Anderlecht (Belgium) (Away)

Thursday 6th December 2007


It's been 23 years since we last travelled to Brussels to play Anderlecht and there has been a lot of water passed by the Mannequin Pis since then.

For the Belgian side, it has been a regular place in the Champions League, but for Spurs a struggle to regain those heady days of 1984 when Tony Parks came between the Anderlecht side and the UEFA Cup in the second leg penalty shoot out.

The current team sit second in the Juliper league, with some Belgian internationals and Argentinian Nicolas Frutos leading the line.  With our back four depleted, it will be a real test to see who can stand up to this physical forward.

Not many of the side are household names outside of the country they play in, although Tottenham did have a heavy link with buying mercurial midfielder Walter Bassegio.  A heavily built midfielder, he could pass and shoot, but a few years down the line his effectiveness might have waned.

For Tottenham, Robbie Keane will want to sign off with a flourish before his three match ban kicks in and with Ramos proposing an attacking outlook, hopefully, it will keep the ball away from our goal for long periods of the game.

I think that the home side will score, as we still struggle to keep a clean sheet, but with the team seemingly more suited to the European style of play, we should be able to gain what we need to go through and hopefully, with this score-line, top the group ...

PREDICTION : -  Anderlecht  1   Tottenham Hotspur   2


ANDERLECHT :  - (-); - (-); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (not match fit); Ricardo Rocha (not match fit); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee); Anthony Gardner (ankle); Younes Kaboul (rested); Gareth Bale (foot);  (-); - (-); 


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Anderlecht   1   Tottenham Hotspur    1      (Half-time score : 0-0)

UEFA Cup - Group G
Venue : -  Constant Vanden Stock Stadium
Thursday 6th December 2007
Kick Off :  8.45 p.m.
Crowd :   22,500
Referee :  Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
Weather :  -  Rainy, heavy throughout
Teams : - 
Anderlecht :


Van Damme

Goor (c)    

Mpenza (Baseggio 72)
Frutos (Thereau 55)

Unused subs: 
De Man

Tottenham Hotspur :


Lee (Stalteri 81)


Keane (c) (Berbatov 59)
Bent (Defoe 72)

Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  

Goor 68

Tottenham Hotspur

Berbatov 71 (p)

Cards : -  

Polak (dissent) 61
Goor (dissent) 70
van Damme (foul) 70
Hassan (foul)


Tottenham Hotspur 

Jenas(foul) 40
Zokora (foul) 75



Match Report : -  
A dire first half was followed by a second half with a bit more action and the game ending 1-1 involved a few more moments of excitement with Paul Robinson making a fine save to keep the ball out and earned he draw that takes Spurs through to the last 32 of the competition.

The leaving of Younes Kaboul at home left Ramos with few defensive options and he chose to play Didier Zokora alongside Michael Dawson in the middle of the back four flanked by Lee and Chimbonda.  Jenas returned in midfield, while Bent partnered Robbie Keane up front in a standard 4-4-2 formation.  It should have given Tottenham a firm basis to build attacks from, but their wastefulness in possession in the first half saw the game lose any direction it might have had.

An early Malbranque effort drifted away, while Huddlestone put a delightful pass onto Robbie Keane's foot as he ran into the far post area, but the Irishman's touch let him down and the ball went off or a goal-kick.  Tottenham had a real let-off after five minutes, when Deschant played a fierce low ball fizzing across the goalmouth, with no purple shirt in a position to knock the bal into an open net.  It was something Spurs were not to learn from.

With moves breaking down on both sides, it was a dreadful spectacle as the rain dropped heavily on the pitch and the wind swirled it around the ground.  Jenas brought the first save from Zitka on 23 minutes, with a low drive that forced the Anderlecht keeper to dive to stop the effort, which did not really threaten to beat him.  Some crosses were played in by the home team, but they were met by Chimbonda or Dawson's heads, with some good defending by the midfield.  Unfortunately, with the ball, Tottenham were not so good and Chimbonda and Keane were the most guilty parties in giving the ball away needlessly.

Dawson seemed to have mis-judged the pitch and his lack of grip lost his footing a few times in the first half and one slip let in Frutos, who knocked a ball to the far post where Lee did well to prevent Hassan getting a shot on goal.  Then, just a couple of minutes before the break. a free kick conceded by Jenas lead to Wasilewski moving into the box and firing a shot low to Robinson''s left to where he dived to block the effort, before quickly recovering put Frutos off the rebound, which he managed to get off for a throw-in on the other side of the pitch.

At the break, the replacement of  Keane by Berbatov did not happen, but Spurs did start with a good passing moves as they attacked the goal in front of their fans, leading to Chimbonda getting a low ball into the area in front of Keane to shoot, but his effort was neither hard or accurate enough.  As the play switched to the Tottenham goal, a ball through to Frutos put him in on goal at the left hand corner of the box, from where he tried to flick the ball past Robbo with his right foot, but ENO managed to keep out the Argentinian's attempt.  Two minutes later, Mpenza was freed in the same position, but Zokora raced back and his well-timed tackle deprived the Belgian of a shot and even a corner, as the ball was touched off him before going out.  This incident started the frustration creeping into the Belgian side and their fans too.  Almost every subsequent decision brought a chorus of howls of derision, regardless of the validity of the award.

