Moscow misery for Europa League holders Atletico


Published — Saturday 23 February 2013

Last update 23 February 2013 3:33 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

LONDON: Holders Atletico Madrid were sent spinning out of the Europa League by Russian outsiders Rubin Kazan on Thursday night while Champions League winners Chelsea scored with almost the final kick to scrape into the last 16.
Another Russian club, Zenit St. Petersburg, knocked out five-times European champions Liverpool on the away goals rule while little-known Czech side Viktoria Plzen surprisingly won their tie against Napoli who are riding high in Serie A.
Atletico slumped to a shock 2-0 home defeat by Rubin in Madrid last week and were ousted 2-1 on aggregate even though Radamel Falcao’s 84th-minute strike earned them a 1-0 win in the return match in Russia.
“If we had scored earlier we would have given ourselves more of a chance but even then we still had opportunities to get a second goal,” Falcao told the club website (
“We just didn’t have the luck,” added the Colombia striker after netting his 25th goal of the season for the Spanish team.
Coach Diego Simeone left a host of regular starters back in Spain for the last-32, second leg tie at a near-empty Luzhniki Stadium in freezing Moscow, suggesting Atletico were focusing more on maintaining second spot in La Liga.
The only blot on the night for Rubin was the straight red card given to captain Cesar Navas in the 89th minute of a match watched by a crowd of less than 10,000.
Rubin will meet another Spanish club, Levante, in the last 16, after the Valencia-based side won 1-0 at Olympiakos Piraeus to knock the Greeks out 4-0 on aggregate.
Champions League dropouts Chelsea, 1-0 up from the first leg, went behind in the 17th minute against Sparta Prague.
Stamford Bridge fell almost silent when David Lafata belted the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Fernando Torres had another less than distinguished game in attack for Chelsea and produced a hat-trick of near-misses in the first half with his right foot, left foot and head.
The misfiring Spaniard then failed to beat the goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation in the second period before substitute Eden Hazard came to the rescue, cutting in from the left to send a searing left-foot drive into the top corner of the net.
“We left it late and sometimes that’s the best way,” said captain John Terry after the 1-1 draw gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory on aggregate. “It wasn’t our best performance but at least we are through to the next round.
“It was a great goal from Eden. It’s great to have players like him on the bench who can come on and turn a game.” Chelsea next play Steaua Bucharest who edged past former European champions Ajax Amsterdam 4-2 on penalties after their clash ended 2-2 on aggregate.
Liverpool’s 150th appearance in Europe was an unhappy affair as they went out to Zenit on away goals after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate.
Luis Suarez netted twice from direct free kicks to help Liverpool record a 3-1 second-leg win in front of a typically noisy Anfield crowd but Zenit hung on to set up a meeting with Swiss club Basel who put out Ukrainians Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
“It was absolutely breathtaking how everyone came together tonight,” said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers of the atmosphere generated by the home fans.
“We were very proud of the club and the players tonight. They showed why they’re part of the world’s best football family.” Brazil striker Hulk, who also scored in the first leg, grabbed the all-important away goal for Zenit after 19 minutes when he dispossessed former England defender Jamie Carragher 45 meters out before running on to slip the ball past keeper Pepe Reina.

