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Friday 08 March 2013

Europa League: Villas-Boas hails great European night

Tottenham head coach delighted after Londoners seal win over Inter Milan; Chelsea lose

Gylfi Sigurdsson doubles Tottenham's advantage against Inter Milan at White Hart Lane

Tottenham Hotspur were the most impressive English representatives in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night as they completed a 3-0 home round-of-16 first-leg win over Inter Milan, while Newcastle United drew 0-0 at Anji Makhachkala and Chelsea lost 1-0 to Steaua Bucharest.

Gareth Bale was in great form for Tottenham, and he gave Andre Villas-Boas' team the lead after six minutes. Gylfi Sigurdsson doubled Tottenham's lead before Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen gave Spurs a 3-0 advantage to take to Inter's San Siro stadium next week.

Villas-Boas said: "Our big, big task is progressing through the competition because of the prestige and the effect it can have on our season. It was a great European night for us."

Newcastle United had goalkeeper Rob Elliot to thank for ensuring they earned a goalless draw against Anji Makhachkala in Moscow. There were few chances in the freezing conditions in Russia, but Elliot did well to save from former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o.

Chelsea will have to win at Stamford Bridge in the return leg after losing 1-0 to Steaua Bucharest. Rafa Benitez’s side lost after Raul Rusescu scored a first-half penalty for the Romanian team.

Key Points

  • Tottenham Hotspur complete impressive 3-0 win over Inter Milan in UEFA Europa League round-of-16 first leg
  • Newcastle United hold Anji Makhachkala to a 0-0 draw in Moscow
  • Chelsea lose 1-0 at Steaua Bucharest