Tottenham Hotspur's final of silverware was dashed in the rain on Thursday night as Basel deservedly progressed to the Europa League semi-finals on penalties.
The last eight tie went to spotkicks after Clint Dempsey cancelled out Aleksandar Dragović's early second-half goal. Dempsey had given Spurs the lead on 23 minutes only for Mohamed Salah to equalise for the Swiss four minutes later.
Jan Vertonghen's red card in stoppage-time of the 90 meant Tottenham played the entire 30 minutes of extra-time a man light and it showed when the shootout began.
Goalkeeper Brad Friedel, 41, was beaten with unnerving ease on four occasions by the faultless Basel penalty takers, whereas Tom Huddlestone was thwarted by Yann Sommer and Emmanuel Adebayor ballooned the ball over after a risible run-up. Gylfi Sigurdsson managed to beat Sommer in between his teammates, but Spurs were vanquished 4-1.
It had always felt like a stay of execution for the Lilywhites since Mousa Dembélé's last-gasp equaliser against Lyons in the last 32. Internazionale humiliated Spurs 4-1 in the San Siro only to be outdone by the away goals rule in the last 16 and Basel, the superior side at White Hart Lane last week, should have won the quarter-final tie more comfortably.
The fear now is Tottenham - whose form over the last month has steadfastly regressed - will now slip out of the Premier League's top four and be consigned to the Europa League for a third consecutive campaign.
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