PARIS, France 12th April – Ten-man Tottenham crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday, losing a quarter-final penalty shoot-out to Basel, leaving Chelsea as England’s sole survivors after Newcastle also exited.
Basel won the shoot-out 4-1 after the second leg in Switzerland had ended 2-2 following extra-time for a 4-4 scoreline on aggregate.
Clint Dempsey gave Spurs a 23rd minute lead before Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah levelled four minutes later.
Basel, who will be playing in their first European semi-final, went ahead thanks to Aleksandar Dragovic in the 49th minute after goalkeeper Brad Friedel parried.
With seven minutes left, Dempsey sent the tie into extra-time, where Spurs played with 10 men following a 90th-minute red card for Jan Vertonghen.
In the shoot-out, Tom Huddlestone and Emmanuel Adebyaor both missed before Marcelo Diaz buried the winning kick for Basel.
“My first thoughts are for the players, they set a great example. The way they approached the competition, playing every Thursday and Sunday,” Spurs boss Andre Villas Boas told ITV.
“We made the country feel different about the competition.”
Chelsea reached the semi-finals despite losing 3-2 to Rubin Kazan.
The London club went through 5-4 on aggregate after winning 3-1 in the first leg and remain on course to win the Europa League a year after triumphing in the Champions League.
Thursday’s match was played on the artificial surface at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, 800 kilometres west of Rubin’s home in Tatarstan, because UEFA ruled the Russian club’s own pitch to be in unfit condition.
Chelsea fans will forever associate the Luzhniki with their team’s painful penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final, although this occasion had a very different feel to it, with the 80,000-capacity venue barely a quarter full.
The Premier League side got off to a glorious start, taking the lead in the fourth minute when Fernando Torres — who netted a brace in the first leg — lobbing into an empty net as Rubin ‘keeper Sergei Ryzhikov came racing out of his area.
Rubin were given hope when Spanish defender Ivan Marcano headed in a cross from compatriot Pablo Orbaiz six minutes into the second half, but Victor Moses soon restored Chelsea’s lead on the night, playing a one-two with Ramires and then curling a shot into the net from 15 yards.
That goal left the Russians needing to score four times without reply to rescue the tie.
Captain Gokdeniz Karadeniz did pull one back before Bebras Natcho converted a penalty after Cesar Azpilicueta was harshly penalised for a foul on Aleksandr Ryazantsev in the box.
That allowed Rubin to win the game on the night, but Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez was pleased to be in the semi-final draw.
“The scoreline doesn’t matter too much. We did a professional job and I am really pleased with the players,” he told ESPN television.
Newcastle were held to a 1-1 draw by Benfica but were beaten 4-2 on aggregate after a 3-1 loss in Portugal in the first leg.
Papiss Cisse gave the English side a 71st-minute lead on the night at St James Park, poking in the ball after good work by Hatem Ben Arfa and Shola Ameobi.
But any hope of a dramatic victory was snuffed out in injury-time by an Eduardo Salvio leveller.
“Two goals is a lot to come back but tonight we gave it a good go. We knew with our fans we would have a good chance,” said Ameobi.
Fenerbache reached their first European semi-final after a 1-1 draw in Italy against Lazio gave them a 3-1 aggregate win.
Senad Lulic put Lazio ahead on the hour mark inside an empty Olympic Stadium in Rome — punishment for the Italian side’s woeful record over racism.
But on 73 minutes Caner Erkin equalised to put the Turks into Friday’s semi-final draw.