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Spurs Qualify for Knockout Sta...

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Spurs Qualify for Knockout Stages as Group Winners

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98FM

10:25 29 Nov 2013


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Tottenham eased the pressure on their manager Andre Villas-Boas with a narrow win over Tromso deep inside the Arctic Circle. Vlad Chiriches and Mousa Dembele both scored their first goals of the season to seal a 2-0 win that confirms Tottenham as winners of Group K with one match to spare.
Those were the positives from a sub-zero night at the northern tip of Norway, but there were also a few negatives for the north London club and their under-pressure manager. Roberto Soldado again looked isolated up front, the visitors' momentum was slow and Nacer Chadli missed a big sitter in the first half. If Spurs beat Anzhi Makhachkala in a fortnight's time, they will have won all six of their Europa League group matches.

A controversial offside decision means Swansea's quest to secure a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League will go down to the wire after defeat to Valencia at the Liberty Stadium. A draw would have been enough to take Swansea through from Group A with a game to spare, but they fell behind to Daniel Parejo's 20th-minute strike and then lost striker Wilfried Bony to a worrying hamstring injury. They thought Alvaro Vazquez had levelled just before the break when Diego Alves could not hold Jonjo Shelvey's shot and the Spaniard tapped in, but the flag went up despite replays suggesting the two Swansea players were onside. If the goal had stood, it would have been enough to seal a spot in the last 32, but instead Swansea must wait until their final game against St Gallen to discover their fate. Michael Laudrup's side are three points clear of third-placed Kuban Krasnodar, with the Russians having to go to group winners Los Che in the final round and Swansea three goals better off.

Wigan's hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of the Europa League were dealt a major blow with a 2-1 home defeat by Zulte Waregem. Junior Malanda's 88th-minute winner means qualification from Group D is now out of the Latics' hands. After Rubin Kazan and Maribor had drawn earlier in the evening, Wigan knew victory at the DW Stadium would be enough to guarantee their passage through to the last 32. But they will now need to beat Maribor in Slovenia in their final group game next month and hope Zulte lose to Rubin.


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