Milan, Italy – Inter Milan put up a valiant effort at the San Siro on Thursday but ultimately fell just short of advancing to the quarterfinals of the Europa League, defeating Tottenham 4-1 after extra time but bowing out of the competition on away goals.
Tottenham's progression to the quarterfinals appeared to be secured after picking up a 3-0 win at White Hart Lane in the opening leg a week ago, but Inter pushed Spurs every step of the way in the return match by bagging three goals in regulation to force extra time.
Antonio Cassano opened the scoring for the home side in the 20th minute before Rodrigo Palacio's cool finish in the 52nd minute and William Gallas' own goal 23 minutes later saw Inter level the aggregate score.
Tottenham started the extra time period in impressive fashion and grabbed the pivotal away goal just five minutes in. Mousa Dembele's shot was parried right into Emmanuel Adebayor's path, allowing the Togo international to slot home the rebound.
It proved to be the winning goal in the tie despite Inter's aggregate equalizer from Ricardo Alvarez five minutes into the second period of extra time.
Zenit St. Petersburg topped FC Basel 1-0 in Russia on Thursday, but it was not enough to overturn a 2-0 loss in the first leg.
Axel Witsel provided the Russian side with a goal to cut the aggregate deficit in half at the half-hour mark, and its chances of advancing increased when Basel had Marcelo Diaz sent off just before halftime. Zenit was left with a tremendous opportunity to level the aggregate score with four minutes to go, but Roman Shirokov failed to convert a penalty kick that would have sent the match into extra time.
Spanish side Levante saw its run in the Europa League come to an end in disappointing fashion on Thursday, suffering a 2-0 loss at Rubin Kazan.
The two sides went into extra time after going scoreless through both legs, but goals from Jose Salomon Rondon and Vladimir Dyadyun were enough to see Rubin through.
Chelsea scored two second-half goals at Stamford Bridge on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals with a 3-1 win over Steaua Bucurest.
Juan Mata and Vlad Chiriches exchanged goals in the first half to see visiting Steaua climb into the driver's seat, but John Terry and Fernando Torres struck after the restart of the second leg to see the Blues progress.
Also on Thursday, Oscar Cardozo's brace lifted Benfica to a 3-2 win over Bordeaux to send the Portuguese side through by a 4-2 aggregate score, Libor Kozak's hat trick saw Lazio cruise to a 3-1 win over Stuttgart to help the Serie A club ousts its German counterpart by a 5-1 aggregate count, Newcastle rode Papiss Demba Cisse's late goal in the second leg to a 1-0 victory over Anzhi and Fenerbahce advanced with a 2-1 aggregate score despite a 1-1 draw with Viktoria Plzen in the second leg.