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Tottenham keep up perfect Europa League record as Soldado slots hat-trick

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

By Andrew Gwilym

Roberto Soldado

Tottenham Hotspur's Roberto Soldado scores his side's fourth goal of the game from the penalty spot. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA

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Roberto Soldado scored a hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur beat Anzhi Makhachkala 4-1 to make it six wins out of six in UEFA Europa League Group K.

Soldado opened the scoring with a header in the seventh minute and then doubled the lead nine minutes later as Spurs flew out of the blocks at White Hart Lane.

Ewerton reduced Anzhi's arrears just before half-time, but Lewis Holtby put Tottenham two goals clear of the Russians again with a wonderful improvised effort on 54 minutes.

Soldado then completed his treble from the penalty spot after substitute Ryan Fredericks had been brought down by Jucilei, providing manager Andre Villas-Boas' side with the perfect finish to their group campaign.

Swansea City reached the knock-out stages of the Europa League despite a disappointing 1-0 defeat in the fog and cold of St Gallen.

The Welsh club knew a draw would be enough to guarantee their progression from Group A, but Kuban Krasnodar's failure to beat Valencia in Spain ensured this defeat did not prove costly.

In sub-zero temperatures and with a low fog hindering visibility, the visitors had the better of the opening half, with Roland Lamah twice going close.

But they slackened off after the break and were punished when Marco Mathys found the net from close range with ten minutes to go.

Swansea's preparations for this fixture had been far from ideal after fog and technical issues ensured their journey to Switzerland on Wednesday took over 12 hours. Some players were also awoken by a shallow earth tremor in the early hours of the morning.

But they managed to take an early control of the match, with Lamah curling just wide and later firing narrowly off-target with a low shot.

However, their hosts were much improved after the break and Roberto Rodriguez was twice denied by Gerhard Tremmel after some poor Swansea defending.

The hosts had a goal chalked off for a push on Neil Taylor but found the winner their efforts deserved when Mathys prodded in a low cross from Sebastien Wuthrich.

Swansea still reached the latter stages of a European tournament for the first time in their history, and they will be in Monday's draw for the last 32 along with the likes of Benfica, Ajax, Napoli and Juventus.

Meanwhile, Wigan Athletic manager Uwe Rosler accused Polish referee Szymon Marciniak of costing his side a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Rosler's first game in charge of the Latics ended in disappointment as a 2-1 defeat by Maribor in Slovenia brought their first European campaign to a close.

Jordi Gomez gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot in the 41st minute but moments later Maribor won their own penalty when Chris McCann was deemed to have handled Damjan Bohar's shot.

Marciniak showed McCann a second yellow card and, although Scott Carson tipped Dejan Mezga's spot-kick on to the post, the same player got to the rebound first to score.

Zeljko Filipovic grabbed the winner in the 59th minute with a superb strike into the top corner to ensure it was Maribor and not Wigan who progressed to the last 32.

Rosler said: "First of all, it's not a penalty for me, and second of all, never a sending-off. I think everybody in the stadium would agree that we were the far better team. With no sending-off, we would have won."

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