Tottenham with major steps towards quarter-final, Chelsea struggles against Bucharest

08/03/2013 no comments »
Tottenham with major steps towards quarter-final, Chelsea struggles against Bucharest

Totenham 3:0 Inter Milan

Tottenham took a major step toward the Europa League quarter final last night after beating Inter Milan at the White Hart Lane with 3:0. Goals were scored by Bale, Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen.

Tottenham entered the match against Inter Milan with great confidence after beating Arsenal last weekend with 2:1 and currently third in the Premier League table only behind Manchester City and Manchester United. Tottenham had a great start and took the lead through Bale in the 6th minute after an early Sigurdsson cross. Sigurdsson extended the lead in the 18th minute after Jermain Defoe’s shot was saved by Inter Milan keeper Handanovic. Andre Villas-Boas saw a confident performance from his team that clearly dominated the match especially because of a strong Bale, Defoe and Sigurdsson. Inter came close to shorten Tottenham’s lead just before the half-time, but Alvarez clipped wide. The second half started just like the first one with Tottenham dominating the match. Vertonghen sealed the win with a superb header after a Gareth Bale corner in the 53rd minute.

Villas-Boas was delighted about the result and said: It was a very good performance and a great night of European football for us. Unfortunately for us it doesn’t mean that we’re through yet as we still have to go there and it’s a difficult place to go.”

The Spurs will travel to Milan next Thursday, March 14th for the second leg. Bale will be suspended for the next match due to suspension.

Bucharest 1:0 Chelsea

Chelsea with massive set back in the first leg against Steaua Bucharest after losing 1:0.

Chelsea and Benitez were under pressure against Steaua Bucharest after dropping to 4th in the Premier League and the recent form in the league. Chelsea entered the match after a 1:0 victory against West Brom.

Benitez made several changes in the squad. Torrez replaced the ineligible Ba and Ashley Cole and Ramires started from the bench. Victor Moses and Ramires didn’t even travel to Bucharest. Chelsea expected high pressure from Bucharest and struggled from the beginning to create any significant chances. Referee Karasev pointed to the penalty spot in the 34th minute and top scorer Rusescu scored the lead for the Romanians. Chelsea increased the pressure and Hazard and Benayoun came to first chances. However, Chelsea struggled with Latovlevici who always caused problems.  Hazard, Mata and Marin had great opportunities to equalize, but were denied by keeper Tatarusanu.

Benitez was disappointed, but was confident about the second leg. He said: “We know that we have to do our job now at home. In these kind of games and this kind of competition, if you don’t score away it’s always more difficult. Still, you have to believe. We are disappointed, but still we have the belief we will win at home.”

Chelsea will face Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday before facing Steaua Bucharest for the second leg at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, March 14th.

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