British trio all through to Europa League play-offs

Fulham, Stoke and Hearts made it a successful night in Europe for British teams as they all progressed to the Europa League play-offs.

The three sides will now face a two-legged play-off fixture before they can book their place in the group stages of the competition.

Under new manager Paulo Sergio, Hearts defeated Hungarian side Paksi 4-1 at Tynecastle to win 5-2 on aggregate. Sergio dedicated the victory to former boss Jim Jefferies who was relieved of his duties earlier this week. Two goals from Ryan Stevenson and one apiece from John Sutton and Rudi Skacel did the job for the Edinburgh club.

Fulham went into their match at Craven Cottage on the back of a 0-0 draw in the first leg. In the away-leg they had been frustrated but their fears were soon dispelled thanks to an Andrew Johnson header. Danny Murphy added his side’s second from the penalty spot to extend Martin Jol’s unbeaten record at home.

Tony Pulis’ Stoke travelled to Hadjuk Split defending a narrow 1-0 lead and were forced to protect their lead throughout the match. In the last minute however, Dean Whitehead’s cross was headed into his own goal by defender Ljubo Milicevic to see the Potters win 1-0 on the night, and 2-0 on aggregate.

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