Great for lads to progress - Andre
Andre Villas-Boas expressed his delight after we progressed to the knockout stages of the Europa League on Thursday night.
Emmanuel Adebayor opened the scoring and we looked comfortable in the first half, needing just a point to make it into the Round of 32.
We then had to overcome Panathinaikos’ best spell, when Zeca levelled at 1-1 and the Greeks created a couple of chances in search of the victory they needed to progress.
Clint Dempsey put us back on track in the 76th minute and it was all over when Aaron Lennon slid in Jermain Defoe for 3-1 seven minutes from time.
Lazio’s comfortable 4-1 win at NK Maribor means they top Group J and we take our place in the Round of 32 in second spot.
The date for the diary is now Thursday, December 20, when the draw will be made.
“We had a good first half, had control of possession, created opportunities and then had a chance for 2-0 that hit the post (from Jermain at the start of the second half),” said Andre.
"When they equalised it brought a bit more emotion into the game.
"They had a big chance at 1-1, but it would've been unfair if we had lost. It was a good solid performance.
“It was great for the lads to go through after the way we’ve embraced this competition.
“The ultimate objective was to reach first place, but Lazio did well. We’re happy to go through.”