British teams had mixed fortunes in the first legs of their Europa League play-offs as all three Barclays Premier League teams recorded victories but none of the trio of Scottish Premier League sides in action did likewise.

Tottenham marched towards the group stages with a 5-0 demolition of Hearts at Tynecastle.

Rafael Van der Vaart broke the deadlock on five minutes, bundling his way into the area before slotting into the bottom corner, and the Dutchman was involved again on 13, setting Aaron Lennon free to pick out Jermaine Defoe.

Defoe turned provider when he played a one-two with Jake Livermore on the edge of the area and the latter drove home a third just before the half-hour.

Spurs looked likely to score every time they went forward while in contrast Heurelho Gomes did not have a shot to save in the first half.

That changed briefly after the restart as Hearts had a string of corners that caused panic in the Spurs box and Andrew Driver fired in an angled shot.

But any hopes of a revival were snuffed out on 63 when Tom Huddlestone picked out the run of Gareth Bale, whose first touch took him round Marian Kello and he slotted into an empty net.

And Spurs' fifth came 12 minutes from time after a quick break, Andros Townsend feeding Defoe down the left who crossed for Lennon to score.

Elsewhere Clint Dempsey's double put Fulham firmly on course for a place in the group stage of the Europa League after a convincing 3-0 win over Dnipro at Craven Cottage.

Aaron Hughes fired Martin Jol's side ahead before Dempsey netted twice either side of the break in a one-sided first-leg encounter.

Former Fulham goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka did well to keep out efforts from Matthew Briggs and Steve Sidwell as the hosts bossed the early stages.

Dnipro regrouped and appeared likely to go into the break all square until Hughes ghosted into the box to turn in a low cross from Briggs on 39 minutes.

Dempsey doubled Fulham's advantage four minutes later when he was left unmarked to convert Sidwell's precise centre from close range.

The American headed home Pajtim Kasami's flighted cross on 49, although the home side then lived dangerously as Ievgenii Cherberiachko twice came close to snatching an away goal.

Denys Kulakov's fierce 20-yarded shaved the upright, while Bobby Zamora blazed over in a rare Fulham attack in the closing stages.

Their Premier League rivals Stoke also moved closer to securing a spot in the group stages after a 1-0 victory over FC Thun in Switzerland.

Danny Pugh's first-half strike means the Potters return to the Britannia Stadium for the second leg next week with the luxury of a one-goal cushion.

And to add insult to injury for the hosts, Thun goalkeeper David Da Costa was sent off in the final minute for a heavy challenge on Jonathan Walters.

Championship side Birmingham will be confident of progressing through to the group stage after earning a creditable goalless away draw with CD Nacional.

Rangers' disappointing European campaign continued as Maribor snatched a last-gasp 2-1 victory in Slovenia.

The home side made a decent start with Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor blocking an early shot from Ales Mertelj.

But the visitors gradually imposed themselves on the game and went ahead in the 31st minute through Juan Manuel Ortiz's first goal for the club. The Spaniard found Kirk Broadfoot on the right and raced into the box to collect the return pass and flick home from six yards.

Rangers were comfortable in the lead but they were caught napping in the 52nd minute by a quick throw-in and Agim Ibraimi was allowed to sneak a shot past McGregor at the near post.

The Scottish champions could have restored their lead when Nikica Jelavic set up a shot for Maurice Edu but the American fired just wide.

The visitors appeared content to hang on for a draw in the closing stages but they were stunned in injury-time when Etien Velikonja struck.

Celtic endured a frustrating night at Parkhead as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Sion.

Much of the talk before the game concerned the visitors' starting line-up which contained two players who had been deemed ineligible by FIFA after the club broke a signing embargo.

But the Swiss Cup winners produced a battling performance on the pitch as the Hoops struggled to break down their packed defence.

Meanwhile, a late goal from Gary McCabe earned Irish side Shamrock Rovers a 1-1 draw against Partizan Belgrade.

The League of Ireland Premier Division side found themselves trailing for much of the match to a 15th-minute goal from Nemanja Tomic.

But McCabe brought the home crowd at the Tallaght Stadium to their feet nine minutes from his time with his finish.