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Thursday, April 11, 2013
Beaten Blues through, Spurs shootout woe

ESPN staff

Chelsea remain on course for a second successive European trophy after reaching the Europa League semi-finals despite falling to a 3-2 second leg defeat away to Rubin Kazan.

• Blog: Blues survive Russian roulette

Fernando Torres, who scored twice in the 3-1 first-leg win, struck his 19th of the season after four minutes with a cute lobbed finish, but thereafter Chelsea endured a difficult evening on the Luzhniki Stadium's synthetic surface.

Three goals in 13 second-half minutes, two of them for Rubin, had Chelsea worried, as Ivan Marcano and Gokdeniz Karadeniz scored headers either side of Victor Moses' curled effort.

Bebras Natcho's 75th-minute penalty led to an anxious conclusion, but Chelsea held on to advance to Friday's semi-final draw with a 5-4 aggregate victory.

Tottenham's rollercoaster ride in the Europa League came to a dramatic end as they suffered penalty shootout heartbreak in Basel.

Clint Dempsey put Spurs ahead, before Mohamed Salah and Aleksandr Dragovic scored to put Basel on course for victory. Dempsey took the tie to extra-time with just eight minutes of normal time remaining - but Tottenham's task was then made much harder by the injury-time dismissal of Jan Vertonghen.

Basel threw everything at the Londoners in extra-time, but they could not find a way through and the game went to penalties.

Tottenham had not won a penalty shoot-out since 1994 - and it showed. Tom Huddlestone and Emmanuel Adebayor both missed from the spot while Basle converted all four of their efforts to send Andre Villas-Boas' team crashing out of the competition.

Eduardo Salvio ended Newcastle's hopes of continuing their European adventure as Benfica struck deep into injury time to claim a 1-1 draw and prevent another St James' Park late show.

The Magpies were leading 1-0 on the night and pushing for the second goal which would have booked them a semi-final place when the midfielder slid home substitute Rodrigo's low cross to secure a 4-2 aggregate victory.

Papiss Cisse, who had earlier seen two efforts ruled out for offside, had set up a grandstand finish with a 71st-minute header, his fifth goal in seven games. However, when the decisive moment came, it was at the wrong end for the home side.

Benfica, who started their European campaign in the Champions League, still have not lost in all competitions since October, although they came mightily close to doing so on Tyneside, and they will now head into the last four with ambitions of lifting the trophy. Newcastle, who were applauded from the pitch by a crowd of 52,157, will now turn their attention to Sunday's derby clash with Sunderland.

Fenerbahce held off a determined Lazio to progress to the last four courtesy of a 1-1 draw in the eerie surrounds of a virtually empty Stadio Olimpico.

Lazio, serving the second of a two-game stadium ban, may not have had their fans to cheer them on but for 70 minutes they put up a determined fight to overcome the first-leg deficit, and Senad Lulic's goal just after the hour mark gave them hope.

But as they piled forward in search of a second, Caner Erkin's powerful equaliser - their first shot on target - ended Italian hopes and put Fener into the final four of a European competition for the first time.




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