It was a bad night for holders Valencia who crashed out on penalties after letting a first-leg 2-0 advantage slip against Steaua Bucharest, leaving coach Claudio Ranieri’s job hanging by a thread.
Two goals from Andrei Cristea took the game to extra time, and after the deadlock was not broken, Steaua sneaked through 4-3 in the shoot-out.
It was a better night for Spain’s other teams with Villarreal, Sevilla and Zaragoza all going through.
Villarreal won through after a 2-0 home win against Dynamo Kiev with Luciano Figueroa and Santiago Cazorla grabbing the goals inside the opening half hour.
Juan Roman Riquelme was sent off shortly before half time after reacting to a strong challenge from Kleber, but it mattered not as the home side held on comfortably enough.
Sevilla left it late, but claimed a 2-1 aggregate win against Panathinaikos after late goals from Ariza Makukula (80) and Adriano Correia (90) gave them a dramatic 2-0 home triumph.
Leading 1-0 after the first leg, Zaragoza assured their passage with a 2-1 victory over Fenerbahce: Luciano Galletti and Savio netted to put the Spaniards in control before Alex grabbed a late consolation.
Austria Vienna’s first leg against Athletic Bilbao got the go ahead at the second time of asking and ended in a goalless stalemate – the return leg takes place on Sunday in Spain.
English representatives Newcastle and Middlesbrough both progressed into the last 16 of the UEFA Cup following 2-1 victories on last night.
The Geordies saw off Heerenveen at St James’ Park courtesy of an own-goal from Michel Breuer and Alan Shearer’s seventh strike of the competition.
Arnold Bruggink converted a late penalty to hand the visitors a late consolation, after a needless handball from Shola Ameobi, but The Magpies eased through 4-2 on aggregate.
Boro made harder work of qualification after falling behind at home to Graz AK when Mario Bazina shot home following a defensive mix-up.
James Morrison quickly calmed home though nerves with a neat finish to equalise and a second-half Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink strike sealed a 4-3 aggregate win.
Shakhtar Donetsk knocked out Schalke 2-1 on aggregate with a 1-0 victory at the Arena Aufschalke thanks to a fine Julius Aghahowa strike.
AZ Alkmaar fell behind at home to Aachen when former Liverpool forward Erik Meijer scored, but second half goals from Barry van Galen and Joris Mathijsen saw them through.
Sporting’ Lisbon’s 4-2 aggregate win over Feyenoord was marred by crowd trouble as play was twice suspended as players were hit by objects thrown by home fans.
The Portuguese side picked up their second 2-1 win of the tie at De Kuip thanks to goals from Liedson and Fabio Rochemback, with Nicky Hofs replying for Ruud Gullit’s men.
Parma shrugged off their domestic relegation worries to knock out Stuttgart after extra time, despite being reduced to ten men.
Paolo Cannavaro was dismissed nine minutes from the end of normal time, but the Italians shrugged off their numerical disadvantage to clinch a 2-0 win on the night, and in the tie, thanks to goals in extra time from Marco Marchionni and Andrea Pisanu.
Lionel Mathis was Auxerre’s hero as he headed home a late winner to complete a 3-1 victory.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Amsterdam, things seemed bleak for Auxerre when Ryan Babel grabbed a crucial away goal for Ronald Koeman’s side to cancel out Bonaventura Kalou’s opener.
But after Benoit Cheyrou had reduced the arrears early in the second period, Mathis capped a fine fightback with a winner.
Olympiakos move on following a 1-0 win over Sochaux, Ieroklis Stoltidis scoring to complete a 2-0 victory overall, while Lille put out Basel following a 2-0 success with Matt Moussilou and ex-Tottenham man Milenko Acimovic in the goals.
Benfica bowed out to CSKA Moscow following a 1-1 draw at the Estadio da Luz – a result which saw the Russians through 3-1 on aggregate.
Sergei Ignashevitch’s away goal put the tie beyond the Portuguese side who managed a lone reply from Azar Karadas.
Partizan Belgrade edged past Dnipro as a late goal from Nenad Djordjevic handed them a 1-0 away win in Ukraine, and a 3-2 aggregate triumph.