Spurs player ratings: How did Tottenham’s players perform against Inter Milan?

PUBLISHED: 07:10 15 March 2013 | UPDATED: 07:12 15 March 2013

Emmanuel Adebayor in action against Inter Milan

Emmanuel Adebayor in action against Inter Milan

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Tottenham were beaten 4-1 by Inter Milan after extra-time at the San Siro, advancing to the quarter-finals on away goals. How dod the individual Spurs players perform?


Made regular saves and most of Inter’s goals were from very close range, but his passivity and lack of pace off off his line contributed to the cavernous space behind Tottenham’s back four. Hugo Lloris is far more proactive in coming out and dealing with crosses and, had he been in goal, Tottenham might have had a more comfortable evening.


The right-back was caught out of position for Inter’s goal, although he will feel that Mousa Dembele should have been covering him – and he should probably have done better with a 37th-minute header from Gyfli Sigurdsson’s free kick. The Englishman has been guilty of conceding a few silly free kicks this season and he did it again in the second half, giving Inter the set piece that produced their third goal.


Spurs’ high defensive line was an issue, and the Frenchman ended up on the wrong side of Inter’s forwards on a number of occasions before unfortunately diverting the third goal into his own net. He nearly gifted Esteban Cambiasso a 91st-minute winner after missing a tackle on the edge of the box, but watched in relief as the Argentinian fired narrowly wide. Gallas had a golden chance to make amends at the other end, but he headed wide from a corner.


The Belgian made two fine tackles early on but, like Gallas, he was left exposed by the high line and the lack of pressure on the ball. Vertonghen could do little about the first three goals but he got caught underneath Cassano’s cross as Alvarez headed home from close range to make it 4-1 in extra-time. He nearly scored his fourth goal in three games from a corner, but Handanovic got down to save.


Preferred to Benoit Assou-Ekotto at left-back, he was eager to impress but tried to do too much early on, losing the ball. Like Walker, his attempts to get forward sometimes left him out of position, particularly when Cassano got in behind him and fired at Friedel in the first half. Palacio escaped down that flank to set up Inter’s goal, but Naughton was outnumbered and Sigurdsson must take part of the blame – as well as Walker and Dembele at the back post. He nearly became a hero in the 84th minute as Handanovic clawed away his swerving 25-yard effort, and was substituted in extra-time.


Again, Spurs’ best central midfielder was deployed on the right side of midfield, leaving Tottenham short of control in the middle. Like the game against Liverpool, Dembele drifted inside to get involved and was virtually flawless on the ball – but he was largely at fault for Inter’s first goal, failing to cover for Walker, who had advanced ahead of him and watching as Cassano arrived unmarked to head home. Tottenham looked much better when Dembele eventually moved infield into the centre – and he played a key role in Spurs’ decisive goal, advancing through midfield and unleashing a low 20-yard effort which Handanovic palmed into the path of Adebayor.


Kept his place alongside Scott Parker after Sunday’s defeat at Anfield and, again, it didn’t look like a good partnership. Livermore’s cause was not helped by the fact that he picked up an early booking for time-wasting, which left him treading a disciplinary tightrope for the rest of the game. He probably passed the ball better than Parker but was correctly withdrawn in the second half due to his yellow card.


Started well but his use of the ball deteriorated sharply to the extent that he gave the ball away three times in succession around the half-hour mark. Once again, the decision to move Mousa Dembele out of the centre and give Parker added responsibility looked like a bad move as his technical limitations were exposed for the umpteenth time.


A relatively quiet game on the left flank, with his threat largely coming from set pieces. He should probably have done better for Inter’s first goal after leaving Naughton outnumbered.


Looked sharp and motivated from the start, getting involved more than he has done for a long time. The Togo international showed good movement, won headers and linked the play well while looking dangerous when he stretched his legs and moved into top gear. He nearly got the goal he deserved at the end of the first half after winning the ball on the edge of the Milan box, but chipped the ball over the bar. However, Adebayor’s productivity declined in the second half and he was guilty of straying offside a few times, halting Spurs attacks. He popped up with the vital goal seven minutes into extra-time, poking the ball over the line after Dembele’s shot was saved, but a frustrating dip in his display was underlined by a nasty kick at Juan Jesus in the closing stages.


Displayed his ‘shoot on sight’ policy with a 25-yard effort in the 10th minute – much to Adebayor’s frustration – and he was knocked off the ball a few times, although a couple of the challenges looked like fouls. Defoe was unfortunate that no-one made the necessary move to take advantage of a dangerous low first-half cross, but he offered less than Adebayor in the opening 55 minutes and was rightly withdrawn 10 minutes after the break when Inter went 2-0 up.

LEWIS HOLTBY (substitute) 6/10

Came on to play on the right flank, and then moved inside into the No10 role when Aaron Lennon was introduced. The German lazily failed to track Javier Zanetti and allowed the opposing full-back a shot on goal in the 68th minute, but he had the desired effect of improving Spurs’ use of possession.

AARON LENNON (substitute) 8/10

Looked like the most likely man to rescue the situation and produce something when he came on, and he nearly got a crucial goal early on in extra-time, only to be denied by Zanetti. Lennon got back to dispossess Cassano in the final seconds and rob Inter of their final chance to score.

STEVEN CAULKER (substitute) 5/10

Arrived into a pressurised situation and an early error allowed Palacio a shot at goal, which Friedel saved, but he helped to repel Inter’s late attacks as they desperately took an aerial route to goal in the dying minutes.

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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