Europa League Results: Analysis for Swansea vs Valencia and Thursday's Matches
Thursday saw Matchday 5 in this season's Europa League, with a number of clubs fighting for qualification for the last 32 of Europe's second-tier competition.
In two of the morning eye-catching matches on display, Swansea welcomed Valencia to the Liberty Stadium, while Lyon faced Real Betis at Stade Gerland.
Elsewhere, Tottenham were in action in freezing Tromso, while Wigan Athletic were hoping to give themselves a great chance of reaching the knockout stages with a victory over Zulte Waregem.
Click on for the roundup of Thursday's action.
(All GIFs B/R UK's own)
Swansea 0-1 Valencia: Parejo's Only Goal Leaves Swans Still Waiting
Dani Parejo's 20th-minute strike was the difference as Valencia booked their place in the Europa League knockout stages as winners of Group A, but Swansea will have to wait to book their passage after the 1-0 defeat.
Kuban Krasnodar's 4-0 win over St. Gallen earlier in the evening meant both sides would qualify for the last 32 with a draw, but Swansea's Alvaro Vazquez's perfectly good goal was erroneously chalked off as offsides as they failed to find an equaliser.
That means they will need a point against St. Gallen in the final group game to be sure of progression, although Kuban must beat Valencia too.
Swansea might be without Wilfried Bony for that final match, however, after the striker was forced to limp off with a suspected hamstring injury shortly before half-time.
Tromso 0-2 Tottenham: Andre Villas-Boas' Side Labour to Win
Tottenham laboured to a 2-0 victory over Tromso on Thursday evening, although top spot in Group K had been secured even before the final whistle.
Anzhi Makhachkala's earlier draw with Sheriff Tiraspol meant the Russians were also through but could not overhaul Spurs, regardless of final results. And Spurs played like there was nothing much at stake, eventually getting a second-half breakthrough thanks to an own goal.
Moussa Dembele then rounded off the scoring with a smart finish, although the Belgian squandered a great chance to make the scoreline even more emphatic as he hit the post moments later.
But Andre Villas-Boas cannot have been too impressed by his side—with Roberto Soldado, pressed into service due to a late injury to Emmanuel Adebayor and concerns surrounding Jermain Defoe's problems with injuries on artificial playing surfaces, failing to find the net.
Wigan 1-2 Zulte Waregem: Latics Lose Crucial Group Match at Death
A fantastic late strike from Junior Malanda condemned Wigan to a 2-1 defeat against Zulte Waregem at the DW Stadium, a defeat that could decide second place in Group D.
With Rubin Kazan effectively guaranteed top spot with an earlier 1-1 draw against Maribor, Wigan knew that victory over the Belgian side would seal the second spot and knockout qualification. And they got off to the perfect start with Leon Barnett's clinical seventh-minute finish.
Waregem did not back off, however, and eventually got on terms as goalkeeper Lee Nicholls failed to deal with Thorgan Hazard's speculative effort. And the Latics paid the ultimate price with two minutes remaining, as Malanda's wickedly curling effort found the top corner.
Wigan now need to win on the final day at Maribor and hope Rubin continue to have enough hunger to not lose to Waregem.
Olympique Lyon 1-0 Real Betis: Gomis & Gourcuff Combine for the Win
Lyon confirmed their qualification from Group I after they beat Real Betis 1-0 at Stade Gerland, thanks to Bafetimbi Gomis' close-range finish.
The French side leapfrogged their Spanish opponents with the win, sitting pretty on nine points. But even prettier was Yoann Gourcuff's 50-yard volley, one that was unfortunately ruled out for a foul in the build-up.
Betis, meanwhile, sit three points clear of Vitoria Guimaraes—who drew 0-0 with Rijeka—and have a better head-to-head record, so they can also look forward to the next phase of the competition.
Other Results: 10-Man PSV Beaten, Sevilla Held but Qualify
Thursday's other results: PAOK, AZ Alkmaar, Lazio, Sevilla and Trabzonspor also progressed to the knockout stages.
Kuban Krasnodar 4-0 St. Gallen
Chornomorets 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb
Ludogorets 2-0 PSV Eindhoven
Elfsborg 0-1 Salzburg
Esbjerg 2-1 Standard Liege
Rubin Kazan 1-1 Maribor
Dnipro 4-1 Pandurii
Pacos de Ferreira 0-0 Fiorentina
APOEL Nicosia 0-0 Maccabi Tel-Aviv
The 12,000 Frankfurt fans at Bordeaux tonight. pic.twitter.com/8ejE7kFrJM— Football Away Days (@awaydays_) November 28, 2013
Bordeaux 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Racing Genk 3-1 Dynamo Kiev
Rapid Vienna 2-1 FC Thun
Liberec 1-2 Freiburg
Sevilla 1-1 Estoril
Rijeka 0-0 Vitoria Guimaraes
Legia Warsaw 0-2 Lazio
Trabzonspor 4-2 Apollon Limassol
Anzhi 1-1 Sheriff
Shakhter Karagandy 0-2 PAOK
AZ Alkmaar 2-0 Maccabi Haifa
UEFA Europa League group standings here.
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