Apr 11, 2013, 6:32 PM EDT
Switzerland’s unheralded Basel became the latest model for what smaller clubs can accomplish Thursday, bouncing larger and better-financed Tottenham from Europa League play.
Unfortunately, elimination for Spurs marginalized what U.S. international Clint Dempsey accomplished on the afternoon, single handedly banging in the two goals Spurs really needed in Thursday’s match in Switzerland following the teams’ 2-2 draw last week in London.
But Basel got two as well (lots of details of today’s 2-2 draw are here), and then was absolutely clinical in the penalty kick tiebreaker. As such, the Swiss club moves on in Europa play while Dempsey and fellow American Brad Friedel, who also started Thursday, go out in the tournament into which the club had thrown so much emphasis.
The silver lining for Spurs is this: Andre Villas-Boas and his men really did put so much into this competition, occasionally at the expense of league matters, where the club is clinging to fourth place and the Champions League spot that goes with it.
It’s all about fourth or better for Spurs now.
More from Dempsey like Thursday will surely help, especially given the injury to Premier League Player of the Year frontrunner Gareth Bale. Dempsey’s goals Thursday may not have resembled the scorchers we’ve seen recently from Bale, but they were quintessentially “Dempsey,” goals of effort and opportunity, but also attached to enough skill that, truly, not everyone could manage them.
These were his first goals since Jan. 27, nine games back.
With 11 goals in all competitions for Spurs this year, he joins Jermain Defoe and Bale as double-digit scorers around White Hart Lane.
- In MLS, West is best… at least for a weekend 1
- Netherlands and Roma on alert after Kevin Strootman carted off against Napoli 0
- Quick Six: Chelsea’s second halves, Fulham helps Cardiff, and the rest of the headlines from this weekend’s Premier League action 0
- Americans Abroad Review: Boyd and Johannsson shine again 1
- WATCH: Saturday’s top 5 goals in Major League Soccer 0
- MLS roundup: Houston, Vancouver sit on top of their conferences after day one 0
- Red Bulls' Opening Act Has A Nightmare Finish
- MLS 2014: Dream Team of Week 1
- Jens Lehmann Downplays Guardiola's Bayern Munich
- Chivas USA Hang on to Take all 3 Points From Chicago Fire
- Three Things: Manchester City - Wigan
- Monarcas Morelia Hire 4th Manager of the Season
- What Moyes Really Meant by Asking Fans for More Time at Man United
- Manchester United Set to Sign Record $1 Billion Sponsorship Deal with Nike
- Will Johnson: We Weren't All Quite at the Races
- Owners Legal Issues Have Caught Up to Queretaro