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Spurs survive, Everton crash out

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 2 Oct 2008


Tottenham edged nervously into the UEFA Cup group stages on Thursday to ease the pressure on under-fire coach Juande Ramos but fellow English strugglers Everton crashed out.

Tottenham, rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, drew 1-1 with Wisla Krakow in Poland to secure a 3-2 aggregate win.

Pawel Brozek's lobbed equaliser with seven minutes to go, following Arkadiusz Glowacki's 58th-minute own goal for Tottenham, pushed Spurs into crisis defensive mode but they hung on grimly to go through, courtesy of their 2-1 win at White Hart Lane two weeks ago.

“The important thing is qualification,” said Ramos who led Sevilla to two UEFA Cup titles before switching to England.

“There was no euphoria at the end of the match, it was just a sense of getting the job done.”

Everton slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Standard Liege in Belgium to lose 4-3 on aggregate, a result which will pile the pressure onto manager David Moyes who has yet to sign a new contract with the Merseysiders.

Axel Witsel put the Belgians ahead in the 22nd minute before Everton levelled in the 67th minute when Phil Jagielka prodded the ball home after goalkeeper Rorys Aragon fumbled a cross.

Milan Jovanovic grabbed the winner 12 minutes from time when he converted a penalty kick after he had been chopped down by Leighton Baines.

“We have had tough tests – all managers face difficult times, and I have had some,” admitted Moyes whose side reach the last 16 last season.

“No-one has a divine right to win football games. You have to earn the right to do so. There's no manager in football who thinks they have an easy ride, that's for sure. That's part of it. But I want to stay.”

Manchester City, the richest club in the world, went through after a 2-1 home win over Omonia Nicosia of Cyprus for a 4-2 aggregate win with Brazilian Elano and Shaun Wright-Phillips on target.

Aston Villa were held 1-1 at home by Litex Lovech of Bulgaria but still went through 4-2 on aggregate.

Germany enjoyed a four-pronged success with Wolfsburg, Stuttgart, Schalke and Hamburg all moving into the group stages.

Dutch side Feyenoord overturned a shock 1-0 home first leg loss to Swedish team Kalmar to win 2-1 and qualify on the away goals rule.

Former England boss Steve McClaren guided Dutch club Twente Enschede into the group stages after a 1-0 win over French side Rennes.

Twente had lost the first round, first leg clash in France 2-1 a fortnight ago, but that away goal, allied to Swiss international Blaise Kufo's strike here in the 68th minute, proved crucial.

McClaren, who has kickstarted his football rehabilitation in the Netherlands following his failure to take England to the Euro 2008 finals, said: “1-0, it's the perfect result and it was deserved.”

Elsewhere, seven-time European champions AC Milan beat FC Zurich 1-0 for a 4-1 aggregate win with Andriy Shevchencko on target while Ajax Amsterdam eased to a 6-1 aggregate victory over Serbia's FK Borac.


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