Europa League 2013 Results: Breaking Down Thursday's Biggest Outcomes
The Europa League continued on Thursday with a huge slate of matches, but a few stand out as big-time results moving forward.
With the group stage wearing on and clubs distancing themselves from the pack, we're in for an exciting remainder of the slate. But Thursday only set the stage for that with some telling results.
Let's break down the outcomes that will have the biggest implications down the road.
Full list of Thursday's Europa League standings provided by ESPN FC.
Sheriff Tiraspol 0, Tottenham 2
The Andre Villas-Boas era has gotten off to a solid start with an encouraging slew of Premier League appearances, and Tottenham is taking that success to Europa League.
Spurs beat Sheriff Tiraspol 2-0 on Thursday, upping their total in Europa Leagues to 15 goals in five matches. Just as well, they've refused to let up a goal in those five.
Tottenham wasted no time getting a lead on its over-matched opponent, as Jan Vertonghen scored in the 12th minute. It was a tight affair from then on out until the 75th minute, when Jermain Defoe netted the second goal of the match and put the win on ice.
One of the favorites to bring home the Europa League trophy, Tottenham is now five points ahead of second place in Group K and look to be on the cusp of qualifying for the knockout stage.
Fiorentina 3, Pandurii Targu-Jiu 0
Also undefeated through three group-stage matches are Fiorentina, who had little trouble securing an easy 3-0 victory over Pandurii Targu-Jiu.
Fueled by 63 percent possession, the Italian favorites got on the board relatively early with a 26th-minute goal from Joaquin and extended their lead further just eight minutes later, when Matos Santos Ryder netted one in the 34th minute.
After a 69th-minute score from Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, the win was in the books, and the over-matched Romanian side was left clinging onto a scoreless performance.
Fiorentina are comfortably atop Group E with nine points, but FK Dnipro look to test them down the stretch of group play as they boast six points through three matches.
Swansea City 1, Kuban Krasnodar 1
The most exciting match of the Europa League slate on Thursday had to be this one—a notable favorite going up against a dangerous foe with big implications on the line.
The match was back-and-forth early on and featured scoring chances aplenty for both Swansea and Kuban, but they went into halftime with a scoreless tie. That changed in the 68th minute, when—who else—Michu netted a goal to put the English side up.
Swansea looked to hold onto the three points, until the fourth minute of stoppage time, when goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel took down a Kuban attacker in the box and left a penalty shot for sensation Djibril Cisse, who scored easily.
Forgoing the three points may prove detrimental down the road, as talented Spanish side Valencia now trail Swansea by just one point in Group A.
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