Tottenham, Lazio Ease to Wins in Europa League Playoff Openers

Tottenham won 5-0 at Heart of Midlothian and Lazio routed Rabotnicki 6-0 in the first games of their Europa League soccer playoffs.

Rafael van der Vaart scored after five minutes for Tottenham last night in Scotland, while Djibril Cisse scored twice in Lazio’s home victory.

English clubs were unbeaten on the night. Fulham beat Dnipro 3-0, Stoke won at Thun 1-0 and Birmingham tied 0-0 at Nacional. Maribor beat Scottish champion Rangers 2-1 on Etien Velikonja’s goal in stoppage time, while Celtic and Sion finished scoreless in Glasgow.

Braga, last season’s runner-up to Porto, drew 0-0 at home with Young Boys. Atletico Madrid and PSG both won, while Roma and Schalke lost.

The return matches in the two-game series will be played Aug. 25. The 38 series winners advance the group stage of Europe’s second-tier club competition, where they’re joined by the 10 playoff losers from the elite Champions League.

Vaslui              2-0  Sparta Prague
Legia Warsaw        2-2  Spartak Moscow
Ekranas             1-0  Hapoel Tel-Aviv
Lokomotiv Moscow    2-0  Spartak Trnava
Zestafoni           3-3  Brugge
Helsinki            2-0  Schalke
Litex Lovech        1-2  Dynamo Kiev
Omonia Nicosia      2-1  Red Bull Salzburg
Aalesunds           2-1  AZ Alkmaar
Austria Vienna      3-1  Gaz Metan
Vorskla Poltava     2-1  Dinamo Bucharest
Thun                0-1  Stoke City
Maccabi Tel-Aviv    3-0  Panathinaikos
Steaua Bucharest    2-0  CSKA Sofia
Slask Wroclaw       1-3  Rapid Bucharest
Nordsjaelland       0-0  Sporting Lisbon
PAOK                2-0  Karpaty Lviv
Besiktas            3-0  Alania Vladikavkaz
Bursaspor           1-2  Anderlecht
Standard Liege      1-0  Helsingborg
Hannover            2-1  Sevilla
Red Star Belgrade   1-2  Rennes
Metalist Kharkiv    0-0  Sochaux
Fulham              3-0  Dnipro
AEK Athens          1-0  Dinamo Tbilisi
Rosenborg           0-0  Larnaca
Slovan Bratislava   1-0  Roma
Maribor             2-1  Rangers
Shamrock Rovers     1-1  Partizan Belgrade
Hearts              0-5  Tottenham
Nacional            0-0  Birmingham
Differdange         0-4  PSG
Athletic Bilbao     0-0  Trabzonspor
Lazio               6-0  Rabotnicki
Celtic              0-0  Sion
Ried                0-0  PSV Eindhoven
Braga               0-0  Young Boys
Atletico Madrid     2-0  Vitoria Guimaraes
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