Europa League Results: Analysis for Benfica vs. Tottenham and All the Matches

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterMarch 20, 2014

Europa League Results: Analysis for Benfica vs. Tottenham and All the Matches

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Eight teams remain in contention for the UEFA Europa League title after the conclusion of Thursday's round-of-16 ties across the continent.

    In Portugal, Benfica saw off Tottenham's spirited attempt to come back from a first-leg deficit. In Italy, Andrea Pirlo came to the rescue for Juventus once again.

    Keep reading for a recap of all the night's action.

     

    Statistics via WhoScored.com

Benfica 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

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    Armando Franca/Associated Press

    Benfica advanced to the quarter-finals following a wild 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.

    The hosts went ahead through Ezequiel Garay in the 34th minute and seemed to be cruising until Nacer Chadli gave Tottenham hope with two goals in as many second-half minutes. The visitors then had multiple chances to score a third goal—which could have forced extra time—before Benfica sealed their progress with Lima's late penalty.

    "This was a team effort. We had some players who do not play very often and they reacted well," Lima told UEFA.com. "There are no favourites in the draw. Regardless of who we get, we must work hard, take one game at a time and focus on this competition."

    Coupled with last week's 3-1 victory in London, Benfica side won the two-legged round-of-16 tie 5-3.

    According to Opta, this was just the second time in 21 matches that Benfica have allowed two goals to an opponent in European competition.

     

    Shots: 8-11

    On Target: 3-5

    Passing: 86%-77%

    Possession: 55%-45%

Fiorentina 0-1 Juventus

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Andrea Pirlo came to Juventus' rescue once again, scoring the lone goal with a superb free-kick as Juve won 1-0 at 10-man Fiorentina to advance to the quarter-finals.

    With Juventus needing only a single goal to advance, Pirlo rifled in a 71st-minute free-kick moments after Fiorentina's Gonzalo Rodriguez had been sent off for his second bookable offence. Coupled with last week's 1-1 draw at Juventus, the Bianconeri moved into the quarter-finals with a 2-1 aggregate victory.

    It was the second time in as many games that Pirlo had played the role of set-piece hero for Juve. On Sunday, the 34-year-old Italian international midfielder propelled Juventus to a Serie A victory at Genoa with a goal from an 89th-minute free-kick.

    Pirlo has now scored five goals in all competitions this season for Juventus. According to Opta, all five have been free-kicks.

    "We were aware that Fiorentina would put on a good show, but since we dropped out of the Champions League our objective has always been to well in the Europa League and Serie A," Pirlo told Juventus.com. "We’re pleased with how it’s going."

     

    Shots: 11-19

    On Target: 3-7

    Passing: 77%-85%

    Possession: 44%-56%

Napoli 2-2 Porto

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    Salvatore Laporta/Associated Press

    Porto advanced to the quarter-finals after a 2-2 draw at Napoli secured a 3-2 aggregate victory.  

    Napoli went ahead in the 21st minute through Pandev, who ran on to Gonzalo Higuain's angled through ball in the box and clipped his finish over Fabiano. Higuain nearly doubled Napoli's lead in the 59th minute after beating the offside trap, but Fabiano saved from close range.

    The hosts had dominated until that point, but Porto equalised in the 69th minute. Nabil Ghilas made an instant impact just three minutes after entering the match as a substitute, finishing in the bottom corner from Fernando's pass.

    Steven Defour hit the post three minutes later for Porto, and Ricardo Quaresma put the visitors ahead with a superb individual effort in the 75th minute.

    Napoli pulled a goal back in stoppage time through Duvan Zapata.

     

    Shots: 27-10

    On Target: 12-3

    Passing: 76%-85%

    Possession: 44%-56%

Other Games

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    Alberto Saiz/Associated Press

    Anzhi Makhachkala 0-0 AZ Alkmaar

    Dutch side AZ Alkmaar advanced to the quarter-finals following a scoreless draw in Russia. AZ won 1-0 last week in Holland. 

     

    Valencia 1-0 Ludogorets Razgrad

    Paco Alcacer headed in the only goal in the 59th minute as Valencia cruised into the quarter-finals with a 4-0 aggregate victory.

     

    Viktoria Plzen 2-1 Lyon

    Bafetimbi Gomis scored in the first half before Plzen pulled two goals back in the second half, through Daniel Kolar and Stanislav Tecl, to make it 5-3 on aggregate.

    Tecl also missed a penalty for the hosts.

     

    Real Betis 0-2 Sevilla (a.e.t.)

    Jose Antonio Reyes and Carlos Bacca scored either side of half-time as Sevilla erased a 2-0 deficit from the first leg.

    After 30 scoreless minutes of extra time, Sevilla won the penalty shootout 4-3. 

     

    SV Salzburg 1-2 FC Basel

    Jonathan put Salzburg ahead in the 22nd minute, but Basel fought back with second-half goals from Valentin Stocker (51') and Gaston Sauro (59').

    Basel had Marek Suchy sent off in just the ninth minute. The Swiss side advanced 2-1 on aggregate following a scoreless draw in the first leg.

    The match was delayed briefly in the first half, per Yahoo! Sports, after Basel fans threw objects onto the pitch following Salzburg's opening goal.