Tottenham edged past Inter Milan at the San Siro after a titanic two hour battle.
Tottenham suffered a fright before sneaking past Inter Milan to reach the Europa League quarter-finals as they, Chelsea and Newcastle restored national pride following England’s Champions League misery.
And although they lost 4-1 on the night, Spurs went through on away goals thanks to last week’s 3-0 success at White Hart Lane.
“It’s a valuable lesson for us tonight, but we have players who can make a difference in the important moments,” said Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas.
“We are happy to go through. The players kept fighting in extra-time, showing they wanted it.”
Without the suspended Gareth Bale, they made hard work of progressing as they needed extra-time to do so after trailing 3-0 when the 90 minutes were up.
Inter played like a team that had nothing to lose and their lively front pairing of Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio, who both scored, caused Spurs trouble from the off.
It was little surprise when they took the lead as Palacio crossed for Cassano to head home.
Spurs knew an away goal was all that was needed to break the home side’s spirits but they proved wasteful with the chances that came their way as Inter left gaps at the back in their eagerness to attack.
They were made to pay on 52 minutes as Palacio ran backline onto Esteban Cambiasso’s through ball before calmly beating Brad Friedel.
With just a quarter of an hour remaining, Cassano’s weak and seemingly innocuous free-kick took a couple of deflections, the last off William Gallas’s thigh, before trickling into the net.
But in extra-time Inter soon cracked as Samir Handanovic couldn’t hold Mousa Dembele’s stinging strike with Emmanuel Adebayor poking home the rebound for a crucial away goal.
Ricardo Alvarez headed in a fourth for Inter from Cassano’s cross 10 minutes from time to ensure a thrilling tie kept everyone on tenterhooks right to the death.