Football: Benfica survive Spurs fright, Juve edge Fiorentina

Benfica's Brazilian forward Rodrigo Lima (centre) celebrates after scoring a goal during the Uefa Europa League Round of 16 football match SL Benfica vs Tottenham Hotspur FC at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on March 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Benfica's Brazilian forward Rodrigo Lima (centre) celebrates after scoring a goal during the Uefa Europa League Round of 16 football match SL Benfica vs Tottenham Hotspur FC at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on March 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

PARIS (AFP) - Tottenham crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday but not before giving Benfica a huge scare as English interest in the continent's second-tier tournament ended.

Benfica survived a dramatic late onslaught in Lisbon to reach the quarter-finals with a 2-2 draw having won the first leg 3-1 at White Hart Lane last week.

Jorge Jesus's team appeared to be cruising towards the last eight when Ezequiel Garay scored in the first half at the Estadio da Luz.

But Nacer Chadli struck twice in quick succession late in the second half to give Spurs hope of forcing extra-time.

Benfica barely managed to hold out before Rodrigo Lima's penalty in stoppage-time sealed a 5-3 aggregate success which secured the Portuguese club's spot in Friday's quarter-final draw.

"We had them where we wanted them. They were running scared, weren't they?" said Spurs manager Tim Sherwood.

"I think it's evident the players are on my side. They have showed real character and real guts and they need to do that until the end of the season.

"It was good to see their manager sweating. I did not see a suave character on the side, I thought someone who was really flustered, which was good to see." An Andrea Pirlo free-kick secured Juventus's ticket to the quarter-finals after a 1-0 win over 10-man Serie A rivals Fiorentina.

Fiorentina had high hopes of making the last eight after a 1-1 draw in Turin last week when Mario Gomez levelled Arturo Vidal's third-minute strike.

But the Florence-based side, who are the only team to have beaten Juventus in Serie A this season, failed to capitalise on what was a poor performance from Juve before the interval.

Fiorentina suffered a huge blow on 68 minutes when defender Gonzalo Rodriguez saw red for a second bookable offence after hauling down Fernando Llorente on the edge of the area.

It gave Juve a free-kick in Pirlo's preferred territory and the Italian playmaker smashed the ball past Brazilian 'keeper Neto and into the top right-hand corner.

Meanwhile, Dutch side AZ Alkmaar drew 0-0 at Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala to go through 1-0 on aggregate while Valencia enjoyed a 1-0 home win over Bulgaria's Ludogorets Razgrad for a 4-0 aggregate score.

French side Lyon lost 2-1 at Viktoria Pilsen in the Czech Republic but still went into the quarter-finals 5-3 over the two legs.

Later, Napoli will look to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit when they entertain Porto at the San Paolo.

There is another derby in Spain, where La Liga's bottom club Real Betis will hope to see through a 2-0 first-leg advantage when they entertain city rivals Sevilla at the Benito Villamarin.

In the night's other tie, Salzburg of Austria and Swiss side FC Basel start their second leg at 0-0.

The draw for the quarter-finals takes place on Friday with ties on April 3 and 10.

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