Europa: Spurs cruise, Swans lose
Tottenham's second string gave manager Andre Villas-Boas plenty to ponder ahead of this weekend's derby against Arsenal as they put in an impressive performance to beat Dinamo Tbilisi 3-0 and help the north London club into the Europa League group stage.
With £60 million worth of new signings added to this squad this summer, and at least another three players on their way in, there has been little talk of the importance of the likes of Jermain Defoe and Lewis Holtby to the new-look Tottenham so far this season.
Yet the duo gave their manager a timely reminder of their talent, even though Dinamo were very poor opposition, as Spurs completed an 8-0 aggregate win.
Swansea suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat in Romania but still advanced to the group stages of the Europa League at the expense of Petrolul Ploiesti.
The Welsh club had held a 5-1 lead after their handsome win in the first leg of this play-off tie last week.
The hosts never looked capable of turning the contest on its head but they did take the lead on the night through Njongo Priso's 73rd minute strike.
Substitute Roland Lamah responded instantly, but Hamza Younes headed home the winner for the hosts before Swansea captain Leon Britton was sent off late on.
They won’t face Udinese who were dumped out by Slovan Liberec after being held to a 1-1 in the Czech Republic.
The Serie A side had trailed 3-1 from the first-leg and went further behind to John Delarge’s 23rd minute goal.
Andrea Lazzari pulled one back for the Italians but it was to no avail, ending their European adventure prematurely.
There was better news for Fiorentina, who qualified via the away goals rule despite losing 1-0 to Grasshoppers on the night.
Nassim Ben Khalifa scored for the Swiss side in the 41st minute but the Viola’s 2-1 advantage from the opening leg saw them progress.
Sevilla made light work of Slask Wroclaw, winning 5-1 at the Miejiki Stadium after a comfortable 4-1 first-leg win in Spain.
Ivan Rakitic, Carlos Bacca (2), Jairo Samperio Bustara and Diego Perotti were all on the scoresheet for the Spanish side.
Real Betis also won handsomely, a 6-0 win against Jablonec giving them an 8-1 aggregate win. Ruben, Mati, Jorge Molina, Braian Rodriguez, Xavi Torres and a Vit Benes own goal sealed the win.
St. Etienne suffered a 1-0 home defeat against Esbjerg thanks to Moustafa Sall’s second half own goal to lose 5-3 on aggregate and crash out of Europe.
Alexander Meier and Taka Inui goals led Frankfurt to a 2-1 win over FK Qarabag on the night and a 4-1 aggregate scoreline. Fellow Bundesliga side Stuttgart couldn’t overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit and were held 2-2 by Rijeka to go out 4-3 over the two games.
Elsewhere, Feyenoord’s participation came to an abrupt end with a 2-1 defeat against Kuban Krasnodar.