Andre Villas-Boas talks up Tottenham Hotspur's Europa League chances
Friday 22 February 2013
Andre Villas-Boas thinks it is unlikely that anyone will be able to stop Tottenham winning the Europa League if they overcome Inter Milan next month.
Spurs set up a last-16 tie with the Italian giants yesterday evening thanks to Mousa Dembele's last-gasp strike, which gave Tottenham a 3-2 aggregate win over Lyon.
The draw for the next round will rekindle old memories of Gareth Bale's one-man destruction of Inter two seasons ago. Bale scored a hat-trick in a 4-3 loss at the San Siro in 2010, and then embarrassed Maicon with a stunning display in the opposing fixture - a night Villas-Boas remembers well.
"We had two magnificent games against Inter and we just want to recreate special night that everyone remembers at the club," the Tottenham manager said.
"Going through against Inter Milan and Lyon puts you in a good place to win the competition."
Lyon fans will wake up this morning still struggling to believe they are not the ones who are facing the Italian giants in the next round.
Tottenham could barely string a pass together in the first half, with Dembele, Scott Parker and Kyle Walker all guilty of poor performances.
Bale also made a mistake in turning his back to Maxine Gonalons, allowing the Frenchman to convert Clement Grenier's cross in the 16th minute.
"We didn't play well in the first half," Villas-Boas conceded.
"In the second half we were the better team. We created some chances and we were rewarded with the second goal in the end.
"Individual players make a difference and Mousa certainly made the difference tonight."
The progression to the last 16 sparked wild scenes of celebration among the travelling support, who have had a difficult week in France.
Three Spurs fans had to be taken to hospital on Wednesday night after an attack by 50 masked thugs, apparently making anti-Semitic salutes, on a pub where they were drinking.
Their joy last night will no doubt have been enhanced by the fact they defied the odds to overcome a team managed by a former Arsenal player in Remi Garde.
"It's definitely something hard to swallow," Garde said.
"It was close. They are a top English team but I have seen some good things tonight.
"I felt we were very close but we had difficulty playing in their half. We didn't create too many chances."
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