Napoli, flying high in second place in Serie A, went out in tame fashion in the Czech Republic, losing 2-0 on the night to Viktoria and 5-0 overall.
Viktoria’s goals both came in the second half from Jan Kovarik and Stanislav Tecl. They now take on Fenerbahce after the Turks put out BATE Borisov of Belarus 1-0 on aggregate.
Tottenham Hotspur, winners of the competition when it was called the UEFA Cup in 1972 and 1984, looked to be heading out on away goals against Olympique Lyon until Moussa Dembele struck with a venomous left-foot drive in the 90th minute to secure a 1-1 draw on the night and a 3-2 aggregate triumph.
Maxime Gonalons had put Lyon 1-0 up in the second leg with a deft close-range header following a free kick out on the left from Clement Grenier.
Three Spurs fans were hurt in clashes in Lyon on the eve of the game.
The Londoners now play Inter in a mouthwatering rematch of their 2010 Champions League group stage tie.
Fredy Guarin scored twice and Marco Benassi was also on target as Inter, UEFA Cup winners in 1991, 1994 and 1998, won 3-0 at CFR Cluj to breeze past the Romanians 5-0 on aggregate.
Former European champions Benfica beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in Portugal (3-1 on aggregate) and Girondins Bordeaux progressed with a 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in France (2-1 on aggregate).
Big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala were too strong for Germany’s Hanover 96, cruising through 4-2 overall after a 1-1 away draw while Lazio beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 to go through 5-3 on aggregate.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Thursday that a military option in Syria was still viable and support for the opposition fighting to oust President Bashar Assad would continue.Speaking at a news conference with visiting Austrian Forei...
JEDDAH: Violators of traffic regulations will soon have their licenses withdrawn and be sent back to driving school, according to the Traffic Department.Brig. Gen. Ali Al-Rashidi, the department’s spokesman, said the new regulations would come into f...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia blacklisted on Thursday 12 people for supporting and financing Hezbollah’s activities in the Middle East, according to the Ministry of Interior.The people were described as “leaders and officials” from Hezbollah, which was declar...
JEDDAH: Police plan to detain 38 landlords who provided shelter for 351 illegals, including several wanted criminals. Jeddah police already arrested four landlords during raids Wednesday in several districts where illegal expats gather. The raids wer...
JEDDAH: It is the Islamic duty of all citizens to protect the security of their nation, according to Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh.Al-Asheikh said that scholars and preachers are required by Islamic law to address problems facing society,...
RIYADH: Prince Sultan University students will launch an application on Dec. 9 for emergency medical services, which would link patients with ambulances.The app would allow people to share their locations, determine the time for an ambulance to arriv...
RIYADH: A man and a woman died in the past 24 hours in rain-related incidents as the capital was lashed by heavy rains. Four more patients also died in the central hospital due to respiratory problems due to the cold weather.Riyadh Civil Defense spok...
RIYADH: The King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Works (KSCRHW) has started implementing a directive to distribute 200,000 lambs to Yemenis in the Hadramout province.“The aid came within an integrated program for the alleviation of the suff...
MADINAH: The Board of Forensics Medicine in Madinah has cleared a hospital here of negligence involving the death of a citizen at its facility, citing lack of evidence and that the defendants, two consultants, failed to turn up for the hearing.The fa...
JEDDAH: A young Saudi man has won an international innovation award for inventing a “smart boat” that can monitor sea pollution.Abdulaziz bin Mashhoor Al-Shammakhi won the award with 20 young people who were selected from among 700 participants from...
JEDDAH: Umrah pilgrims can expect to save between 10 and 15 percent on the cost of their hotels under a new electronic booking system that cuts out intermediaries.This is according to Abdullah Qadi, deputy president of the national committee for Haj...
RIYADH: Surgery performed at King Khalid Hospital in Najran made a 40-year-old Saudi woman regain her sight which was lost eight months ago.Hospital General Supervisor Abdo Al-Zobayri said here that the patient had lost her sight eight months ago bec...
RIYADH: More than 200,000 women were tested for breast cancer and only 15 positive cases were detected in the capital during the monthlong campaign to fight breast cancer which ended here on Tuesday.Speaking at the closing ceremony of the campaign, D...
KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Yusuf Al-Ali issued a decree to ban the import of all types of livestock including cows, goats, sheep, giraffes, camels, lamas, antelopes, and others from markets including Saudi Arabia, France and Sl...
RIYADH: Health Awareness of Our Society (Hayatuna) Secretary General Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani has urged drivers to stop at a safe place if they have to call or answer their cell phones.“If a motorist wants to use his cell phone while driving or wan...

Events & Exhibitions

Stay Connected