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Friday 30 August 2013

Europa League: Swansea's Spanish draw

Swans to take on Kuban Krasnodar and St Gallen while Spurs will face Anzhi Makhachkala

  • Holtby and Defoe combined at White Hart Lane to ease Spurs into the group stages

  • Villas-Boas was pleased to see the return of players who had been absent

  • Laudrup called on his players to be more clinical in front of goal

The draw for the group stage of this season's UEFA Europa League has been made with Swansea City placed in the same group as La Liga side Valencia.

The Swans, who qualified for the competition after winning the Capital One Cup in February, booked their place in the group stages with a 6-2 aggregate win over Petrolul Ploiesti in the play-offs. Russian side Kuban Krasnodar, who beat Motherwell and Feyenoord to reach this stage, and St Gallen of Switzerland are also in Swansea's group.

Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, recorded an 8-0 aggregate win over Dinamo Tbilisi in the play-offs and will take on Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala, who have just sold Samuel Eto'o and Willian to Chelsea, Moldova side Sheriff Tiraspol and Tromso, of Norway.

The group stage of this year's UEFA Europa League begins on Thursday, 19 September and finishes on 12 December.

Europa League draw

Group A:
Valencia, SWANSEA CITY, Kuban Krasnodar, St Gallen

Group K:
, Anzhi Makhachkala, FC Sheriff Tiraspol, Tromso

Spurs 3-0 Dinamo Tbilisi (Spurs win 8-0 on aggregate)

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Andre Villas-Boas expressed his satisfaction with the professionalism his team showed after the victory at White Hart Lane.

"The lads showed great professionalism and responsibility"
Andre Villas-Boas

Spurs had won 5-0 in Georgia and two goals from Jermain Defoe and a strike from Lewis Holtby, his first for the club, in the return leg gave Villas-Boas a satisfactory evening, with a number of players returning from long-term absences.

"After winning 5-0 away from home, you come back to our stadium and perhaps people think it's easy to get the job done but the lads showed great professionalism and responsibility," Villas-Boas told the club's website. "They were not complacent in any way or form and we achieved a great result.

"There were some great moments of football, so I'm happy for everyone and looking forward to the draw. It was great for Sandro, Younes Kaboul, Lewis Holtby, players who we've missed for a long time and are picking up form. They have all done extremely well recently. I'm pleased with everyone's performance, particularly the players who have recently come back from injury."

Petrolul Ploiesti 2-1 Swansea City (Swansea win 6-2 on aggregate)

Swansea City were defending a similar five-goal, first-leg advantage away to Petrolul Ploiesti, but went down to a 2-1 defeat in Romania, with Roland Lamah getting the goal for Michael Laudrup's team, who were reduced to 10 men late on by Leon Britton’s second yellow card.

"To reach the group stages is a fantastic achievement for us"
Michael Laudrup

The manager was pleased to reach the group stages of the competition but called on his side to be more clinical in front of goal.

"We had some huge chances," Laudrup told the club’s website. "But if you don't score, then you won't win. We suffered a bit in the last 20 minutes and they got the first goal, then we had the red card late on.

"But we wasted a lot of energy because we didn't score when we had the chance to. To reach the group stages is a fantastic achievement for us. But we should have done better during the game and that’s something we'll work on."

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Key Points

  • Spurs and Swansea ease through to the group stages of the UEFA Europa League
  • Tottenham Hotspur beat Dinamo Tbilisi 3-0 at home while Swansea were beaten 2-1 by Petrolul Ploiesti
  • Swansea drawn to face Valencia while Spurs will play Anzhi Makhachkala and Tromso