Chelsea through, Inter out in Europa League
By Steve Douglas ,APLONDON -- Chelsea staged a thrilling comeback to beat Steaua Bucharest 3-1 and reach the Europa League quarterfinals, but Inter Milan failed to advance despite a second-leg recovery of its own on a breathless night of last-16 action on Thursday.
March 16, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
John Terry and Fernando Torres scored second-half goals to help Chelsea, the reigning European champion, squeeze past Steaua 3-2 on aggregate at Stamford Bridge.
Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, Inter thrashed Tottenham 4-1 at the San Siro for a 4-4 aggregate scoreline but exited on the away-goals rule, with Emmanuel Adebayor's extra-time strike proving decisive.
“We put on a truly great performance, but unfortunately it wasn't enough,” Inter captain Javier Zanetti said. “We gave it everything we had.”
The match was marred by apparent racist abuse by Inter fans toward Adebayor, and Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas expects UEFA to take action.
“It was very, very easy to hear the chanting so I am sure that UEFA will act on it,” Villas-Boas said.
Newcastle completed an English clean sweep into the last eight thanks to Papiss Cisse's stoppage-time winner against Anzhi Makhachkala, partly making up for the failure of any Premier League team to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time in 17 years.
Basel avoided extra time thanks to a late penalty save by Yann Sommer from Roman Shirokov, which meant the Swiss team only lost 1-0 at 2008 winner Zenit St. Petersburg and went through 2-1 overall.
Rubin Kazan ensured there would be Russian representation in the last eight as extra-time goals by Jose Rondon and Vladimir Dyadyun saw off Levante 2-0 on the night and on aggregate.
Lazio and Benfica won their second legs to go through comfortably, while Fenerbahce was the other team to progress.
While Chelsea always had the capacity to overturn its first-leg deficit against Steaua, Inter was given little hope of rescuing its match against Tottenham after being thumped at White Hart Lane last week.