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Sunday 20 April 2014

Dembele’s dramatic late strike sets up Inter clash for Spurs

Lyon 1 Tottenham 1 (Tottenham win 3-2 on aggregate)

Tottenham's difficult week in Lyon ended on a dramatic high as Mousa Dembele fired his team into the last 16 of the Europa League with a stunning last-minute strike.

Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons looked to have fired his side to the 1-0 win they required to advance with his first-half goal.

However, Dembele popped up in the 90th minute, hammering a blistering 25-yard strike past Remy Vercoutre to set up a mouth-watering third-round tie against Inter Milan.

Much of the pre-match focus had been on the nasty attack by a group of 50 locals which hospitalised three Spurs fans last night.

Villas-Boas' team looked like failing to give their vocal supporters a pick-me-up after a dire first half.

Dembele was one of the worst offenders. The Belgian's passing, and that of Scott Parker, was very sloppy and Kyle Walker was given the runaround by Lisandro Lopez.

Gareth Bale inspired Spurs to a first leg win with two stunning free-kicks, but he missed a golden chance to give Spurs a crucial goal in the second half, sidefooting wide while unmarked.

That looked like being it for the Londoners, but Dembele provided the magic they required with just 30 seconds remaining.

Bale, so devastating in the first leg, was anonymous for the first 15 minutes. The first time the Welshman had a say in the course of the game was when his shoddy marking allowed Lyon to break the deadlock after 16 minutes.

Walker fouled Lisandro and when Clement Grenier clipped the free-kick to the near post, Bale turned away from Gonalons – who beat a rooted Friedel from eight yards.

Lisandro shot weakly wide and Alexandre Lacazette shot straight at Friedel towards the end of the first half.

Spurs came out much more confidently after the break. Parker worked the ball out to Emmanuel Adebayor, who whipped a beautifully shaped ball to the back post, but Bale sidefooted barely an inch wide.

Clint Dempsey went close twice soon after his introduction, but it seemed Spurs were destined to fail.

Dembele had other ideas, however, dropping his shoulder to beat Grenier before hitting a powerful long-range shot beyond Vercoutre.

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