Good night for English teams in Europa League as they progress to last 32
Tottenham, Newcastle and Liverpool have all managed to book their place for the next round of the Europa League.
Liverpool finished their last group match 1-0, where they dumped Udinese out of the competition and made sure to secure the top spot. The goal which proved to be the winner came from an unlikely source. Jordan Henderson put the reds in front on the 23rd minute with his powerful strike going past Padelli. This was only the third goal for the young midfielder, but it was enough to give his side all three points. The Italians pressed hard for an equaliser but with 20 minutes still to play, Giovanni Pasquale got sent off after receiving his second yellow card when he tangled with Raheem Sterling.
Spurs qualified for the last 32 by finishing on the second spot behind Lazio. The Italian side’s 4-0 thrashing of Maribor put them on top with 12 points, whilst Tottenham finished on ten. Andre Villas-Boas selected a strong team against Panathinaikos and it paid off; Adebayor, Dempsey and Defoe were all on the score sheet to give the home crowd a convincing 3-1 victory. Tottenham took the lead on the 28th minute before Zeca equalised with the header. The Portuguese manager must have had strong words for his players at half time, and the second half was all Tottenham. Dempsey’s header gave the home team the lead back, followed by a cool finish by Jermain Defoe.
Newcastle United qualified second despite their 0-2 defeat to Bordeaux. The French team were ruthless against the less experienced young Newcastle side. Diabaté got both goals for Bordeaux, one on each half. Both teams, however, survived group D.
There were no surprises as former champions Atlético Madrid have also booked their place in the last 32 alongside Inter, Lyon, Stuttgart and Napoli. However, with Sporting Lisbon and Marseille falling short, unusual additions were made in the form of Genk, Fenerbahce and Rubin.
The draw for the Europa League will be made on 20th December, where no doubt everybody will be looking to avoid Manchester City and Chelsea as they’ve been added to the list after their unsuccessful run at Champions League.
Umida Ibrahimova, football correspondent