Stoke return victorious, Fulham draw
Stoke City marked their first European tie in 37 years with a 1-0 home victory over Croatia's Hajduk Split in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg on Thursday.
Jon Walters nodded home the only goal of the game after three minutes at the Britannia Stadium from a Matthew Etherington cross, but Tony Pulis' side were unable to add to their advantage with a tough second leg still ahead.
Fulham, the 2009/10 runners-up, drew 0-0 at another Croatian side RNK Split with manager Martin Jol stating he was satisfied with the result. "They probably had as much possession as we had, maybe a bit more. But nil-nil away from home against a good side; I'm not happy, but I'm satisfied," Jol said.
"They had probably three or four good chances, that is the only thing we have to work on. We didn't do enough with the ball in their half, but we will do better at home. I expect that we will have more initiative - we have to play better to score."
Atletico Madrid, the 2010 winners, saw off Stromsgodset of Norway 2-1 at Vicente-Calderon with former Arsenal star Jose Antonio Reyes scoring both goals just hours after the Spaniards had sold Sergio Aguero to Manchester City for £38 million.
Dutch team ADO Den Haag have it all to do to reach the play-off round after suffering a 3-0 loss to Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus. Alex opened the scoring from the penalty spot eight minutes before the interval and second-half goals from Hernan Rengifo and Dimitris Christofi sealed a great night for Omonia.
ADO's Eredivisie rivals AZ Alkmaar enjoyed a more successful evening, beating Czech Repulic opponents Jablonec 2-0 at the AFAS Stadion thanks to second-half goals from Pontus Wernbloom and substitute Johann Gudmundsson.
Palermo fight back
Serie A side Palermo had to twice come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against FC Thun at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. Josip Ilicic's 13th-minute strike cancelled out Benjamin Luthi's early effort and then, after Marc Schneider had put the Swiss visitors ahead for a second time, substitute Fabrizio Miccoli grabbed another equaliser in stoppage time.
German outfit Mainz were also held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Gaz Metan at the Bruchwegstadion, Taher Bawab scoring what could prove a valuable away goal to get the visitors back on level terms after Niko Bungert's opener.
Rennes took control of their tie against Olimpi Rustavi by winning 5-2 in Georgia, despite Razak Boukari missing a first-half penalty after the hosts had Giorgi Murvelashvili sent off. Boukari and Jonathan Pitroipa each bagged a brace to put the French team in a commanding position ahead of next week's second leg.
In other games, Leony Kweuke's hat-trick lifted Sparta Prague to a convincing 5-0 home victory over FK Sarajevo and Red Star Belgrade triumphed 2-1 at Ventspils thanks to a stoppage-time winner from substitute Bruno Mezenga.