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 Posted by PA Sport
Mar 20, 2014

Spurs crash out to Benfica

Tottenham failed to book their place in the Europa League quarterfinals despite a late rally against Benfica, while Juventus moved a step closer to a dream final in their own stadium thanks to their win against Fiorentina.

Benfica celebrate after Ezequiel Garay gave them the lead against Spurs.
Benfica celebrate after Ezequiel Garay gave them the lead against Spurs.

Tottenham, though, will return from Portugal with renewed optimism after Nacer Chadli's brace ended a three-match losing streak in a compelling 2-2 draw at Benfica.

An impressive 3,000 fans made the trip to Lisbon more in hope than expectation after the Portuguese giants inflicted a 3-1 defeat in the first leg of their last-16 tie -- Spurs' largest ever European loss at White Hart Lane.

Their task was made all the more difficult by the absence of 11 first-teamers, but they did not wilt under the pressure and Tim Sherwood's side secured a morale-boosting draw in a fascinating end to the match.

The manner of performance and display will have pleased the under-fire boss, especially given the fact Spurs' uphill struggle became even steeper when Ezequiel Garay powered home a first-half header.

It looked to have effectively ended the tie in which there were no repeat of the fireworks between Sherwood and Benfica counterpart Jorge Jesus, only for summer signing Chadli to turn the match on its head.

The Belgium forward netted a quick-fire brace which was followed up by Aaron Lennon, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Harry Kane efforts, as well as a strong penalty claim as Spurs tried in vain to find a third goal to send the game to extra-time.

However, Lima soon tucked away a spot kick for the hosts in stoppage-time to break Tottenham hearts.

A trademark free kick from Andrea Pirlo sent Juventus through to the last eight after they edged out Italian rivals Fiorentina with a 1-0 win.

Following a 1-1 draw in the first-leg, veteran Pirlo scored the only goal at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in the 71st minute by firing home from just outside the area.

That came moments after Fiorentina captain Gonzalo Rodriguez had collected a second yellow card for hauling down Fernando Llorente and it proved to be the defining moment of the contest as the Viola could not find a way back.

Porto struck twice in the space of seven second-half minutes to knock Napoli out of the competition and progress to the quarterfinals following a 2-2 draw.

The Italian side, trailing 1-0 from the first leg, had piled forward throughout the match and led through Goran Pandev's 20th-minute goal.

A second seemed a matter of time as the chances kept coming, but instead substitute Nabil Ghilas levelled for Porto in a 69th-minute counter-attack, before Ricardo Quaresma killed off Napoli with a brilliant individual effort, meaning Duvan Zapata's injury-time goal to make it 2-2 on the night was a mere consolation.

Valencia cruised into the quarterfinals as they saw off Ludogorets 1-0 to complete a straightforward 4-0 aggregate win.

A 3-0 first-leg victory away from home had all but settled this tie last week, but Paco Alcacer's header early in the second half made absolutely sure of things in a match largely devoid of drama.

Ludogorets started both halves of the match brightly, but after Diego Alves made a fine save to deny Roman Bezjak and then saw Mihail Aleksandrov blaze wide on the rebound in the 64th minute, their challenge was over.

A missed Nono spot kick meant Sevilla advanced to the last eight at the expense of rivals Real Betis after the Seville derby was taken to a penalty shootout.

With Betis leading 2-0 from the first leg, the away side had it all to do, however, goals from Carlos Bacca and Jose Antonio Reyes forced the clash into extra-time.

The extra 30 minutes failed to bring about a goal, though, and it was ultimately Nono's poor miss that sent Sevilla through. 

Lyon survived a scare to advance to the last eight with a 5-3 aggregate win over Viktoria Plzen.

Remi Garde's men came into the match with a 4-1 advantage from the first leg and the tie looked to be dead and buried when Bafetimbi Gomis fired them ahead on the night late in the first half.

But two quick-fire goals from Daniel Kolar and Stanislav Tecl gave the home side the lead and the latter had the chance to really apply the pressure from the penalty spot shortly after.

Tecl hit the post with his spot kick, however, and it finished 2-1 on the night with Lyon moving through.

Basel overcame the early sending off of Marek Suchy to beat SV Salzburg 2-1 and progress to the quarterfinals on a dramatic night at the Red Bull Arena.

Suchy saw red after just nine minutes and when Jonathan Soriano put Salzburg 1-0 up on the night and in the tie, it was not long before the game had to be delayed due to Basel fans throwing missiles onto the pitch.

Play eventually resumed and two goals in 10 second-half minutes from Marco Streller and Gaston Sauro turned the game on its head, before Alan was dismissed just before the end.

AZ Alkmaar booked their place in the quarterfinals after shutting out Anzhi Makhachkala in a 0-0 draw in Russia.

The visitors defended their 1-0 lead from the home leg without any major scares and indeed went closest to scoring themselves when Nemanja Gudelj's first-half free kick hit a post.

Anzhi, bottom of the Russian Premier League, finished the match with 10 men following the injury-time dismissal of Karlen Mkrtchyan.

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