Europa League: Analysis for Spurs vs. Dinamo Tbilisi, and All the Day's Matches
A day after the UEFA Champions League group stage participants were determined, the 48 clubs in the UEFA Europa League group stage were confirmed Thursday. The Europa group draw will be held Friday morning.
Tottenham Hotspur delivered one of the most impressive performances over the two-legged matchups as they defeated Dinamo Tbilisi 8-0 on aggregate.
Other clubs from Europe's top domestic leagues were not as fortunate as Tottenham, as quite a few upsets occurred.
Read on for a recap of Tottenham's win at home, as well as five other crucial Europa League matches from Thursday night.
Tottenham 3-0 Dinamo Tbilisi (Aggregate 8-0)
Tottenham cruised to victory at home against Dinamo Tbilisi.
With a five-goal advantage on aggregate already in hand, Spurs faced little pressure to impress in front of their home fans at White Hart Lane.
Jermain Defoe entered the starting 11 for the first time this season with Roberto Soldado resting for the North London derby at Arsenal on Sunday, and he rewarded manager Andre Villas-Boas with two first-half goals.
Defoe scored twice in the final five minutes of the first half to help Spurs cruise to a seven-goal advantage on aggregate. Lewis Holtby scored in the 69th minute for the final goal of the match to extend that lead to eight.
With the victory in hand, Tottenham will now look forward to dominating the group stage as one of the strongest clubs left in the competition.
Petrolul Ploiesti 2-1 Swansea City (Aggregate 3-6)
Swansea City entered Romania with a five-goal advantage, and they used that to make their way to the group stage.
The Swans lost to Petrolul Ploiesti by one goal, but their lead on aggregate was never in doubt.
The three goals in the match came in an 11-minute span late in the second half, with two of the goals coming a minute apart.
Njongo Priso opened the scoring for the hosts in the 73rd minute before a Roland Lamah goal just a minute later.
In the 83rd minute, Hamza Younes handed the Romanian side a bit of pride with his match-winning goal.
As the Swans enter the group stage, they will be without Leon Britton, who received a red card in the 87th minute and will be suspended for the first group match.
Spartak Moscow 2-4 St. Gallen (Aggregate 3-5)
The first big surprise of the day came from Arena Khimki in Russia as hosts Spartak Moscow were knocked out of the competition by Swiss club St. Gallen.
Spartak went ahead in the first minute through a goal by Aras Ozbiliz, but they then conceded three consecutive goals to the visitors.
Goran Karanovic's brace helped propel the Swiss underdogs to the shock victory, as he scored his goals 15 minutes apart in the first half.
Roberto Rodriguez contributed a third first-half goal in the 36th minute for St. Gallen, which buried the European hopes of Valeri Karpin's club.
The 2011 Europa League quarterfinalists pegged back a goal in the 83rd minute, but that would not be enough when the final whistle was blown by referee Danny Makkelle.
Stuttgart 2-2 HNK Rijeka (Aggregate 3-4)
Bundesliga side Stuttgart had their spot in the group stage all but booked as they entered stoppage time of their match against HNK Rijeka, but their celebrations were cut short by the Croatian side.
In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Goran Mujanovic silenced the crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Arena with the clinching goal for the visitors.
The match was a back-and-forth affair with Rijeka opening the scoring in the 30th minute and Stuttgart countering four minutes later through a Christian Gentner strike.
"Die Roten" took control of the match in the 75th minute thanks to a goal by Ibrahima Traore, but that goal would not be enough in the end.
After the goal by Mujanovic, fans of the Croatian giant killers were able to celebrate their first-ever spot in the group stage of the Europa League.
Slovan Liberec 1-1 Udinese (Aggregate 4-2)
Another club from the top four domestic leagues in Europe that failed to take down an Eastern European opponent was Serie A club Udinese.
Heading into their second leg with Slovan Liberec of the Czech Republic, the Bianconeri faced a two-goal deficit.
Knowing that they had to score at least three goals to advance to the group stage, Francesco Guidolin's club could only manage a single goal.
That goal, which came by way of Andrea Lazzari in the 42nd minute, came 19 minutes after Slovan Liberec opened the scoring.
With a steep hill in front of them in the second half, Udinese could not pull off the unthinkable, and with that effort or lack thereof, they were sent out of Europe this season.
AZ Alkmaar vs. Atromitos
There was one match on Thursday night that was not completed.
That match was the one between AZ Alkmaar and Atromitos at the AFAS Stadion.
The match between the Dutch and Greek sides was suspended in the 57th minute because of a fire inside the stadium.
To avoid a disruption to the group stage draw, the two clubs will head back to the pitch on Friday to conclude their eventful two-legged series. AZ will play with only 10 men after a player was sent off after only two minutes.
Currently, Atromitos has a 1-0 lead in the match while AZ Alkmaar have a 3-2 lead on aggregate.
Complete List of Results
|Home Club||Final Score (Aggregate Score)||Visiting Club|
|Spartak Moscow||2-4 (3-5)||St. Gallen|
|Rubin Kazan||3-0 (5-0)||Molde|
|Dila Gori||0-3 (0-4)||Rapid Vienna|
|Dynamo Kyiv||5-1 (8-3)||Aktobe|
|Astra Giurgiu||1-1 (1-3)||Maccabi Haifa|
|Trabzonspor||3-1 (5-1)||FK Kukesi|
|APOEL||1-2 (2-3)||Zulte Waregem|
|Sheriff Tiraspol||2-1 (3-2)||Vojvodina|
|Slovan Liberec||1-1 (4-2)||Udinese|
|Petrolul Ploiesti||2-1 (3-6)||Swansea City|
|Nice||1-0 (1-2)||Apollon Limassol|
|Racing Genk||5-2 (7-2)||FH|
|Skenderbeu Korce||1-0 (1-1, 6-7 pens.)||Choronomorets Odesa|
|Zalgiris Vilinius||0-2 (0-7)||Red Bull Salzburg|
|Eintracht Frankfurt||2-1 (4-1)||Qarabag|
|Standard Liege||3-1 (5-1)||Minsk|
|Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk||2-0 (5-1)||Nomme Kalju|
|Slask Wroclaw||0-5 (1-9)||Sevilla|
|Feyenoord||1-2 (1-3)||Rubin Krasnodar|
|Fiorentina||0-1 (2-2), Fiorentina advance on away goals||Grasshopper|
|Tottenham Hotspur||3-0 (8-0)||Dinamo Tbilisi|
|Braga||0-2 AET (1-2)||Pandurii Targu Jiu|
|Real Betis||6-0 (8-1)||Jablonec|