Saul Niguez's double, including a stunning solo strike, inspired Atletico Madrid to a deserved 3-0 win against Lokomotiv Moscow.
The midfielder struck in each half as the two-time Europa League winners put themselves on course for the quarter-finals.
His first came after he rode a challenge near the halfway line before advancing and, as the Moscow defence backed off, unleashing an unstoppable effort which darted into the top corner.
Niguez then added a second two minutes after the break and Koke scored a late third with Atletico in control.
Valon Berisha's double earned Red Bull Salzburg a 2-1 win at Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
The Norway midfielder scored twice for the Austrians in the second half, his first a penalty, but Andre Schurrle pulled a goal back to keep the tie alive for Dortmund.
In Russia, Lyon also grabbed a slender 1-0 first-leg lead against CSKA Moscow thanks to Marcelo's first-half goal.
Lucas Ocampos scored after just 41 seconds as Marseille beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in France.
The ex-Monaco winger also netted in the second half as Marseille put one foot into the quarter-finals.
Former West Ham forward Dimitri Payet made it 2-0 after 14 minutes but Aritz Aduriz reduced the deficit from the spot after Adil Rami handled in the area. Payet then laid on the third goal for Ocampos in the 58th minute.
Fredy Montero netted twice for Sporting as they beat Viktoria Plzen 2-0 in Portugal.
The striker grabbed the opener in first-half injury time and added a second just four minutes after the break for a healthy lead.
Junior Moraes and Viktor Tsygankov gave Dynamo Kiev a 2-2 draw at Lazio.
Ciro Immobile and Felipe Anderson scored quickfire replies after Tsygankov's opener at the Stadio Olimpico but Moraes levelled to set up an intriguing second leg.
Bruma and Timo Werner put RB Leipzig close to the last eight after a 2-1 win over Zenit St Petersburg.
The pair scored in the second half but defender Domenico Criscito netted a vital away goal with four minutes left.