Afternoon Report: February 22

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Football News

Chelsea secured their progress to the last 16 of the Europa League with a dramatic win over Sparta Prague last night - but boss Rafa Benitez was forced to defend the form of Fernando Torres after the game once more.

The Spaniard was wasteful in front of goal again as Eden Hazard scored a late winner to set up a tie against Stauea Bucarest - and Benitez says Torres should be praised for getting himself in good goalscoring positions.

Staying with the Europa League and Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas says he is relishing his side's last 16 tie against Inter Milan.

Spurs went through to the next round at the expense of Lyon last night thanks to a late strike from Mousa Dembele.

Wayne Rooney has had his say on the great Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo debate - and has revealed he prefers the Barcelona forward to his former team-mate.

Rooney went as far as to say Messi was the greatest player of all time.

Manchester City will let a host of players go in the summer as they bid to overhaul their squad and cut their wage bill.

Edin Dzeko, Joleon Lescott and Maicon could all be allowed to leave according to the Daily Mail.

Another who looks to be on the move in the summer is Arsenal full-back Bacary Sagna.

The Guardian report that Sagna has only been offered a one-year extension to his current contract which expires in 2014 - and the Frenchman is resigned to leaving at the end of the season.

And finally, Barcelona will do their bit for world peace by playing in a "bridge-building" friendly match against a team of Israelis and Palestinians in the summer.


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