Europa League - Round of 32 - 2nd Leg
TottenhamTottenham Hotspur3DnipropetrovskDnipropetrovsk1
By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Tottenham v Dnipro

Tottenham produced a stunning comeback to beat Ukrainian visitors FC Dnipro and reach the Europa League last 16 on a dramatic night at White Hart Lane.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Spurs' task became tougher when Dnipro's Roman Zozulya headed in an away goal.

Spurs, needing at least three goals to progress, were handed a lifeline by Christian Eriksen's precise free-kick.

But, after Zozulya was sent off for a headbutt, Emmanuel Adebayor's two close-range finishes saw Spurs advance.

Tottenham will face Portuguese leaders Benfica, beaten Europa League finalists against Chelsea last season, in the next stage.

However, with almost an hour gone of the second leg at White Hart Lane, Tim Sherwood's side looked set to become the latest Premier League team to suffer in European competition.

None of their English top-flight rivals won their Champions League last 16 first legs, while Swansea were eliminated from the Europa League earlier on Thursday.

Spurs appeared on course to continue the negative trend - until their fortunes dramatically changed in a manic second-half spell. Tottenham scored all three goals inside 13 minutes, with Zozulya's moment of madness sandwiched between.

Tottenham v Dnipro
Dnipro's Roman Zozulya was incredulous at the red card shown by referee Antony Gautier

Inexplicably, the Ukraine forward headbutted Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen, after a number of previous confrontations between the pair, as Dnipro defended a home free-kick while leading 2-1 in the tie.

Zozulya was instantly dismissed by referee Antony Gautier in the middle of a furious exchange between both sets of players in the Dnipro penalty area.

More importantly, it stoked up the Spurs crowd and swung the momentum in their team's favour.

They instantly took advantage of the numerical advantage as Eriksen whipped in a dangerous cross from the left which allowed Adebayor to poke in.

Four minutes later, the Togo striker put Spurs ahead in the tie for the first time by controlling Zeki Fryers' long ball on his chest and calmly stroking past Dnipro goalkeeper Denys Boyko.

The manner in which Spurs celebrated, with a jubilant Sherwood fist-pumping the air as he raced down the touchline, showed the relief that had been lifted inside White Hart Lane.

All the drama came after a frustrating first half, when Tottenham dominated possession without testing the Dnipro keeper.

Sherwood's side went into the match on the back of two successive defeats following their loss in Ukraine and a disappointing reverse at Premier League strugglers Norwich on Sunday.

Ahead of kick-off, Sherwood insisted his team were not going to "crawl into a corner and hide" and backed them to start positively.

True to their manager's word, Spurs made a high-tempo start as they attempted to make an early breakthrough, pinning back the visitors in their own half.

But their failure to score early, against a Dnipro side content to play with 10 men behind the ball before breaking at pace on the counter attack, created a tense atmosphere.

Tottenham v Dnipro
Tempers flared between the players after Roman Zozulya clashed with Spurs' Jan Vertonghen

Even after the home team's comeback, the Ukrainians knew that a second away goal would see them progress.

They almost stunned Spurs when Yevhen Konoplyanka, who was a January transfer target for Liverpool, forced alert Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris into a crucial injury-time save.

But the hosts held on to deny Dnipro's ex-Spurs boss Juande Ramos on his return to his former club.

Line-ups

Tottenham

  • 25Lloris
  • 16Naughton
  • 35Fryers
  • 30Guimarães CordeiroBooked at 45minsSubstituted forBentalebat 76'minutes
  • 20DawsonBooked at 90mins
  • 5VertonghenBooked at 59mins
  • 17TownsendSubstituted forLennonat 85'minutes
  • 19Dembélé
  • 9SoldadoSubstituted forKaneat 88'minutes
  • 10Adebayor
  • 23Eriksen

Substitutes

  • 7Lennon
  • 8Paulinho
  • 21Chadli
  • 24Friedel
  • 37Kane
  • 42Bentaleb
  • 51Veljkovic

Dnipropetrovsk

  • 71Boyko
  • 44FedetskiySubstituted forKulakovat 84'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 17Strinic
  • 29RotanBooked at 89mins
  • 3Mazuch
  • 14Cheberyachko
  • 99Nascimento
  • 6KankavaSubstituted forSeleznyovat 70'minutes
  • 18ZozulyaBooked at 62mins
  • 8de Paula
  • 10Konoplyanka

Substitutes

  • 7Kulakov
  • 9N Kalinic
  • 11Seleznyov
  • 16Lastuvka
  • 20Vilela Gama
  • 23Silva Bacelar
  • 89Polytilo
Referee:
Antony Gautier

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamDnipropetrovsk
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home14
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home3
Away2
Fouls
Home18
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 3, FC Dnipro 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 3, FC Dnipro 1.

  3. Post update

    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Denys Kulakov (FC Dnipro).

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Yevhen Konoplyanka (FC Dnipro) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  6. Booking

    Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur).

  8. Post update

    Giuliano (FC Dnipro) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Offside, FC Dnipro. Denys Kulakov tries a through ball, but Matheus is caught offside.

  10. Booking

    Ruslan Rotan (FC Dnipro) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Ruslan Rotan (FC Dnipro).

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Kane replaces Roberto Soldado.

  14. Post update

    Offside, FC Dnipro. Yevhen Konoplyanka tries a through ball, but Evgen Seleznyov is caught offside.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Yevhen Konoplyanka (FC Dnipro) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ivan Strinic.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur).

  17. Post update

    Yevhen Konoplyanka (FC Dnipro) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Aaron Lennon replaces Andros Townsend.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur).

  20. Post update

    Ruslan Rotan (FC Dnipro) wins a free kick in the defensive half.