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    Three Spanish clubs in UEFA semis

    London: Holders Sevilla led a trio of Spanish clubs into the UEFA Cup semi-finals on Thursday, mirroring the three-pronged success story for English Premier League sides in the Champions League this week.

    Sevilla drew 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in another pulsating quarter-final second leg that put the Primera Liga title challengers through 4-3 on aggregate.

    Their reward is an all-Spanish semi-final with Osasuna after the Pamplona side eased past Bayer Leverkusen, completing a 4-0 success over Bayer Leverkusen after winning 1-0 at the Estadio Reyno de Navarra.

    "It says a lot about the strength of Spanish football that we have three clubs in the semi-finals," said Sevilla coach Juande Ramos.

    "It's going to be tough for us to get to the final again." Espanyol, losing finalists in 1988, reached the last four after preserving their 3-2 first-leg lead over Benfica by keeping out the Portuguese in Lisbon.

    Germany's Werder Bremen await the Spaniards, striker Miroslav Klose netting twice in a 4-1 home victory over AZ Alkmaar that ended the Dutch side's hopes of reaching the UEFA Cup semis for the second time in three seasons.

    Only Real Madrid, winners in 1985 and 1986, have successfully defended the UEFA Cup but Sevilla remain on course to emulate their more esteemed compatriots after surviving a touch of the jitters in London.

    Leading 2-1 from the first leg, Sevilla stunned Spurs with two goals in the opening eight minutes to take control of the tie and leave the hosts needing to score four times.

    Steed Malbranque had gifted Sevilla the lead inside three minutes after slicing into his own net and then Frederic Kanoute, once a crowd favorite in his two seasons with Spurs, doubled the lead.

    Spurs, who have lost only once in 56 home European matches at White Hart Lane since 1961, mounted a second-half fightback. In a sustained onslaught, substitute Jermain Defoe got one back with a cheeky close-range finish and from their next attack Aaron Lennon levelled.

    With 23 minutes remaining Spurs sniffed more goals but despite a number of chances, could not break through again.
    "We went out with our heads held high," Spurs coach Martin Jol told ITV.

    "The two early goals rocked us. At halftime I said we had to go out with pride."

    Party time

    Osasuna fans were in party mood in Pamplona as their side never looked likely to relinquish their three-goal first leg advantage against a lacklustre Bayer Leverkusen.

    Midfielder Juanlu gave the Navarrans a deserved win when he steered in past Rene Adler from close range just after the hour.

    "Although we wanted to play Tottenham, playing the holders Sevilla will still be a great game and if we do get to the final it will be an historic achievement," Osasuna defender Carlos Cuellar told Spanish TV station Canal Plus.

    After a goalless draw in the first leg in the Netherlands, Werder Bremen found their scoring touch with ruthless precision against Alkmaar to remain in contention for their first European success since securing the 1992 Cup Winner's Cup.

    Tim Borowski, back after a two-month absence, set Werder on their way after 16 minutes and, although Moussa Dembele equalised, Germany's World Cup striker Klose netted twice before Diego slipped in a fourth.

    A solid defensive display and some inspired saves from keeper Gorka Iraizoz secured Espanyol their place in the last four.

    "For a club like ours to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup represents an historic moment," said coach Ernesto Valverde, whose side will be at home to Werder in the first leg on April 26.

    The final is in Glasgow on May 16.