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Europa League wrap: English sides progress

Tottenham scraped into the quarter-finals of the Europa League on the away goals rule after a 4-1 extra-time loss to Inter Milan on Thursday.

Without suspended superstar Gareth Bale, Spurs looked a shadow of the side that have worked their way to third place in the Premier League and needed an Emmanuel Adebayor goal in extra-time to move through.

Trailing 3-0 after the first leg at White Hart Lane, Inter gave the San Siro faithful hope 20 minutes in with a headed goal from Antonio Cassano.

Seven minutes after the break, the tie came alive when Rodrigo Palacio fired past Brad Friedel to make it 3-2 on aggregate.

Cassano’s free-kick took a deflection off William Gallas and into the Spurs goal on 75 minutes to level proceedings, and the sides headed for extra-time with the tie delicately poised.

Adebayor was on hand six minutes into the added time to prod home a rebound, after Mousa Dembele’s shot had forced a good save from Samir Handanovic, but there were a few anxious moments following Ricardo Alvarez’s late header which levelled scores on aggregate once more.

With a crucial away goal in their account, Spurs held on to secure their place in the quarter-finals.

Fellow Premier League sides Chelsea and Newcastle United joined Tottenham in the last eight.

Chelsea overcame a 1-0 first-leg deficit to defeat Steaua Bucharest 3-1 at home.

A right-footed strike from Juan Mata cancelled out Steaua’s 1-0 lead from the first leg, before Vlad Chiriches levelled proceedings from a corner to put the Romanians back ahead in the tie.

But Chelsea responded with aplomb after the interval and claimed the lead through a thumping John Terry header before Fernando Torres, whose night would later be blemished a missed penalty, sealed the 3-2 aggregate win with a smart finish from a tight angle.

Newcastle, meanwhile, needed a last-gasp Papiss Cisse strike to progress at the expense of Anzhi Makhachkala after a 1-0 win at St James’ Park.

The tie seemed destined for a second consecutive scoreless draw until Cisse popped up in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to head home Massadio Haidara’s cross.

In other results, Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg were knocked out by Swiss side Basel.

Zenit won the second leg 1-0 thanks to an Axel Witzel goal on the half-hour mark, but went down 2-1 on aggregate following their 2-0 loss in Switzerland a week ago.

Rubin Kazan made sure there was some joy for Russian fans with a 2-0 extra-time win over Spanish club Levante sending them through 2-0 on aggregate.

With the tie goalless after 180 minutes of football, Jose Salomon Rondon and Vladimir Dyadyun delighted fans in Central Stadium in Kazan with goals in extra-time.

Elsewhere, Benfica claimed a 3-2 victory at Bordeaux to progress 4-2 on aggregate.

Oscar Cardozo was the hero for the Portuguese visitors, scoring a second-half brace including a stoppage-time winner.

In Italy, Libor Kozak netted a hat-trick as Lazio swept Stuttgart aside with a 3-1 victory, Vladimir Petkovic’s side progressing 5-1 on aggregate.

They were joined in the last eight by Fenerbahce, whose 1-1 home draw with Viktoria Plzen was enough to see them move through following a 1-0 first-leg win in the Czech Republic.

Thu 14 March, 2013
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