Emmanuel Adebayor ensures Spurs head into Europa League last 16
Togo striker continues fine form against Dnipro
Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice in four minutes as Tottenham Hotspur overturned a two-goal aggregate deficit to beat 10-man Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 3-2 over two legs on Thursday to reach the last 16 of the Europa League.
It was a painful return to London for Tottenham’s former coach Juande Ramos whose side took the lead on the night through Roman Zozulya.
Forward Zozulya was then sent off in the 62nd minute, six minutes after Christian Eriksen had levelled, and Adebayor grabbed his quickfire double to give twice UEFA Cup winners Spurs a 3-1 second-leg victory.
Nabil Ghilas, of twice former champions Porto, netted in the 86th minute to secure a 3-3 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt, the Portuguese side going through on away goals after the tie ended 5-5 on aggregate.
Napoli, with coach Rafa Benitez attempting to win back-to-back Europa Leagues after picking up the trophy with Chelsea last season, and Ludogorets also came out on top in thrilling second-leg matches.
The Serie A team scored two late goals to beat Swansea City 3-1 on the night and on aggregate while Bulgarians Ludogorets ousted Lazio after an 88th-minute goal from Juninho Quixada gave them a 3-3 home draw and a 4-3 win overall.
Ramos looked on course for revenge over the club that sacked him five years ago when his Dnipro team took the lead on the night through Zozulya who headed in unmarked early in the second half.
Joy soon turned to despair for the Spanish coach, who led Tottenham to their last trophy when they won the English League Cup in 2008, as Eriksen scored with a free kick and Zozulya saw red for appearing to head-butt defender Jan Vertonghen.
Tottenham were then firmly in command and Adebayor converted an Eriksen cross from close range on 65 minutes before grabbing his second after collecting a long-ball and finishing with a clever flick.
The Togo striker now has 11 goals from his last 15 games, making it harder to see why he was left out earlier in the season under former manager Andre-Villas Boas before being brought back into the fold by new boss Tim Sherwood.
"I’m very glad to be back scoring goals and happy with my team," Adebayor said.
"I have to keep focused and keep going. I want to say thank you to the new manager who came in and gave me my stage to perform."
Serie A champions Juventus comfortably beat Trabzonspor 2-0 in Turkey to progress after winning by the same scoreline in Italy last week while Benfica scored three goals in nine second-half minutes to beat PAOK Salonika 3-0 on the night, 4-0 overall.
Salzburg, who won all six group matches earlier in the competition, thrashed Ajax Amsterdam 6-1 on aggregate after winning 3-1 in Austria in the second leg.
Spanish club Real Betis secured a 3-1 aggregate victory over Russians Rubin Kazan, winning 2-0 away with Nono and Ruben Castro on target.
Sevilla beat Slovenians Maribor 2-1 with goals from Jose Antonio Reyes and Kevin Gameiro to go through 4-3 on aggregate while Viktoria Plzen defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 to advance 3-2 overall.
Alexandre Lacazette scored in the 80th minute for Olympique Lyon against Chernomorets Odessa to progress 1-0 on aggregate and Fiorentina drew 1-1 at home to Esbjerg but went through 4-2 overall.