It was a great night, for the most part, for British sides in the UEFA Cup on Thursday night, as four of the five British participants still in the competition advanced to the round of 16.
Bolton was hanging on to a slim advantage after claiming a 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid at the Reebok last week, and they made that advantage stand up with a goalless draw in Madrid.
The absence of the suspended Sergio Aguero didn’t make Atletico’s task any easier, and it was to be a night of disappointment for the home side, as Bolton defended their way to the aggregate victory and a round of 16 matchup against Sporting Lisbon.
Tottenham also carried a one-goal advantage into their second leg against Slavia Prague, though things were a little more favorable for Spurs after their 2-1 triumph in Prague set them up for what should have been an easy night at White Hart Lane.
And after Jamie O’Hara scored in the 7th minute to put Tottenham up 3-1 on aggregate, it looked like it’d be smooth sailing. But, Slavia Prague fought back, and pulled within 3-2 on a 51st minute goal by Matej Krajcik. The visitors pressed for another score, and came very, very close, but in the end, Tottenham are moving on.
Almost as notable as Tottenham’s advancement was the presence of Paul Robinson in goal for the tie. Robinson was back in his old post after Radek Cerny’s error in the first leg tie in Prague, and did all that was required of him. Will that land him the starting assignment against Chelsea in Sunday’s Carling Cup final? You never can tell with Juande Ramos, but the former England #1 certainly did what he had to do.
Everton had the easiest time of the night, as they went to Goodison Park with a 2-0 advantage over SK Brann, and rolled to a 6-1 win on the night. It took more than a half hour for the Toffees to get started, but when they did, there was no stopping them. Yakubu’s 36th minute opener may have been the nail in the coffin, but Andy Johnson’s strike five minutes later meant Brann had an Everest-like task to complete.
Everton didn’t let up, and Yakubu got his second in the 54th to make it 3-0 (5-0). Brann finally got on the board on the hour mark, but Mikel Arteta cancelled it out 10 minutes later. Two minutes later, Yakubu wrapped up the second hat trick of his career, and Johnson rounded out the barrage in the final minutes to complete a resounding victory. David Moyes just better hope that they haven’t used up their goal quota for the next few matches with this onslaught.
Aberdeen were on the wrong end of such a kicking, as Bayern Munich put them to the sword at the Allianz Arena after a 2-2 draw at Pittodrie last week. Lucio put Bayern ahead on aggregate in the 12th minute, and Daniel Van Buyten doubled the advantage in the 36th minute. It didn’t get any better for the Dons in the second half, as Steve Lovell’s 83rd minute was little more than a consolation strike thanks to a second-half brace from Lukas Podolski and a late strike by Mark Van Bommel to put the finishing touches on a 5-1 romp.
Speaking of late goals, Rangers are in the round of 16 thanks to one from Nacho Novo. After a 0-0 draw at Ibrox, things weren’t looking good for Rangers after Panathinaikos took a 12th minute lead through Giannis Goumas. But, Novo was to be the savior, as he scored in the 81st minute to give Rangers the goal, the draw, and the win on away goals.
In the other ties, there was also late drama in the Nurnberg-Benfica tie. Benfica won 1-0 in Portugal last week, but were set for the exits after two second-half goals had the German side up on aggregate heading into the late stages.
But, Oscar Cardozo scored in the 88th minute to give Benfica the away goals advantage, and in injury time, Angel Di Maria shattered Nurnberg’s remaining hopes with a strike in injury time.
Scores from the above ties and the others are below, complete with aggregate scores and the draw for the round of 16. The round of 16 gets underway on the 6th of March, with the second legs being played on the 12th and 13th.
UEFA Cup Round of 32 Results
Hamburg 0 (3) – 0 (1) FC Zurich
Bayer Leverkusen 5 (5) – 1 (1) Galatasaray
Spartak Moscow 2 (2) – 0 (3) Marseille
Panathinaikos 1 (1) – 1 (1) Rangers – Rangers advance on away goals
Bayern Munich 5 (7) – 1 (3) Aberdeen
Getafe 3 (4) – 0 (1) AEK Athens
Atletico Madrid 0 (0) – 0 (1) Bolton
Villareal 2 (2) – 1 (2) Zenit St. Petersburg – Zenit advance on away goals
Bordeaux 1 (2) – 1 (3) Anderlecht
Helsingborg 1 (1) – 2 (4) PSV
Tottenham 1 (3) – 1 (2) Slavia Prague
Fiorentina 2 (3) – 1 (1) Rosenborg
Everton 6 (8) – 1 (1) SK Brann
FC Basle 0 (0) – 3 (5) Sporting Lisbon
Nurnberg 2 (2) – 2 (3) Benfica
Braga 0 (0) – 1 (4) Werder Bremen
UEFA Cup Round of 16 Draw
Anderlecht v. Bayern Munich
Rangers v. Werder Bremen
Bolton Wanderers v. Sporting Lisbon
Bayer Leverkusen v. Hamburg
Getafe v. Benfica
Fiorentina v. Everton
Tottenham v. PSV
Marseille v. Zenit St. Petersburg