Photo by ISIPhotos.com
BY DAN KARELL
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.