Wins for Chelsea, Spurs but Liverpool lose

LONDON – Oscar scored a late winner less than a minute after coming on as a susbtitute as Chelsea snatched a 1-0 victory at Sparta Prague in the Europa League last 32 on Thursday.
Steven Gerrard led a strong Liverpool side in Russia. Net photo.
Steven Gerrard led a strong Liverpool side in Russia. Net photo.

Thursday
Newcastle     0 - 0  Metalist Kharkiv
VfB Stuttgart     1 - 1 Racing Genk
Inter    2 - 0  CFR 1907 Cluj
M’gladbach     3 - 3     Lazio
FC Basel     2 - 0     Dnipro
Leverkusen     0 - 1     Benfica
Levante      3 - 0     Olympiacos
BATE Borisov     0 - 0     Fenerbahçe
Dynamo Kiev     1 - 1     Bordeaux
Anzhi     3 - 1      Hannover 96

LONDON – Oscar scored a late winner less than a minute after coming on as a susbtitute as Chelsea snatched a 1-0 victory at Sparta Prague in the Europa League last 32 on Thursday.

The Brazilian replaced Juan Mata in the 81st minute and was on target shortly afterwards to put the Champions League holders in command ahead of the home leg next week.

Gareth Bale’s double lifted Tottenham 2-1 past Olympique Lyon, but Newcastle were held 0-0 by Metalist Kharkiv and Liverpool went down 2-0 at Zenit St Petersburg.

Russia enjoyed a perfect night as apart from Zenit’s win visiting Rubin Kazan ambushed title holders Atletico Madrid 2-0 and Anzhi Makhachkala came from behind to beat Hanover 3-1.

The biggest surprise was Victoria Plzen’s 3-0 triumph at Italy’s Napoli from Vladimir Darida in the 28th and late goals from Frantisek Rajtoral and Stanislav Tecl.

Plzen did better than the fellow-Czechs from Prague who contained an average Chelsea for a long time and also had scoring chances before Oscar broke their resistance in the 82nd.

“Mata was doing a great job but he was a bit tired in my opinion. I needed fresh legs and the quality of Oscar was very good because he made the difference,” Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez said.

The Blues are well-positioned to wrap up the tie at Stamford Bridge in a week’s time, and their next opponents could be Ajax Amsterdam, who beat 10-man Steaua Bucharest 2-0 in a duel of former European champions from Toby Alderweireld’s header and Ricardo van Rhijn.

Bale converted free-kicks in the 45th and in injury time, having now scored the last six goals for Spurs who escaped despite Lyon’s equalizer from Samuel Umtiti.

In St Petersburg, Brazil forward Hulk’s blast in the 70th and a tap from Sergey Semak a minute later clinched victory for the 2008 champions Zenit after Hulk was denied by the post and Luis Suarez came close twice for Liverpool.

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