In the five minutes before the hour, Anderlecht brought on Thereau for Frutos and Spurs substituted Keane with Berbatov.  The Bulgarian started to hold the ball up well and started to string passes together and to his own team-mates, while Thereau added more to the home team's attack, with his red boots regularly receiving the ball.  Polak's frustration boiled over when he fouled Jenas, but did not agree and ranted in the referee's face.  Such antics were not doing anything to calm the crowd down.

Berbatov was now dictating much of what went on out on the pitch, as he took control of a free kick and fired one in from 30 yards, which would have just gone under the bar, had Zitak not managed to push it over the bar, not all that convincingly.  The corner was cleared, but as it was played in, Michael Dawson was Tottenham's furthest player forward and a long clearance saw him out of position to defend the counter attack.  By the time he had regained his position, Thereau was out on the right and played a seemingly innocuous ball into the heart of the penalty area.  Unfortunately, Dawson left it and Jenas behind him was back on his heels, leaving Goor to run in and strike the ball into the net past a helpless Robinson.  It was a slack goal to concede and one which came when Tottenham were just beginning to force the game into Anderlecht's box.

The lead only lasted for two minutes, as a neat one-two on the edge of the Belgians' area saw Jenas burst through the middle and van Damme hauled him down, leaving the ref no option but to point to the spot.  What discretion he did have was exercised in not sending the Belgian defender off, as it was almost certainly a goal-scoring opportunity, but saw fit to administer a yellow card.  The real punishment came from the boot of Dimitar Berbatov.  After some desperate attempts to delay the taking of the kick, which the referee let them get away with, the Anderlecht players could only stand as watch as Berba coolly stroked the ball in the opposite side of the goal to the one into which Zitka dived.

At 1-1, it was hoped that Spurs might go on to step up the pressure, but it was Anderlecht with the next biog opportunity, as Thereau nearly caught Spurs out in similar style to their goal, ghosting in at the far post as Chimbonda, once more, lost his marker and his bearings, while the Anderlecht forward drifted in behind him to hook the ball goal-wards.  Luckily, RObinson was alert to it and dived full length to scoop the shot out before it went near the goal-line.  The home supporters behind the goal claimed it had gone over the line, but the ref was not interested and more pain was inflicted on them,

With Defoe already on for Bent and Boateng warming up for what seemed like forever to come on and shore up the midfield, YP Lee crashed to the floor in our own penalty area, with treatment not successful, so he left the field on a stretcher.  Great.  Just what we needed  another defender injured !!  Boateng never did get on, as the injury brought Paul Stalteri into the play.  A lot of his involvement was in attack, but he did get back to make good tackled when required.

A goalmouth scramble saw the ball pinging around and it dropped invitingly for Thereau, but he could not keep his shot down and it few well over the top.  At the other end, Defoe brought two saves from Zitka and Berbatov also hit a low effort which the keeper saved well.

So, a point on the night, which proved sufficient to take us through.  All we can do now is await to see who we get in the next round and see if we can improve between now and then.





Reaction : -



What a shambles the first half was !  No pattern, no passing and little passion.

The second half was little better and going behind to that sloppy goal was a nightmare.  Getting caught on the break was always going to be a threat.  Not that their players were that quick, but because Chimbonda was always getting caught up-field or the wrong side of his man.  He also bottled out of one challenge in the second half that left Frutos to run in and force a save from Robinson.

With Dawson having another new starting partner and with Jenas just returning from injury, it didn't help late on, when Lee had to go off, when Ramos looked like he was going to swap Boateng for Jenas, but had to make a defensive substitution ... our only one left.

But at least we had put one decent move together by then and it brought a goal.  Some sharp, short passing through the heart of the Anderlecht defence lefy Jenas through near the penalty spot, before one of their defenders tripped him as he was about to shoot.  The referee had a decent game on the whole, despite the roars against every decision against the home side, but should really have sent off the offender on this occasion.

Their fans were a disgrace.  Dead quiet for most of the time in most of the ground and then, when things weren't going their way, they started chucking things at the Spurs players for about the last 15 minutes.  I hope UEFA take strong action, as I am sure that if it had been Spurs fans doing the same thing, there would have been swift and severe repercussions.

But, at least we are through to the next stage and with a good draw, we might be able to progress further.  If the side can get some Premiership points under their belts by then, it will be all the better.









Other scores this weekend :
Group A
Nuremberg (GER) 2 AZ Alkmaar (HOL) 1 Wednesday
Everton 1 Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS) 0 Wednesday
Group B
Panathinaikos (GRE) 2 Locomotive Moscow (RUS) 0 Thursday
FC Copenhagen (DEN) 0 Atletico Madrid (SPA) 2 Wednesday
Group C
Villareal (SPA) 2 Elfsborg (SWE) 0 Wednesday
Mlada Boleslav (GRE) 0 AEK Athens (GRE) 1 Wednesday
Group D
Basel (SWI) 1 Brann (NOR) 0 Wednesday
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0 Hamburg (GER) 2 Wednesday
Group E
Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 1 Sparta Prague (CZE) 0 Thursday
Spartak Moscow (RUS) 1 FC Zurich (SWI) 0 Thursday
Group F
Aris Salonika (GRE) 1 Sporting Braga (POR) 1 Thursday
Crevena Zvezda (CRO) 0 Bolton Wanderers 1 Thursday
Group G
Aalborg (DEN) 1 Getafe (SPA) 2 Thursday
Group H
Bordeaux (FRA) 2 Helsingborg (SWE) 1 Thursday
Austria Vienna (AUS) 0 Panionios (GRE) 1 Thursday


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