Spurs exit Uefa Cup
Spurs 1 Shakhtar Donetsk 1 TOTTENHAM'S interest in Europe ended last night (Thursday) when they went out of the Uefa Cup 3-1 on aggregate despite their below-strength side earning a battling second-leg draw with Shakhtar Donetsk, writes PATRICK MOONEY.
Shakhtar Donetsk 1
TOTTENHAM'S interest in Europe ended last night (Thursday) when they went out of the Uefa Cup 3-1 on aggregate despite their below-strength side earning a battling second-leg draw with Shakhtar Donetsk, writes PATRICK MOONEY.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp rested many first-teamers ahead of Sunday's Carling Cup final against Manchester United and gave a senior debut to young striker Jon Obika.
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Of the starting XI, only goalkeeper Heurlho Gomes can be confident of a starting place at Wembley, although Jamie O' Hara and Tom Huddlestone - skipper on the night - both gave eye-cathing performances.
Tottenham went into the second leg trailing 2-0 from last week's defeat in Donetsk and they made a slow start against opponents who seemed content enough to defend their advantage.
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Spurs eventually came to life and Obika drilled a long-range shot just wide of the right-hand upright. Although Spurs took the game to Shakhtar for the rest of the half they rarely troubled goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov.
Frazier Campbell was unlucky to have a penalty claim waved away when he seemed to have been decked in the penalty area by a waist-high challenge from Fernandinho.
The second half began with more of the same. Obika flashed a shot just wide in the opening seconds and Huddlestone's 70-yard pass setting up Gareth Bale, who could only shoot straight at the keeper.
But Spurs' reward finally came on 54 minutes, with Giovani the unlikely goalscorer. He controlled Bale's pass with his right, took it onto his favoured left and half-volleyed into the top corner from 18 yards.
Campbell then had another strong penalty shout turned down after he was bundled over by Rasvan Rat as the Lilyehites went in search of a second goal which would have taken the game to extra-time.
But just as Spurs' fringe players were on the verge of making heroes of themselves, Fernandinho broke their hearts when he cut in from the right and fired a low shot into the bottom corner to kill of any hopes of a Lilywhites' victory.
Tottenham: Gomes, Gunter, Chimbonda, Huddlestone, Gilberto (Bostock 77), Giovani, Palacios, O'Hara (Parrett 71), Bale, Campbell, Obika. Subs Not Used: Jansson, Butcher, Smith, Mason, Townsend. Booked: O'Hara, Palacios.