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Tottenham, Schalke advance to UEFA Champions League quarterfinals

Spurs (Getty Images)


Tottenham's foray into uncharted territory continues, as the English club advanced to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time. A 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane was enough for Spurs to eliminate AC Milan, 1-0 on aggregate, and keep dreams of hoisting European silverware alive.

Chances were few and far between, as Tottenham loaded up on defense after some early offensive pressure didn’t produce an insurance goal. AC Milan came within inches of a series equalizer midway through the first half when Robinho lured Spurs' goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes off his line. The Brazilian striker cut it back to Pato, but his shot was cleared off the line by a backtracking William Gallas.

Peter Crouch squandered a golden opportunity for Tottenham to put the game away just after the restart but the lanky forward chose to head the ball to Rafael van der Vaart, who couldn’t get on the end of it, rather than going for goal. From then on, Tottenham piled men behind the ball and Milan struggled to break Spurs down.

Milan almost capitalized on a Gomes mistake when the Spurs keeper spilled a drilled shot, but Tottenham managed a scrambled clearance just after the hour mark.  Gareth Bale made his long-awaited return to the Champions League in the 67th minute, but the Welshman made little impact in his appearance as Milan camped out in the Spurs' half.

Gallas deflected a dangerous Pato shot out for a corner at the death and Tottenham held on to book its place in the final eight.

There was certainly more offense in the day's other Champions League second leg, when Schalke eliminated Valencia with a 3-1 victory (4-2 on aggregate) in Germany. 

The teams carried a 1-1 draw from their first-leg encounter in Spain, and Valencia jumped out to a lead in the 17th minute. Ricardo Costa headed home a close-range header courtesy of a cross from Mehmet Topal. The home side responded, though, with a Jefferson Farfan goal off a free kick five minutes before halftime and the teams were on level terms heading into the break.

Schalke took the lead seven minutes after the restart with a shot from Mario Gavranovic that struck both posts before going over the line. Gavranovic hit the woodwork twice more before Farfan completed his brace with an insurance goal in injury time.


What did you think of today's games? How far can Tottenham go in the Champions League? Did you expect more from Milan's potent offense? Do you think Schalke is a dark horse to advance even deeper into the tournament? Surprised to see either (or both) teams still alive?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Shalke, Shaktar, and Spurs all in the quarter-finals, never though I would say that. I would love to see Spurs draw Barcelona. I could see ‘arry Redknapp going at Barca and not sitting 10 men behind the center circle.

  2. Great clearance by Gallas! Spurs played a tough match and deserved the victory. Looking forward to watching them in the quarters. Hopefully Bale is back to full strength by then. COYS!


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