London, Feb 28: Tottenham Hotspur looked on the way out of the Europa League when down 0-2 on aggregate with barely half an hour to play until they struck thrice to edge out Ukraine’s Dnipro.
Down 0-1 from the first leg, Tottenham conceded a goal soon on resumption after a barren first session as Roman Zozulya headed home to put the Ukrainians in a position of strength Thursday.
Tottenham’s fight-back started with Christian Eriksen curling in a free-kick to equalise. Then the turning point as Dnipro’s goalscorer Zozulya was sent off for a scrap with Jan Vertonghen.
Tottenham capitalised on that small window of opportunity to bounce back and Adebayor struck twice in the space of four minutes to turn the tables on the Ukrainians.
The English team protected the 3-1 scoreline and were through to the last 16 where they play Benfica.
The other Premier League side Swansea City, however, were not so lucky. They were knocked out of their first Europa venture by Napoli with two late goals.
In a thrilling first half, Swansea fell in arrears through Lorenzo Insignia’s goal. The Swans fought back as Jonathan de Guzman equalised before half time and with the away goals rule in play, Swansea were heading into the next round.
In the second half Swansea looked good to carry the day and Napoli were out of sorts. Then came the decisive 78th minute when Argentine international Gonzalo Higuain banged home a half-chance to put Napoli 2-1 up and break Swansea’s hearts.
The Welsh club tried in vain for the goal to take them to the next stage. Instead, they let Gokhan Inler to tap home the insurance goal.
Napoli will now play FC Porto in a mouth-watering tie.
In the other games, Juventus got past Trabzonpor, Juve will face Italian rivals Fiorentina.
Spanish rivals Sevilla and Real Betis both made it and will face each other in the next round.
The biggest stunners were Red Bull Salzburg putting out Ajax and Lazio falling to Ludogorets Razgrad.