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By ESPN Staff
Nov 30, 2011

Spurs facing elimination

Tottenham were left with a very slim chance of making the second round of the Europa League after they were beaten 2-1 by 10-man PAOK Salonika on a controversial night at White Hart Lane.

Europa League Group I highlights (UK)

Sloppy marking from Sebastien Bassong allowed Dimitris Salpingidis and Stefanos Athanasiadis to give the Greeks a 2-0 lead after 13 minutes but Spurs pulled one back with a Luka Modric penalty after Konstantinos Stafylidis was dismissed for handball on the line.

Tottenham thought they had equalised through Jermain Defoe in the second half, but referee Bas Nijhuis controversially disallowed the striker's goal for a foul on Pablo Contreras. The result put PAOK through and left Spurs needing to hammer Shamrock Rovers in Ireland in a fortnight's time and hope the Greeks overcome Rubin Kazan in Thessaloniki.

Nelson Haedo Valdez scored twice as Rubin Kazan comfortably won 4-1 against Group A minnows Shamrock Rovers.

Valdez gave the Russian side an early lead and, though Ken Oman quickly equalised, Rubin restored their lead before half-time through Bebars Natcho.

Valdez and strike partner Obafemi Martins added further goals in the second half to seal an ultimately comfortable win, their side's third in the group to leave them on 10 points.

Celtic's Europa League hopes were in the balance following their narrow 1-0 defeat by Atletico Madrid in their penultimate Group I game at Parkhead.

An Arda Turan strike in the 29th minute was enough to secure the Spanish club qualification with 10 points. The Hoops have to beat Udinese in their last group fixture in Italy on December 15 to leapfrog the Italian club into second place and with a poor away record in Europe, their task is uphill to say the least.

Celtic had more than held their own against Atletico until the Turkey international picked up a Daniel Majstorovic clearance from Diego's corner 20 yards from goal and fired back in past Fraser Forster.

Substitute Gary Hooper, an interval replacement for Victor Wanyama, had the ball in the net after the break only to see it chalked off with an Anthony Stokes handball apparently the reason.

Udinese were prevented from wrapping up their progress as Rennes held on doggedly in a goalless stalemate in France.

The visitors had the better chances and hit the post through Antonio Floro Flores in the early stages. But they were unable to find a way past Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil as Rennes secured their third point in the group.

Birmingham paid the price for Nikola Zigic's early saved penalty as a narrow 1-0 defeat in Braga left them facing an uphill battle in their bid to progress to the knockout stages.

The Serbian saw his 11th-minute spot-kick saved by goalkeeper Quim and the Portuguese hosts went on to claim victory thanks to a touch of City misfortune as Hugo Viana's 50th-minute strike took a huge deflection off Curtis Davies.

Europa League Group H highlights

The result saw Braga qualify for the last 32 from a tight Group H based on their head-to-head record and a 3-1 victory at St Andrew's on matchday one, while Club Brugge's dramatic fight back to claim a 4-3 victory over bottom club Maribor also sent them three points clear of City.

Maribor went into the game with just one point in Group H and no hopes of progressing, but led 3-0 with 22 minutes left.

But Brugge showed tremendous spirit as Nabil Dirar's double and Joseph Akpala's strike drew them level before Ryan Donk's dramatic winner.

Dalibor Volas gave the Slovenian side an 11th-minute opener before Brugge captain Carl Hoefkens turned Dejan Traijkovski's cross into his own net. It looked like being a rout when Marcos Tavares made it 3-0 in the 67th minute but then Brugge hit back.

Marko Devic's 19th-minute strike set Metalist on their way to securing qualification from Group G as group winners with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Austria Vienna. However the visitors hit back within two minutes, Florian Mader seizing the chance to level with a left-foot shot into the top corner of the net after Florian Klein had set him up from the right wing.

Later goals from Edmar, Papa Gueye and Jose Sosa confirmed the home side's victory, but there is still a glimmer of hope for the Austrians after group rivals AZ Alkmaar were held to a shock goalless draw in Malmo. Neither side ever seriously threatened to break the deadlock in Sweden.

PSV Eindhoven secured top spot in Group C as they strolled to a 3-0 victory at 10-man Legia Warsaw.

With both sides already having qualified for the last 32, this match was about the battle for first place and the Dutch side were given a helping hand by Michal Zewlakow's own goal in the 32nd minute.

Legia goalkeeper Dusan Kuciak then saw red just before the hour mark and Dries Mertens converted from the penalty spot, before Zakaria Labyad rounded off the scoring in the 68th minute.

Hapoel Tel Aviv climbed off the bottom of the group with a 3-1 victory over Rapid Bucharest in an otherwise meaningless encounter in Romania.

They still served up an entertaining encounter which featured three penalties and gave Hapoel revenge for having lost the reverse fixture 1-0 at Bloomfield Stadium on matchday one. Rapid are now without a win in eight European home games and dropped to bottom of the group with three points from five games, one behind Hapoel.

Mohamed Tchite and Gohi Cyriac scored the goals that sent Standard Liege through to the Europa League knock-out stages with a 2-0 win over Hannover, who also qualified due to results elsewhere. The Group B leaders made sure of their place with a comfortable win.

The home side got their breakthrough when Yoni Buyens headed a ball on in the box and Tchite was on hand to drill a right-foot shot into the corner of the net from 12 yards. Cyriac prodded home a cross from Mujangi Bia for the second

FC Copenhagen will play no part in the knockout stages after being held to a 1-1 draw by Group B minnows Vorskla.

Copenhagen striker Dame N'doye scored for both teams in the space of seven first-half minutes. But it was Vorskla who looked the more impressive side and their visitors were left three points adrift of second-placed Hannover, with an inferior head-to-head record.

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