Europa League review

Soldado hits hat trick, Swans progress

December 12, 2013
By ESPN staff

Roberto Soldado scored a hat trick as Tottenham ran out 4-1 winners against Anzhi Makhachkala to make it six wins from six for Andre Villas-Boas' men in the Europa League, while Swansea booked their place in the knockout stages despite losing to St Gallen.

Roberto Soldado
GettyImagesRoberto Soldado hit his first hat trick for Tottenham on Thursday night.

Soldado glanced Gylfi Sigurdsson's shot beyond Evgeni Pomazan and he beat the Anzhi goalkeeper again from close range before scoring from the spot for the fourth time this season to seal his hat trick.

Kyle Naughton's mistake allowed Anzhi to get on the scoresheet, but a fine goal from Lewis Holtby ensured Tottenham progressed from Group K, along with the Russians, with a 100 percent record.

Elsewhere in the group, FC Sheriff earned their first win of the group stage in Thursday's dead rubber against Tromso, with Cadu and Ismail Isa securing a low-key 2-0 win.

Swansea reached the knockout stages of the Europa League despite a disappointing 1-0 defeat in the fog and cold of St Gallen.

The Welsh club knew a draw would be enough to guarantee their progression from Group A, but Kuban Krasnodar's failure to beat Valencia in Spain ensured this defeat did not prove costly.

The visitors had the better of the opening half with Roland Lamah twice going close, but they slackened off after the break and were punished when Marco Mathys found the net from close range with 10 minutes to go.

Kuban earned a creditable 1-1 draw from their final group stage assignment in Valencia but it was not enough to spare them elimination.

Kuban needed to win against the already-qualified Spaniards while also making up three goals on Swansea to stay alive in the competition, but they failed to get the get the job done at the Mestalla, with Lorenzo Melgarejo's late equaliser cancelling out Paco Alcacer's opener.

Wigan crashed out of the tournament following a 2-1 defeat to Maribor -- Uwe Rosler’s first game in charge of the Latics.

Rosler's men led thanks to Jordi Gomez's penalty four minutes before half-time but Dejan Mezga levelled from the spot two minutes later and Zeljko Filipovic's goal just before the hour mark ended Wigan's hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the competition.

Also in Group D, Zulte-Waregem missed out on qualification for the next round after a 2-0 defeat by group leaders Rubin Kazan.

Bebras Natcho's penalty and Jose Salomon Rondon's late strike ensured that Maribor leapt into the last 32 from the bottom of their group at the expense of the Belgian side.

PSV Eindhoven were dumped out of the competition with a 1-0 defeat to Chornomorets.

Needing just a draw to progress as runners-up to runaway Group B leaders Ludogrets, PSV missed a raft of chances and then conceded a winner to Franck Dja Djedje, sending Chornomorets through instead.

Ludogrets recorded a 2-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb as Dani Abalo and Roman Bezjak made sure Duje Cop's goal meant nothing.

Salzburg ran out 3-0 winners against Esbjerg to claim first spot in group C, with Sadio Mane netting a brace and Kevin Kampl also getting on the scoresheet.

The pair had already qualified for the knockout stages prior to Thursday’s game, but the loss means Esbjerg have to settle for second.

Elfsborg came from behind to beat Standard Liege 3-1 and avoid last place in the group thanks to two goals from Lasse Nilsson and a Mikkel Beckmann strike.

Juan Cuadrado fired home a 77th-minute winner as Fiorentina sealed top spot in Group E with a 2-1 win over Dnipro at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

The Italians hit back after falling behind to an early opener from Yevgeni Konoplyanka, with Joaquin equalising before Cuadrado stretched the Viola’s run of consecutive home wins in European competition to six games.

Meanwhile, Group E whipping boys Pandurii Targu Jiu and Pacos Ferreira brought their dismal Europa League campaigns to a close with a goalless draw.

Apoel Nicosia's Europa League hopes were extinguished after they went down to a 2-0 defeat in a must-win game against Eintracht Frankfurt.

While Frankfurt had already qualified for the knockout stages, Apoel's slim hopes relied on them winning in Germany while also hoping for Maccabi Tel-Aviv to lose to Bordeaux with a swing in goal difference.

However, Stephan Schrock headed home the Bundesliga side's opener in the 66th minute before Constant Djakpa sealed victory 13 minutes from time with a 25-yard free-kick.

And with Maccabi winning 1-0 thanks to Eran Zahavi ‘s penalty, Apoel were ultimately six points off qualification in third in Group F.

Dynamo Kiev survived an early scare before booking their place in the knockout stages with a 3-1 win over Rapid Vienna at the Olympic Stadium.

The Ukrainians were heading out of the competition when Terrence Boyd fired Rapid ahead after just six minutes, but goals from Jeremain Lens , Oleg Gusev and Miguel Veloso secured them second spot in Group G.

Jelle Vossen ensured Genk coach Mario Been was able to celebrate his 50th birthday with victory as the Belgians finished their campaign top of the group with a 1-0 win at last-placed FC Thun.

Freiburg were knocked out of the Europa League after Group H winners Sevilla won 2-0 on a freezing night in the Black Forest.

Vicente Iborra opened the scoring in the first half and substitute Raul Rusescu's late goal clinched victory for Sevilla.

The result left the hosts vulnerable to Liberec, who duly beat Estoril 2-1 in Portugal, thanks to goals from Josef Sural and Michael Rabusic, to snatch second place.

Real Betis qualified for the last 32 as a goalless draw with Rijeka ensured they finished as runners-up in Group I.

Meanwhile, Guimaraes' bid to move into the next round was extinguished by group winners Lyon as the French side came from behind to enjoy a 2-1 victory with the hosts finishing the game with 10 men.

The Ligue 1 team had already progressed to the knockout stage but a win for Guimaraes and defeat for Real Betis would have seen the Portuguese side through from Group I, however, goals from Bafetimbi Gomis and Jordan Ferri meant they had to settle for third spot.

Trabzonspor secured top spot in Group J as they played out a goalless draw against Lazio, who had to settle for second place, at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening.

Elsewhere in the group, goals from Tomasz Jodlowiec and Tomasz Brzyski ensured Legia Warsaw recorded a 2-0 win over Apollon Limassol and avoided becoming the first side in the tournament's history to record both no points and no goals from their six group stage games.

AZ Alkmaar claimed top spot in Group L after a hard-fought 2-2 draw against PAOK Salonika, who had to make to with finishing second.

Thomas Lam opened the scoring for the Dutch side but his effort was quickly cancelled out by Martinez Lucas, before Donny Gorter put AZ back ahead only for Stelios Pozoglou to equalise in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Goals from Shoval Gozlan and Shimon Abuhatzira ensured Maccabi Haifa salvaged a small amount of pride from their unsuccessful Group L campaign as they claimed their first victory in the dead-rubber match against Shakhter Karagandy, running out 2-1 winners.

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