Tottenham 4 Anzhi Makhachkala 1: Andre Villas-Boas wants to avoid last 32 draw with Porto in hope of a dream final against his former club
Spurs could face the likes of Juventus, Lazio, Ajax or Porto despite finishing their group with maximum points with six wins out of six
Friday 13 December 2013
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is hoping to avoid former club Porto in the next round of the Europa League as he dreams of meeting the Portuguese giants in the final.
A Roberto Soldado hat-trick helped Spurs hammer second-placed Anzhi Makhachkala 4-1 on Thursday night to seal a 100 per cent record in Group K and progress in to the knock-out phase as group winners.
Despite topping their group, Villas-Boas' side could still face a tricky test if drawn against the likes of Juventus, Lazio or Ajax, with Porto also a possible opponent.
But Villas-Boas, who guided Porto to a trio of trophies - including the Europa League - in his short time in charge at the Dragao, does not want to see Spurs drawn against Paulo Fonseca's side after they dropped out of the Champions League.
"It is possible," he said on a potential clash with Porto.
"On a personal level I wouldn't like that. Our aim is to go all the way to the final and I wouldn't like that.
"I have tremendous gratitude to the club and I'm a great fan so hopefully that doesn't happen until the final."
Liverpool are next up for Tottenham as they return to their Barclays Premier League duties but Villas-Boas was pleased with the performance against Anzhi and with the opportunity to field a mixture of youth and players striving for match fitness.
."It was difficult conditions for both teams," he added.
"That is what pleased me most: the professionalism and dedication of the players; to give something back to a good house and the fans we had tonight. That was the most pleasant thing to see tonight.
"It was important Danny [Rose] got some minutes back after almost a three-and-a-half month absence - and also for Christian [Eriksen]. They probably need a little bit more time and training sessions to get back to full fitness but that should happen very soon. I think with this packed festive period they're coming back at the right time for us."
Meanwhile, Anzhi head coach Gadzhi Gadzhiev was pleased with his side going forward but felt they could have done more to stem Tottenham's attacking threats.
"We played well in attack but not so well in defence and we were generally too slow to catch the opponents effectively," he said.
"It was an interesting game for the fans and it was an obvious advantage for Spurs to score in the first minutes, this helped the hosts put themselves in a good position."
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