By DAN KARELL
Rafael Benitez’s managerial run with Chelsea hasn’t exactly been a pleasant one, but like last season, the club is making a run in a European competition.
Chelsea takes a 3-1 lead in their tie with Rubin Kazan (12:00pm, Fox Soccer Channel) to Moscow, Russia to face a team that’s knocked off the defending champions, Atletico Madrid, in the round of 32.
Tottenham travel to St. Jakob Park to face FC Basel (3:05pm, Fox Soccer Channel) without their talisman Gareth Bale. Bale injured his ankle in last Thursday’s 2-2 draw, and Spurs will face a difficult test against the pesky Swiss side.
St. James Park meanwhile will play host to Benfica when Newcastle welcomes the Portuguese giants into northeast England (3:05pm, Fox Soccer Plus). Benfica controls the tie, winning 3-1 in Lisbon in the first leg, but Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is hoping his charges can overcome the deficit and keep hope of a European title alive.
Finally, Lazio hosts Fenerbahce at the Stadio Olimpico (3:05pm, Fox Soccer 2Go) just three days after a 1-1 draw with arch-rivals Roma. Fenerbahce won the first leg 2-0, but will be without key players Moussa Sow and Emre for the return leg, giving Lazio hope to mount a thrilling comeback in the tie.
If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. For a rundown of information on today’s quarterfinal action, you can check out our preview after the jump.
Enjoy the action.
RUBIN KAZAN vs. CHELSEA
12:00pm, Fox Soccer Channel
Players to Watch: RUBIN KAZAN – Salomon Rondon, Gokdeniz Karadeniz, Roman Eremenko, Bibras Natkho; CHELSEA – Fernando Torres, Oscar, Edan Hazard, Victor Moses.
FC BASEL vs. TOTTENHAM
3:05pm, Fox Soccer Channel
Players to Watch: FC BASEL – Marco Streller, Alexander Frei, Mohamed Salah, Valentin Stocker; TOTTENHAM – Emmanuel Adebayor, Clint Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jan Vertonghen.
NEWCASTLE vs. BENFICA
3:05pm, Fox Soccer Plus
Players to Watch: NEWCASTLE – Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko, Yohan Cabaye; BENFICA – Oscar Cardozo, Nicolas Gaitan, Ola John, Nemanja Matic.
LAZIO vs. FENERBAHCE
3:05pm, Fox Soccer 2Go
Players to Watch: LAZIO – Hernanes, Miroslav Klose, Antonio Candreva, Senad Lulic; FENERBAHCE – Pierre Webo, Dirk Kuyt, Raul Meireles, Mehmet Topal.
What do you think of today’s matches? Which matches are you most interested to watch?
Share your thoughts below.
I’d argue that Walker and Dawson were Spurs’ best players today – really, they were just incredible – and that Tom Carroll put on a masterclass display in his 60 minutes (they don’t play the same position, but Carroll’s emergence as an incredible passer and a bulldog in central midfield is not going to do anything to help Deuce’s minutes). But you could certainly argue that Dempsey was Spurs’ best attacking player today. His goals weren’t exactly beautiful, but he sure does seem to have a knack for being the garbage man. He put in good defensive work and didn’t do badly going forward. He was active, wasn’t bad in possession, and combined fairly well with his teammates today.
Just want to add that the troll up above sarcastically spouting off before the game in a couple posts that Clint needed a brace to make everyone forget Bale must be feeling foolish right now. ha-ha. Poor guy. He’s slithered off.
And Clint’s goals like a gift from heaven to put a stop to the incessant rantings and ravings from that one poster who just goes on and on and on about how bad Clint is and how if he doesn’t score a goal today the his career is over. ha-ha.
+1. But do you think he did enough to salvage his footballing career at Tottenham?? (<–heavy sarcasm)
ha-ha. Good one.
I think most of the people attacking Clint on the SBI are disgruntled Fulham fans who are angry that he wanted to move on. But recently I have wonder that maybe some of the attacks come from fanboys of another certain player on the USMNT and they want to try to knock Clint down a few notches in an effort to bolster the reputation of their guy.
Gotta say that Dempsey was the best player for the Spurs today building on his solid performance Sunday against Everton. Two beautiful goals and some nice passes and he worked his a** off. I am sure that Clint now has a very warm spot in AVB’s heart.
The only other offensive player to come within a mile of Dempsey today was Sigurdsson, who I am finally starting to like and who has been looking good in recent weeks. Adebeyor could not have been much worse and at times looked like he didn’t care. And what in the heck happened to Dembele, worthless performance. Holtby is not yet ready for prime time at Tottenham.
News reports that Tottenham is going after Pablo Osvaldo of Roma.
Sucks for Demps/Spurs to get knocked out after that effort – but an English club losing on penalties in a quarterfinal tournament match isn’t setting any precedent.
Also, I didn’t want to see Demps take a penalty – as a Fulham supporter, I can recall some really poor penalties by him at Chelsea/Swansea over the past couple of years.
Basel, the club from which Barca got its colours from, prove themselves to be a formidable side after losing their two best players to the Bundesliga (Xhaka and Shaqiri). Respect!
And Dempsey never even gets to take a PK. Brilliant. Give the crucial 3rd kick to Adebayor – he’s had such a phenomenal year.
Deuce’s record in game deciding PKs isn’t much better. AmIRite DCU fans. 🙂
I can’t recall a time he has ever been in that situation. Please enlighten me.
Worse was when Portugal lost on penalty kicks in the Euro Cup without Ronaldo ever getting to take a shot.
How do you lose 4-1 on penalties? Jeez.
Step 1. Find the equivalent of Shannon Boxx and Tobin Heath on your team.
Step 2. Let them take PKs.
Step 3. Enjoy
Mmmm Id love to find the equivalent of Tobin Heath on my team…
Well, there’s always next year…or perhaps the Champion’s League?!?!
Adebayor has been awful all season. Fitting end for him. I can’t imagine he’s around next season
Basel all took theirs very well, Spurs lost it themselves.
I remember that one! Love the cheesy music.
it’s definitely a classic and seemed all too appropriate given the circumstances. The more deserving side advanced, and Spurs have nobody to blame but themselves…
Sucks to be a Spurs fan. Dempsey haters can’t say a thing though.
I want to make Adebayor jokes… but that does it for me.
and of course Adebayor puts it 5 ft over the bar. 3-1 Basel after the 3rd rd…
fitting end for Adebayor today
Basel score first, Huddlestone then gets turned away by Yan Sommer. 1-0 after 1st rd.
And Basel’s 2nd is good, now 2-0 with Gylfi heading to the spot… and he puts in down the middle, 2-1 after 2nd rd.
BRONC. Good job Tom. Good news Spurs fans, you can rest up for a top 4 Prem finish now.
congratulations, hope you all win it