24 February 2017
Tottenham Hotspurs were on Thursday night knocked out of the Uefa Europa League as they were held to a 2 – 2 draw by Gent in the second leg round of 32 clash at the Wembley Stadium.
Spurs who earlier campaigned in the Champions League joined the Europa League in the round of 32 after they failed to qualify from group stage, finishing third behind Monaco and Bayern Leverkusen.
Maurico Pochetino’s men trailed 1 – 0 after the first leg of the last-32 tie and only needed a convincing win to stop their Belgian opponent.
In the second leg, Spurs took the lead 10 minutes in through Christian Eriksen but the lead lasted only 10 minutes as an own goal from Harry Kane levelled scores for the visitors.
Spurs were reduced to 10 men six minutes before the break after Dele Alli was sent off due to a poor tackle. It was the first red of his career.
Spurs regained the lead a minute after the hour mark through Victor Wanyama but substitute Jeremy Perbet equalized for Gent in the 82nd minute to send the Belgians to the last 16.
Super Eagles duo of Moses Simon and Anderson Esiti starred for Gent. While Esiti was on from start to finish, Simon was substituted in the 74th minutes for eventual goal scorer, Jeremy Perbet.
Spanish Club, Athletic Bilbao crashed out after suffering a 2 – 0 defeat to Apeol Nicosa. The first leg ended 3 – 2 in favour of Bilbao but the Cypriot First Division side turned things around in Cyprus.
Zenit St. Petersburg crashed out despite a 3 – 1 win over RSC Anderlecht of Belgium. Anderlecht won the first leg 2 – 0 and the aggregate stood at 3 – 3 but the Belgians made it to the next round courtesy of the away goal rule.
Following the completion of the last-32 ties on Thursday, the last 16 teams have emerged. The last 16 teams consist of four former winners, four domestic champions, three Belgian teams and three round of 16 newcomers.
European top leagues like England, Spain, and Italy have only one representative each in the next round while there are two German teams in the last 16.
Last 16 teams: Ajax (NED), APOEL Nicosia(CYP), Anderlecht (BEL), Beşiktaş (TUR), Celta Vigo (ESP), Genk (BEL), Gent (BEL), København (DEN), Krasnodar (RUS), Lyon (FRA), Manchester United (ENG), Mönchengladbach (GER), Olympiacos (GRE), Roma (ITA), Rostov (RUS), Schalke (GER)
The round of 16 draws will be held in Nyon on Friday. The draw is unseeded and there will be no ‘country protection’, meaning teams from the same domestic league can be drawn against each other.
The team drawn first will play the first leg at home, with those drawn second away.
The last-16 first legs will be played on Thursday 9 March, with the return legs on Thursday 16 March.
Author: Timilehin Boyinde
Oluwatimilehin Boyinde is a research writer and a social media strategist. A public affairs analyst, he writes about history, politics, sports, life matters and technology. He is passionate about happenings in Local and international political arenas. He is an avid Manchester United fan and an unapologetic Nigerian.