Friday 15 March 2013
The Premier League’s three remaining representatives in European competition have been kept apart in the last-eight stage after the draw for the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals was made in Nyon on Friday morning.
After overcoming Inter Milan on away goals last night Tottenham Hotspur have been drawn to face FC Basel, while Chelsea’s reward for victory over Steaua Bucharest is a last-eight encounter with Russian Premier League outfit Rubin Kazan. Conquerors of Anji Makhachkala, Newcastle United, meanwhile, must take on Benfica for the right to appear in the semi-finals.
Chelsea v Rubin Kazan
Tottenham Hotspur v FC Basel
Fenerbahce v Lazio
Benfica v Newcastle United
The quarter-final first legs will take place on 4 April with the return matches scheduled for the following Thursday.
In the Champions League Bayern Munich have been pitted against Serie A champions Juventus, while the three remaining Spanish Liga clubs have been kept apart, with Barcelona matched up with Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid facing Galatasaray and Malaga drawn against Borussia Dortmund.
Malaga v Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid v Galatasaray
Paris Saint-Germain v Barcelona
Bayern Munich v Juventus
The quarter-final first legs will take place on 2 and 3 April with the returns scheduled for the 9 and 10 April.
All three remaining Barclays Premier League clubs progressed to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals after Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Newcastle United had to dig deep to reach the last eight of the competition.
Andre Villas-Boas said he “took a risk with the shape” of his side after Tottenham Hotspur edged into the last eight despite being taken to extra-time by an Inter Milan side who staged a remarkable recovery to claw back a 3-0 first-leg deficit at San Siro.
"We set out to score the goal that would have put us in a very comfortable position"
Spurs’ chief tormentor Antonio Cassano headed the 2010 European club champions in front after 20 minutes, before Rodrigo Palacio gave them further hope on 56 minutes. William Gallas then turned Cassano’s free-kick past Brad Friedel 14 minutes as the Nerazzurri drew level on aggregate.
However, six minutes into extra time Emmanuel Adebayor poached a goal on the rebound, after Samir Handanovic had saved Mousa Dembele’s fierce strike, leaving the hosts needing to score twice. Although Inter managed a fourth goal, when Ricky Alvarez headed in with 10 minutes to go, Villas-Boas’s charges held on to squeeze through on away goals.
"We set out to score the goal that would have put us in a very comfortable position,” said Villas-Boas. “We were the same as Inter were in London. We are not as bad as the performance showed. There are lots of positives and the desire was still there from the players to reach the last night even in extra time."
An impressive second-half recovery helped Chelsea battle back from conceding an equaliser by Steaua Bucharest that threatened to derail their European campaign.
"Top teams want to be in all competitions until the end"
Rafael Benitez’s side levelled the tie on aggregate when Juan Mata opened the scoring on 33 minutes, but the visitors stunned Chelsea on the stroke of half-time when Vlad Chiriches scrambled the ball over the line from close range after the Blues failed to deal with a corner.
Requiring two goals to progress the Londoners headed their way back into contention when captain John Terry glanced in a Mata free-kick on 58 minutes, and Fernando Torres, who later skied a penalty that would have eased home nerves, fired in the all-important third. His first goal at Stamford Bridge since December proved enough to seal the aggregate victory.
"Top teams want to be in all competitions until the end," said Benitez. "Since I came here we are playing around nine games each month. We knew it would be difficult but we have confidence in the players and hopefully we can manage well and progress in all of them."
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew praised his side for eliminating “one of the best teams in the competition” as they edged into the quarter-finals thanks to Papiss Cisse’s last-gasp winner at St James’ Park.
"We just squeezed over the line and I'm highly delighted. We've had a very, very tough two games"
The Senegal forward headed in Sylvain Marveaux's cross three minutes into added time to break the impressive visitors’ resistance.
Though the Russian Premier League side were reduced to 10 men when Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez picked up two yellow cards in seven minutes at the start of the second half, they almost won the tie themselves when Mbark Boussoufa's free-kick rattled the crossbar on 88 minutes.
But the Magpies survived that scare before sealing a dramatic win that was marred only by an injury to Yohan Cabaye, who was substituted during the second half by Jonas Gutierrez.
"We did a lot better in the second half and put them under pressure and when you put them under pressure something gives,” said Pardew. "We've put out one of the best teams in the competition. We just squeezed over the line and I'm highly delighted. We've had a very, very tough two games."
All three Premier League teams will discover their quarter-final opponents later this morning when the draw is made at 11.40am.
Chelsea 3-1 Steaua Bucharest (3-2)
Inter Milan 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur (4-4; Tottenham through on away goals)
Newcastle United 1-0 Anji Makhachkala (1-0)