14 Mar 2014

Benfica stun Spurs in Europa Cup

1:45 pm on 14 March 2014

Tim Sherwood's prospects of remaining in the Tottenham Hotspur manager's job long-term look increasingly shaky after his side lost 3-1 at home to Benfica in their Europa League football last 16, first leg tie.

Portuguese league leaders Benfica extended their unbeaten run to 24 matches and made it nine consecutive wins in all competitions.

Amid speculation that Spurs will move to bring in experienced Dutchman Louis van Gaal as coach at the end of the season, Sherwood could only watch as his team suffered a defeat that leaves them in a tough position heading into next week's return leg in Lisbon.

Benfica's win leaves the two-time European champions in an ideal position going back to the Estadio da Luz, with Spurs having to score at least three times now to go through.

Elsewhere, Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw by Italian rivals Fiorentina in Turin in a repeat of the 1990 UEFA Cup final.

Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez's hopes of winning the Europa League for a second consecutive season are in the balance after his Napoli side lost 1-0 away to Porto.

Lyon also have one foot in the last eight after coming from behind to beat Czech champions Viktoria Pilsen 4-1 at the Stade de Gerland.