Basel 2 Tottenham 2: We have set the country an example, declares AVB
Basel 2 Tottenham 2: Andre Villas-Boas looks for the positives despite watching his side crash out on penalties
Andre Villas-Boas insisted that there were plenty of positives for Tottenham despite watching his side crash out of the Europa League on penalties against Basel.
With the quarter-final tie finely poised at 2-2 after the first leg in London, Clint Dempsey got the visitors off to the perfect start when he fired home after 23 minutes.
However, Basel fought back through goals from Mohamed Salah and Aleksandar Dragovic either side of half-time to but the Swiss side in control.
But Tottenham battled hard and Dempsey bundled home eight minutes from time to force the tie into extra time.
Spurs had to play extra-time with 10 men after Jan Vertonghen was sent off in the 90th minute but the north Londoners managed to hold on to force penalties.
However, Tom Huddlestone and Emmanuel Adebayor both missed their spot-kicks as Basel booked their place in the last four.
“Obviously we are disappointed not to through because we had ambitions in this competition,” Villas-Boas told ITV1.
“My first thoughts are for the players, because they have set the country a great example with the way they’ve played in the Europa League this season.
“I think we showed the country that it’s possible to approach it in a different way.
“We made the country feel differently towards the competition. Unfortunately we saw Newcastle go out too but we’ve seen most of the English teams change their approach towards a competition that now starts to mean a lot.
“We are happy despite this great disappointment that we have set the standards for the future. Next time will be a little bit better because it couldn’t have gone worse tonight.”
Villas-Boas added: “Obviously we had to dig deep to hold on. We wanted to reach penalties to be in with a chance. It didn’t go out way but we’re extremely happy with the performance here tonight.”