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Tottenham survive rousing Inter comeback

Published: Thursday 14 March 2013, 21.36CET
Internazionale Milano 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur (aet, agg: 4-4, Spurs win on away goals)
Emmanuel Adebayor's 96th-minute effort took Spurs through after an almighty scare in Italy.
by Paolo Menicucci
from San Siro
Published: Thursday 14 March 2013, 21.36CET

Tottenham survive rousing Inter comeback

Internazionale Milano 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur (aet, agg: 4-4, Spurs win on away goals)
Emmanuel Adebayor's 96th-minute effort took Spurs through after an almighty scare in Italy.

Emmanuel Adebayor's goal in the first period of extra time proved decisive as Tottenham Hotspur FC earned a quarter-final spot at the expense of an FC Internazionale Milano side who twice threatened to pull off the biggest comeback in UEFA Europa League history.

Trailing 3-0 from last week's round of 16 first leg, Inter's hopes were revived by Antonio Cassano's header after 20 minutes. Rodrigo Palacio added another early in the second half and by 75 minutes it was all-square courtesy of a William Gallas own goal. In extra time Tottenham scored through Adebayor, meaning Ricardo Álvarez's header was not enough for the Nerazzurri.

A nice team move led to Inter's opener. Esteban Cambiasso fed Jonathan on the right, the Brazilian passed to Palacio, and his perfect cross was nodded in by the unmarked Cassano at the far post. Tottenham tried to respond immediately but Samir Handanovič dived to his left to palm away a dangerous shot by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

The game opened up. Cassano found Palacio behind the Spurs defensive line with a wonderful chip but the Argentinian forward's lob hit the top of the bar. Both sides had further opportunities before the break: Brad Friedel was forced into a good stop by Fredy Guarín's powerful effort; Adebayor missed the target with a lob.

Seven minutes after the interval Inter struck as Palacio again beat the offside trap, collecting Cambiasso's perfect pass and outwitting Friedel with a precise low shot. With time to spare the aggregate scores were levelled as a Cassano free-kick was deflected off the wall and into the net via Gallas. It was fast and furious and either team could have won inside 90 minutes. Kyle Naughton's powerful attempt elicited a flying save from Handanovič while Cambiasso's aim was all wrong with only Friedel to beat.

Into overtime, Tottenham twice went close with Jan Vertonghen and Gallas headers from consecutive corners, yet finally scored when Adebayor slid to put the ball in after Handanovič could only parry Mousa Dembélé's strike. Incredibly Álvarez kept Inter alive, heading in Cassano's centre, but Spurs held on.

Last updated: 25/09/14 3.59CET

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