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Tottenham Hotspur perfect in Europa, Valencia bounce back

Tottenham Hotspur took control of Europa League Group K thanks to a 2-0 victory over Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia.

Associated Press

Updated:October 4, 2013, 8:17 AM IST
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Tottenham Hotspur perfect in Europa, Valencia bounce back
Tottenham Hotspur took control of Europa League Group K thanks to a 2-0 victory over Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia.

Tottenham overcame cold conditions to maintain their billing as the Europa League's top contender thanks to a confident victory on Thursday, when a goalkeeping gaffe sparked Valencia to their first win.

Tottenham, the English Premier League club which have spent heavily this offseason and sold Gareth Bale, weren't the only team to make it two-for-two in wins: Genk, Fiorentina, Eintracht Frankfurt, Rubin Kazan, Sevilla, Swansea, Salzburg, and Ludogorets Razgrad are also perfect.

Also, Sergio Floccari capped a frenetic contest with a flourish of goals as the Lazio substitute scored late to force a 3-3 draw at Trabzonspor, while Wigan picked up their first ever European victory.

Jermain Defoe and Nacer Chadli scored first-half goals to help Tottenham to a 2-0 win against Anji Makhachkala in near freezing temperatures on the outskirts of Moscow, with the conflict in Dagestan forcing the once money-laden club away from home.

Tottenham manager Andres Villas-Boas rotated his squad and the strong performance showed how deep the squad is, although they were left to old hand Defoe to steer the visitors with his 21st goal in European competitions - scored in the 34th minute - moving him within one goal of Martin Chivers' club record.

While Anzi showed some resilience, the fall from grace for the cash-strapped club was evident as Tottenham kept a second straight clean sheet.

"The conditions were difficult but we had a great first half, where we created a lot, kept the ball well and deserved the lead," Villas-Boas said. "A win is what we wanted, and it gives us the opportunity in the next games against Sheriff to ensure qualification. That is extremely important for us."

Valencia enjoyed their own trip to Russia, bouncing back from a blowout loss to Swansea with a 2-0 win at Kuban Krasnodar.

Paco Alcacer could just about walk his 73rd-minute goal into the net after Kuban goalkeeper Aleksandr Belenov misjudged a clearance well outside the area. Sofiane Feghouli also netted for the Spanish side to get back into the mix in Group A, which sees Swansea top after their 1-0 win over St-Gallen.

Fiorentina also kept their place as one of the competition favorites after overcoming the absences of injured strikers Mario Gomez and Giuseppe Rossi to win 2-1 at Dnipro in the Ukraine.

Massimo Ambrosini's run was picked out by Borja Valero for the former AC Milan player to score the 73rd-minute winner for Fiorentina, which hung on after David Pizarro was sent off with four minutes to play.

Of 24 games on Thursday, only seven home teams managed victory with eight visiting teams earning all three points.

Bordeaux fell 2-1 to visiting Maccabi Tel Aviv to leave the French club in trouble with zero points. Lyon, meanwhile, did only a little better in drawing 1-1 against Guimaraes.

Dimitris Salpingidis has scored many clutch goals for Greece, and the stocky striker did it for his club PAOK on Thursday when an injury-time goal canceled out Jeffrey Gouweleeuw's score in the 82nd as the Dutch club looked on course for three points.

At Sevilla, Fallou Diagne's sending off in the 62nd led to Diego Perotti's penalty score, and Sevilla held on to beat Freiburg 2-0 with Colombian striker Carlos Bacca adding the second in stoppage time.

Sevilla's second victory in the competition is twice as many as they have managed in seven league games this season.

"This victory will allow us to gain some confidence and improve," Sevilla coach Unai Emery said.

Wigan's 3-1 victory over Slovenian champion Maribor also came on their first ever home game in Europe.

PSV Eindhoven bounced back from a home loss to Bulgarian minnow Ludogorets Razgrad with a 2-0 win at Chornomorets Odesa. Ludogorets Razgrad continued its encouraging start with a 3-0 victory against Dinamo Zagreb in Group B.

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