There is no significant football action going on right now with the 2018/19 campaign just a few days away from starting, so other than pre-season friendlies, the only meaningful football at present are the UEFA Champions League and Europa League qualifying rounds.
The second qualifying round fixtures finished yesterday evening, for entry into the third round before sides are set to face play-offs to earn entry into the group stage proper.
Burnley made to work hard, but march on
Burnley's European adventure is set to continue, as they qualified for the third round after a hard-fought 3-1 extra-time victory over Scottish side Aberdeen.
Following a 1-1 draw in the first leg, the Clarets broke the deadlock early here through Chris Wood, which added to their away goal advantage. However, new signing and teenager Lewis Ferguson equalised in style with a sensational overhead kick which effectively silenced Turf Moor before the half-time whistle, prompting fears that Sean Dyche's side would not progress.
However, Burnley fought back into the game through Jack Cork's header and victory was secured as Ashley Barnes was cool and composed from the penalty spot in the second-half of stoppage time, netting with just ten minutes left to gift them a comfortable two-goal cushion on the evening.
Now, they are set to face another tricky test against Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir in the third round. The first leg will take place in Istanbul on August 9.
Victory for heavyweights and one surprise defeat
The results for the majority of other qualifying rounds went as expected, as there were no major upsets and well-established sides secured their respective qualification through routine victories.
Belgian side Genk progressed after a 9-1 aggregate win over Fola Esch, while Czech side Hajduk Split were 4-2 winners over Slavia Sofia. Bundesliga side RB Leipzig secured a 5-1 aggregate win against BK Hacken, while Turkish giants Besiktas demolished Torshavn 8-0 on aggregate.
There were also comfortable wins for Sevilla and Serie A side Atalanta too. Sparta Prague, Hibernian, Vitesse Arnhem, Bordeaux and Steven Gerrard's Rangers also secured passage into the third-round with narrow wins of their own.
The one major shock from this round of fixtures was Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar, who lost 3-2 on aggregate to Kazakhstan outfit FC Kairat, despite a 2-1 win yesterday.Published 03 Aug 2018, 10:23 IST