Chelsea Advances in Europa League as Tottenham, Newcastle Ousted
Chelsea advanced to the Europa League soccer semifinals after losing 3-2 at Rubin Kazan, as Tottenham was ousted in a penalty shootout and Newcastle exited following a draw.
Chelsea’s defeat in Moscow last night gave it a 5-4 win over the two-match quarterfinal. The Blues, who won the elite Champions league last season, will be joined by Benfica and first-time semifinalists Basel and Fenerbahce in today’s draw.
Basel beat Tottenham 4-1 on penalties in Switzerland after the clubs played to a second straight 2-2 draw. Newcastle lost 4-2 on aggregate to Benfica following a 1-1 home draw and Fenerbahce’s 1-1 tie at Lazio gave it a 3-1 series win.
Chelsea dropped into the second-tier Europa League after becoming the first European Cup titleholder to exit in the Champions League group stage.
“People talk it down at different times but when we get out there we’re very professional,” Blues midfielder Frank Lampard told ESPN. “We want to get to the final.”
The two-match semifinals will be played April 25 and May 2, with the championship game scheduled for May 15 in Amsterdam.
Bebras Natcho’s penalty kick with 15 minutes remaining gave Rubin Kazan the home win last night. Fernando Torres and Victor Moses scored for Chelsea, while Ivan Marcano and Gokdeniz Karadeniz got the other goals for Rubin.
Tottenham’s run in the Europa League ended in penalty kicks as Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer stopped the London team’s first attempt from Tom Huddlestone and Emmanuel Adebayor sent his shot over goal. Spurs got to the shootout even after playing extra time with 10 men after defender Jan Vertonghen was red-carded in the 90th minute.
“We are very sorry to go out,” Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas, who won the Europa League with Porto in 2011, told ITV. “We had high ambitions for this competition.”
Basel’s Fabian Schar, Marco Streller, Fabian Frei and Marcelo Diaz all converted in the shootout.
Clint Dempsey scored twice for Spurs in regulation, including an 83rd-minute equalizer after goals by Mohamed Salah and Aleksandar Dragovic put Basel 2-1 up. Vertonghen was ejected for a foul on Streller as the only man back.
Needing to overturn a two-goal deficit from the first match in Portugal, Newcastle could only manage a home draw with Benfica. Papiss Cisse put the Magpies ahead in the 71st minute before Eduardo Salvio scored for Benfica in stoppage time as Newcastle sought a second that would have sent it through on the away-goals tiebreaker.
“We have gained experience from this run,” said Newcastle manager Alan Pardew. “We have been out of Europe for a while, but we have put ourselves back on the stage in a credible fashion and now we want to get more of it.”
Fenerbahce extended its unbeaten away run in this season’s Europa League with a draw in Rome. The Turkish club has won four and drawn two away from Istanbul.
Lazio had a 20-5 advantage in shots, though only managed one goal from Senad Lulic in the 60th minute. Caner Erkin scored with Fenerbahce’s only shot on target in the 73rd minute.
The draw for the Champions League semifinals will also take place today in Nyon, Switzerland, with two teams each from Spain and Germany. Record nine-time winner Real Madrid is joined by four-time winners Barcelona and Bayern Munich, along with 1997 champion Borussia Dortmund.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at firstname.lastname@example.org.