Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea all scored late goals to advance to the Europa League soccer quarterfinals, succeeding after their fellow English teams failed in the elite Champions League.
Papiss Cisse scored with the final touch of the game last night as Newcastle beat 10-man Anzhi Makhachkala 1-0 after their round-of-16 opener was scoreless. Spurs advanced on the away goals rule following a 4-1 loss at Inter Milan, while Chelsea secured a 3-2 win in its two-game series with Steaua Bucharest.
“We just squeezed over the line and I’m highly delighted,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew told ESPN. “We’ve had a very, very tough two games.”
The Premier League trio will be joined by Basel, Benfica, Fenerbahce, Lazio and Rubin Kazan in the last eight of Europe’s second-tier club competition. The draw takes place today in Nyon, Switzerland, with the matches being played April 4 and 11.
Arsenal’s elimination two days ago left England without a Champions League quarterfinalist for the first time in 17 years. The draw for the last eight of that competition also takes place today in Nyon.
Emmanuel Adebayor’s extra-time goal took Tottenham past Inter Milan on the away goals tiebreaker after the teams tied 4- 4 over two matches. Fernando Torres’s 71st-minute score secured Chelsea’s passage as the Blues beat Steaua 3-1 at home.
“It’s a big win,” Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech told ITV. “I don’t think this was the stage we wanted to go out of the competition.”
Anzhi had Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez sent off for a second yellow card in the 55th minute, though almost won the game in the closing minutes as Mbark Boussoufa hit the crossbar with a free kick.
Cisse then scored in the 94th minute when he headed in Sylvain Marveaux’s cross from the right side. The Senegal striker also scored in stoppage time five days ago as the Magpies beat Stoke 2-1 in the Premier League.
“Papiss did it on Sunday and did it again tonight,” Pardew said. “It was a quality cross and he finished it off.”
After Tottenham won the opening match 3-0 last week, scores from Inter’s Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio and an own goal from William Gallas left the teams tied on aggregate after 90 minutes, forcing extra time at Milan’s San Siro stadium.
Spurs went 4-3 up overall in the 96th minute as Adebayor poked in the rebound after Samir Handanovic was unable to hold Mousa Dembele’s shot. The away goal proved vital as Inter’s Ricardo Alvarez scored with a header four minutes later.
“We showed great character to stick in there,” Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel told the website of tournament organizer UEFA. “We got a goal and made it difficult for them.”
At Stamford Bridge, Torres’s strike clinched a two-goal victory that helped overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first game.
Juan Mata opened the scoring in the 34th minute and Vlad Chiriches replied for Steaua just before halftime, forcing Chelsea to score twice to advance.
Blues captain John Terry headed in a cross from Mata in the 58th minute to tie the series at 2-2 and Torres netted 13 minutes later. The Spanish striker then hit the crossbar with a penalty kick.
Basel, playing with 10 men, lost 1-0 at Zenit St. Petersburg, though still advanced 2-1 on aggregate. After Zenit’s Axel Witsel scored in the 30th minute, Basel’s Marcelo Diaz was sent off for a second yellow card just before halftime. Yann Sommer then saved Roman Shirokov’s penalty kick with four minutes remaining to send Basel through.
Libor Kozak scored a hat trick to lift his tally to a competition-leading eight goals as Lazio beat Stuttgart 3-1 to complete a 5-1 victory. Oscar Cardozo scored twice as Benfica won 3-2 at Bordeaux to advance 4-2.
Extra-time goals from Jose Rondon and Vladimir Dyadyun gave Rubin Kazan a 2-0 win against Levante in Moscow after the teams’ scoreless draw in Spain. Fenerbahce ousted Viktoria Plzen 2-1 following a 1-1 draw in Turkey.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at email@example.com.