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Europa League Rewind: Tottenham survive on away goals, Chelsea and Newcastle progress, and more

Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring a goal after making it 2-1

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Once again, as if piggybacking off this week’s Champions League drama, Thursday’s evening of Europa League round of 16 action had just about everything.

Carrying a 3-0 lead into the San Siro, Tottenham amazingly surrendered three goals to Inter Milan, including an own goal by William Gallas, before scoring a crucial goal in the first half of extra time to ensure qualification to the quarterfinals on away goals.

Inter’s Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacios scored the two regulation goals before Gallas’ own goal put the match into extra-time, but it was the extended foot of Emmanuel Adebayor that scored the all-important goal for the London side. Cassano beautifully set up teammate Ricky Alvarez to tie the match 4-4 on aggregate, but they’d fail to score again, settling for a 4-1 home victory.

Read more about Thursday’s Europa League matches after the jump:

Fernando Torres’ ended his goal scoring drought with his game-winner in the 71st minute, sending Chelsea into the next round with a 3-1 victory over Steaua Bucaresti. Down 1-0 in aggregate coming into the match, the Blues tied the score with a first-half strike from Juan Mata.

Steaua would strike back just before halftime, when defender Vlad Chiriches slammed home a botched Chelsea clearance on a corner kick. A determined home side came out in the second half going for the win, and after gaining confidence from John Terry’s unmarked header to take a 2-1 lead on the night, Torres’ goal put his team on top in aggregate, holding on to advance past the pesky Romanian club.

In the northeast of England, Newcastle’s Papiss Cissé scored the winner in the 94th minute, sending the Toon Army faithful at St. James Park into a state of hysteria. It’s the Senegalese forward’s second straight match with a game-winning goal in the 90th minute, after his goal against Stoke City last Saturday gave Newcastle three points.

The win puts Newcastle into the quarter-final round for the first time since the 2004-2005 edition of the tournament, when it was called the UEFA Cup.

Here’s a full rundown of today’s results (aggregate score in parenthesis):

Newcastle United 1, Anzi Makhachkala 0 (1-0)

Fenerbahce 1, Viktoria Plzen 1 (2-1)

Lazio 3, Stuttgart 1 (5-1)

Chelsea 3, Steaua Bucaresti 1 (3-2)

Rubin Kazan 2, Levante UD 0 AET (2-0)

Zenit St. Petersburg 1, FC Basel 0 (1-2)

Inter Milan 4, Tottenham Hotspur 1 AET (4-4)

Bordeaux 2, Benfica 3 (2-4)


What did you think of these results? What did you think of Tottenham’s performance? Impressed with Chelsea’s response in the second half?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I think its pretty sad that the only teams written about every single Europa Cup write up are English.

    The Lazio and Benfica games were great and not a pip about them.

    • I lament this constantly. If Rome or Lisbon were English-speaking cities, I imagine you’d hear more. I’m always surprised that the Bundesliga’s fans don’t win it more international acclaim, and that people would rather watch teams from Newcastle and Swansea over teams from Florence and Milan, or Rome, or Napoli. Money talks, I guess, and the EPL has plenty of that (see: people calling it the BPL…), if not much else.

  2. Does anyone else find it horribly wrong that the away goals rule applies in extra time? Tottenham Hotspur scores an away goal in extra time, meaning Inter has to score twice in extra time. That doesn’t seem fair. Over the two-legged tie, Spurs had 30 extra minutes to score away goals. This is another stupid rule.

    • It’s silly to argue that Spurs had 30 extra minutes to score an away goal while failing to account for the fact that Inter got to play an extra 30 minutes at home. And, if the game had gone to penalties, the penalties would have been in the San Siro. Without the away goals rule counting in extra time all the advantages would be with the home team of the second leg.

      So, not a stupid rule at all.

      • The advantages you cite don’t come close to canceling out the disadvantage of having your goals count for half of what your opponent’s goals are worth.

      • Do you really need convincing that it is easier to score goals at home and easier to prevent them? Or that this advantage increases during extra time when fatigue is at its greatest? Why should the home team in the second leg have this advantage? And, the goals don’t count for half as much at all (e.g. if the home team scores 3 and the away team scores 2, they don’t hand the win to the away team). One team gets to play in their home stadium, the other team wins ties. Seems fair to me.

        Whether the advantages cancel each other out or not is up for debate — I obviously give more weight to home field advantage than you do. If you eliminate the away goals rule in extra time, you should just skip the extra time and go straight to PKs and perhaps even clear the stadium for the kicks.

      • Home field is an advantage, sure. But let’s not pretend the stadium is rung with snipers taking out the away team’s players. If the home team scores the away team can still win. If the away team scores that’s pretty much game over. There is no home field advantage that cancels that out. NO manager in his right mind would prefer to be the home team in that scenario.

        You should check out the article in the Guardian a couple days ago about the overly arbitrary nature of the away goals rule. The rule is quite possibly on its way out in the coming years, and the scenario that plays out in extra time is partially why.

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