Spurs were defeated 2-0 by Anderlecht in North London but the result was not heavy enough a defeat so they have qualified along with the Belgian side from Group 1. Meanwhile Chelsea are all but through unless they are unceremoniously thrashed by Ajax in Amsterdam.
A poor performance from Tottenham Hotspur saw them downed 2-0 by Anderlecht at Hotspur Way. While the defeat was not heavy enough to put Spurs in any danger of elimination (they have now qualified as a best third-placed team) it does leave Chelsea, Liverpool and Marseille as the three sides contending for the final best third placed finish spots.
Tottenham’s afternoon fixture with Anderlecht was always going to be a tricky tie; especially when you considered the Belgian sides excellent away form and Spurs poor home form so far in the competition. To make the tie even more difficult Spurs were without their top performer so far in this season’s competition Alex Pritchard. Anderlecht however bought a full strength side with them to London knowing a victory was the only result that would see them through.
The first half ended goal-less but in the second half Anderlecht gained a foothold on the proceedings and there pressure paid off when promising talent Leander Dedoncker gave them the lead in the 58th minute.
The tie was all but ended as a contest when Michael Heylen grabbed his second goal of the competition to make it 2-0 as Anderlecht ran out comfortable winners on a very chilly day in North London.
What does the result mean for the other teams?
Chelsea and Liverpool can both still qualify at the expense of Marseille. Marseille can do no more as they have completed their fixture compliment and are currently on eight points. Chelsea are level on points and thanks to the French outfits 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Athletic Bilbao in November have a considerable advantage over their French rivals in terms of goal difference. All Chelsea have to do to qualify is avoid losing by ten or more goals against Ajax in Amsterdam.
For Liverpool it is simple; they need a win in their final game at Langtree Park against reigning champions Inter Milan on the 8th January 2013 and they will be through at the expense of Marseille who will be eliminated along with Manchester City as one of two worst-ranked third-placed teams.
Anderlecht defender and brother of West Brom striker Romelu Lukaku, Jordan, tweeted his happiness at the result.
Can Liverpool and Chelsea join Spurs, Aston Villa and Arsenal in the next round?
Here are the 14 of eventual 16 teams guaranteed a place in the next round…
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