 12 minutes had put Panathinaikos ahead. Rangers now play Werder Bremen.
Olympique Marseille went through to a meeting with Zenit St Petersburg, despite losing 2-0 to Spartak Moscow in the Russian capital.
Spartak, 3-0 down from the first leg, set up a tense finale when Roman Pavlyuchenko added to Aleksandr Pavlenko’s first-half goal but it proved in vain.
Zenit clung on in Spain against Villarreal after having two players sent off and went through on away goals despite a 2-1 defeat.
The Russian champions, 1-0 up from the opening leg, had midfielder Roman Shirokov sent off two minutes after halftime and Czech midfielder Radek Sirl became Zenit’s second player to be sent off on 82 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur survived a stern examination from Slavia Prague to keep coach Juande Ramos’s hopes of lifting a third successive trophy after back-to-back wins with Sevilla.
Spurs went through 3-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane and next face PSV Eindhoven.
Nigeria striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni hit a hat-trick for Everton in a 6-1 demolition of Norwegian champions Brann Bergen. The Goodison Park side now take on Fiorentina, who eliminated Rosenborg.
Bolton enjoyed their finest night in Europe as they protected their 1-0 lead from the first leg to hold Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw in the Spanish capital. – Reuters