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Ramos gets revenge on Spurs as Dnipro take control

AFP

FC Dnipro's Roman Zozulya (R) and Tottenham Hotspur FC's Ezekiel Fryers (L) during the UEFA Europe League round of 32 football match Dniepropetrovsk vs Tottenham in Dnipropetrovsk on February 20, 2014FC Dnipro's Roman Zozulya (R) and Tottenham Hotspur FC's Ezekiel Fryers (L) during the UEFA Europe League round of 32 football match Dniepropetrovsk vs Tottenham in Dnipropetrovsk on February 20, 2014

FC Dnipro's Roman Zozulya (R) and Tottenham Hotspur FC's Ezekiel Fryers (L) during the UEFA Europe League round of 32 football match Dniepropetrovsk vs Tottenham in Dnipropetrovsk on February 20, 2014FC Dnipro's Roman Zozulya (R) and Tottenham Hotspur FC's Ezekiel Fryers (L) during the UEFA Europe League round of 32 football match Dniepropetrovsk vs Tottenham in Dnipropetrovsk on February 20, 2014

Juande Ramos earned a measure of revenge for his sacking by Tottenham Hotspur as Dnipro snatched a late 1-0 win over his former club in the Europa League last 32 first leg on Thursday.

Ramos was axed by Spurs in October 2008 after just 12 months in charge at White Hart Lane and the Spaniard is clearly still irked by his treatment judging by the series of verbal swipes he took at the Premier League club in the pre-match build-up this week.

The 59-year-old, who won the League Cup with Spurs but departed with the team bottom of the table, is 90 minutes away from making his old employers pay after Yevhen Konoplyanka's penalty in the closing stages gave the Ukrainian club a slender advantage to defend in the second leg in north London on February 27.

The game was given the green light despite 67 deaths in three days of violent political protests in Kiev.

Dnipro are based 220 miles away from the Ukrainian capital, but the shocking scenes in Kiev still resonated in Dnipropetrovsk, where there was a minute's silence before kick-off and both teams wore black armbands in a show of respect for the dead.

Tim Sherwood made six changes to the Spurs team that won 4-0 at Newcastle in their last outing and Dnipro striker Matheus should have opened the scoring when he was wrongly given onside, but justice was done as he hit a weak shot straight at American goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

Spurs were under pressure again soon after with Matheus flashing in a low drive which Friedel pushed away.

But the visitors mounted a dangerous attack as Paulinho surged through on goal and was brought down by Ivan Strinic just outside the penalty area.

Despite Tottenham's claims that Strinic should be sent off, referee Mateu Lahoz only booked the Dnipro left-back.

Sherwood's men were back on the attack early in the second half, but they were let down by a horrendous miss from Spanish striker Roberto Soldado, who scuffed over with the goal at his mercy four yards out.

Dnipro then stole the win in the 81st minute when Jan Vertonghen gave away a penalty as he fouled Matheus just inside the area and Konoplyanka, a transfer target for Liverpool, stepped up to slot in the spot-kick via a post.

Paulinho's effort hit a post in the final moments, but Spurs were unable to scramble in the rebound.

- Juventus in control -

Meanwhile, Serie A leaders Juventus appear to have one foot in the last 16 after beating Trabzonspor of Turkey 2-0 in Turin.

Coach Antonio Conte named a strong starting line-up and was rewarded when Pablo Daniel Osvaldo took advantage of a lucky ricochet to fire Juve ahead early on, but it was Paul Pogba's goal deep in injury time that allowed them to take a significant lead into the return leg next week.

Juve could face compatriots Fiorentina in the next round, with La Viola winning 3-1 away to Esbjerg in Denmark.

Last season's runners-up Benfica - potential last-16 opponents for Tottenham - beat PAOK 1-0 in Greece, while Lyon came away with a goalless draw from their trip to face Chornomorets Odessa in Ukraine.

The violence in the Ukrainian capital meant Dynamo Kiev's game against Valencia was moved to Nicosia in Cyprus. There, the Spaniards won 2-0 with late goals from Eduardo Vargas and Sofiane Feghouli.

The pick of the late matches sees Swansea City of the Premier League entertain Napoli in Wales.

Date created : 2014-02-20