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Europa League wrap: Chelsea, Spurs net late winners

Chelsea and Tottenham needed late winners in the first legs of their Europa League round-of-32 ties, while Liverpool crashed to defeat.

Chelsea and Tottenham needed late winners in the first legs of their Europa League round-of-32 ties, while Liverpool crashed to defeat.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United could not find a way through a stoic Metalist Kharkiv defence as the Ukrainian visitors soaked up the pressure in a goalless draw at St James’ Park.

It looked like it would be a similar story for Chelsea until substitute Oscar’s 82nd-minute winner secured a 1-0 victory at Sparta Prague for Rafa Benitez’s men.

The Brazilian starlet netted just 40 seconds after coming on at Toyota Park.

A 93rd-minute free-kick from Gareth Bale secured Spurs a 2-1 home triumph over Olympique Lyon.

Bale had earlier put his side ahead just before half-time with another free-kick before Samuel Umtiti cancelled out the advantage 10 minutes after the restart.

Liverpool fell to a 2-0 defeat at Zenit St Peterburg as two strikes in three minutes in the second half shocked the away side in sub-zero temperatures in Russia.

Hulk smashed a 30-yard drive into the net to open the scoring on 69 minutes before Sergei Semak doubled the advantage in the 72nd minute.

In the round’s surprise results, second-placed Serie A side Napoli were beaten 3-0 at home by Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen and reigning champions Atletico Madrid were beaten 2-0 at home by 10-man Rubin Kazan.

Despite shading possession and shots, Napoli were sunk by goals from Vladimir Darida (28th minute), Frantisek Rajtoral (79th) and Stanislav Tecl (90th) while strikes at the start and end of the game were enough for Rubin Kazan to upset La Liga’s second-placed side.

In other results, Borussia Moenchengladbach and Lazio both threw away leads during their 3-3 draw in Germany, while Inter Milan had a comfortable 2-0 win against Romanian side CFR Cluj.

Anzhi Makhachkala look good to qualify for the next stage after a 3-1 win at home against Hannover, as do Ajax, who overcame Steaua Bucharest 2-0 in front of their home fans.

Levante defeated 10-man Olympiakos 3-0, Benfica won 1-0 at Bayer Leverkusen, and Basel accounted for Dnipro 2-0.

Two first-half goals to each side meant a 1-1 draw for Dynamo Kyiv and Bordeaux, Genk’s last-gasp equaliser rescued a 1-1 draw at Stuttgart and BATE Borisov was held goalless at home by Fenerbahc
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Thu 14 February, 2013
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