Out, but we set standard, says Spurs boss AVB

PA L

PA LEAGUE

FC BASEL 2 vs TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2

(4-4 on aggregate. Basel won 4-1 on penalties)

EUROPA LEAGUE

RUBIN KAZAN 3 vs CHELSEA 2

(4-5 on aggregate)

TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas insists his side have set a new standard for English clubs in the Europa League, despite crashing out at Basel on penalties as Chelsea clinched a semi-final place.

Spurs, fielding virtually the strongest team available to them, as they had done throughout their European campaign, came from behind to draw 2-2 in normal time with 10 men after Jan Vertonghen was sent off.

But misses from Tom Huddlestone and Emmanuel Adebayor from the penalty spot ended their quest to reach a first European semi-final since 1984.

Villas-Boas, however, praised his players for the respect with which they have treated a competition historically derided by English teams.

“My first thoughts are for the players because they have set a great example for the country with the way they have approached the Europa League this season,” he said.

“For that example to have come from Tottenham Hotspur is something I will always cherish. I am happy that we have set the standard.”

Spurs moved in front on 22 minutes through Clint Dempsey, but Basel were ahead shortly after half-time with goals from Mohamed Salah and Aleksander Dragovic.

Eight minutes from time though, Dempsey scored again, but Spurs eventually lost a shoot-out for the seventh consecutive time.

Chelsea, however, sealed their place in the last four, despite losing 3-2 on the night against Rubin Kazan.

Fernando Torres put Chelsea in front in the fifth minute, but Rubin levelled early in the second half through Ivan Marcano. Victor Moses fired Chelsea back in front, but Rubin rallied with goals from Gokdeniz Karadeniz and Bebras Natcho to ensure a tense finale.

Team-mates Frank Lampard and David Luiz appeared to have a heated exchange as they left the pitch at half-time, but Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez felt their difference of opinion was positive.

“It’s always good to have players arguing about things that happen on the pitch,” he insisted. “You can correct these things at half-time.

“We did a professional job and I was pleased with the effort.”

Newcastle bowed out 4-2 on aggregate at home to Benfica, drawing 1-1 last night with Papiss Cisse on target.

LAST FOUR

Chelsea
FC Basel
Benfica
Fenerbahce
Draw to be held today