Napoli edges Swansea; Spurs survive Dnipro scare
Naples, Italy (SportsNetwork.com) - Napoli bagged three goals at the Stadio San Paolo on Thursday to advance to the Europa League Round of 16 with a 3-1 defeat of Swansea City.
After a scoreless opening leg, the Serie A side took the lead 17 minutes in when Lorenzo Insigne latched on to a through ball and chipped a shot over the on-rushing Michel Vorm and into the back of the net.
Jonathan De Guzman managed to pull one back for the visitors at the half-hour mark to level the aggregate score, but Napoli seized control of the tie in the 78th minute when Gonzalo Higuain pounced on a failed clearance and punched a first-time effort past Vorm from close range.
Swansea heaped pressure on the Napoli defense and even came close to equalizing for a second time, but the Italian club solidified the win deep into second-half stoppage time when Gokhan Inler collected a square pass and slotted a shot between Vorm's legs.
Tottenham also secured a spot in the next round with a 3-1 win on Thursday as the Premier League club produced three goals in the span of 13 minutes at White Hart Lane to squeak by Dnipro in a 3-2 aggregate victory.
Following a 1-0 win in the opening leg, the Ukrainian side was in prime position as Roman Zozulya handed the club a two-goal aggregate edge early in the second half.
Christian Eriksen pulled one back for Spurs in the 56th minute, and the home side took advantage of Zozulya's harsh red card in the 61st minute as Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice in four minutes to complete Tottenham's dramatic comeback.
Lazio, meanwhile, did not manage to get past Ludogorets on Thursday as the two sides played to a 3-3 draw, sending the Bulgarian club through to the next round by a 4-3 aggregate score.
It looked as though Miroslav Klose's 83rd-minute goal would be enough to see the Roman club progress on away goals, but Juninho Quixada scored at the death to help Ludogorets secure a spot in the Round of 16.
Ajax also was ousted on Thursday as its 3-1 road loss saw Red Bull Salzburg advance on aggregate by a resounding 6-1 margin.
The Austrian side cruised to a 3-0 win in the opening leg and proceeded to put the win beyond any doubt in the return match thanks to Mike van der Hoorn's own goal and additional strikes from Sadio Mane and Jonathan.
Juventus cruised into the next round by taking 2-0 wins in both legs of its tie with Trabzonspor; Arturo Vidal and Pablo Daniel Osvaldo provided the goals in Thursday's return match.
Anzhi, meanwhile, scored twice at Genk on Thursday to advance with a 2-0 aggregate score, and Valencia's 0-0 draw with Dynamo Kyiv was enough to see the Spanish side through following a 2-0 victory in the first leg.
Also on Thursday, Alexandre Lacazette scored 10 minutes from time to lift Lyon to a 1-0 aggregate defeat of Chornomorets, Fiorentina played to a 1-1 draw with Esbjerg to progress by a 4-2 aggregate score, Benfica's three second-half goals overpowered PAOK as the Portuguese club advanced behind a 4-0 aggregate victory and AZ Alkmaar's 1-1 draw helped the Dutch side reach the next round with a 2-1 aggregate win.
Elsewhere, Viktoria Plzen advanced at the expense of Shakhtar Donetsk behind a 3-2 aggregate score, Sevilla earned a 2-1 win over Maribor to progress with 4-3 aggregate score, FC Basel's 3-0 home defeat of Maccabi Tel-Aviv was enough to see the Swiss side through after a scoreless opening leg, Real Betis put two past Rubin Kazan on Thursday to advance with a 3-1 aggregate score and FC Porto advanced on away goals after playing to a 3-3 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.