With a tactical approach second to none, Juande Ramos was desperately
unlucky not to progress further in the UEFA Cup - a competition he
looked set to make his own, but for a penalty shoot out loss after Spurs
had taken the game into extra time.
Ramos had won the trophy two years running
with Sevilla, but Spurs fell at the hurdle of the last 16 for the second
season running. Their attacking effort almost pulled off a big
enough win to take them into the quarter finals, but the goal conceded
in the tepid first leg performance was enough to preserve PSV's place in
The first half was a dull affair, with
neither side fluent enough to cause a great deal of trouble to the
other, although Steed Malbranque's 16th minute shot should have worked
Gomes rather than flown wide of his near post. A ball down the
right wing from Tom Huddlestone to Jermaine Jenas foxed the midfielder
with it's backspin and the defender brought the ball out, but Berbatov
robbed him of it and set up Steed, who rashly fired wide.
A couple of times the Brazilian keeper
Gomes looked as though he might throw the game Tottenham's way, when he
collided with Salcido and when he clattered into the Spurs and his won
players with rash rushes from his line. The few chances came
Tottenham's way, with Ledley rising to get his head on the end of Jenas'
corner to knock it wide and a free-kick 20 yards out was worked to
Huddlestone, but his shot caught the wall and took it wide. The
same happened when Salcido's heel took the ball wide when it looked as
though it might creep in at the far post had the PSV defender not
touched it 12 yards out.
At the start of the second half, YP Lee
was replaced by Darren Bent, as Tottenham went with three forwards,
playing Berbatov just behind the front two of Keane and Bent.
Within a couple of minutes, Darren got on the end of a move by Steed and
Robbie and his shot was saved by Gomes. At the Spurs end, Robbo
denied Culina and Woodgate nipped in ahead of Koevermans to stop him
latching onto a ball chested back towards his won goal by Chimbonda.
The big PSV striker had the best opening when Culina's ball dropped
invitingly in the six yard box, but Koevermans failed to get the touch
needed to take the ball past Robinson and the Spurs keeper collected
gratefully. The Tottenham goalie could only stand and watch as
Nelson Mendez fired a free kick from 30 yards out that flew just over
the angle of crossbar and post.
With 57 minutes gone, Huddlestone played
in a free-kick as he had on Sunday and found Berbatov's head. In
what was almost a replay of the goals on Sunday, he bent to direct it
towards goal, but his free header missed the target by a foot.
Then Jermaine Jenas made a lung-busting run down the right wing and
tried to play the ball back into the box where three Tottenham players
were waiting, but he only hit the first defender. As he walked
away, he looked as though his ankle might prevent him continuing, but he
kept going. The substitution that Ramos did make on the hour was
Lennon for King, as Tottenham went 4-3-3 in an attempt to pull PSV out
of their defensive shape.
After the change, it looked hasty as
Robbie Keane was flattened by Gomes, as the Irishman looked to turn on a
ball into the box. But the forward got up to continue as Spurs
looked for the vital breakthrough. The breakthrough nearly came at
the wrong end, as Zokora and Jenas left the ball for each other, but
only succeeded in leaving it for Afellay, who fired a shot from the edge
of the box that Robinson dived to keep out and Woodgate tidied up to
make sure nothing more came of the chance. Eindhoven were pushing
onto the Spurs defence as they tried to put the tie out of the reach of
the visitors, with an inviting free-kick outside the area allowing
Farfan to get it over the wall, but just over the bar too.
With twenty minutes left, time was
ticking away for Spurs. Tom hit a long range effort over the bar,
then two PSV defenders got in each others way, leaving Bent through on
the left hand corner of the penalty box. Instead of shooting,
perhaps because of a lack of confidence, he tried to play in Keane on
the edge of the six yard box, but defenders squeezed the ball away.
Huddlestone did find Keane, as he cut across the front of the defence to
meet the midfielder's free-kick, but his flick took the ball just over
Berbatov was becoming the focus of
Tottenham's attacking play and his through pass almost saw Gomes and
Salcido conspire to provide Spurs with a goal, but the defender got the
ball away and in the next attack, Dimitar broke onto a ball and his shot
was saved low down by the goalie. A minute later, he was not so
lucky, as Tottenham worked a position wide on the right for Chimbonda to
cross low to the edge of the area, where the Bulgarian struck a sweet
volley as he ran in and it arrowed into the bottom left hand corner of
Gomes' goal to level the aggregate score. The momentum was in
Spurs' favour as the last ten minutes were there for Spurs to win the
It almost went the other way when Mendez
fired another long range effort inches over the top with five minutes to
go, just before Tottenham replaced the hard-working Robbie Keane with
Jamie O'Hara. Aaron Lennon's running was giving PSV some problems
and his cross almost produced a winner for Spurs when Bent got to it
with his head, but Gomes produced a stop to keep the ball out by pushing
it over the top. The 90 minutes finished 1-1 over the two games
and the two sides faced extra time.
PSV had shown little commitment to out
and out attack and an early volley by Bent from Berbatov's cross almost
put Tottenham ahead, but it went wide. Jermaine Jenas did well at
the other end when Farfan's corner was cleared straight to Culina, whose
volley was headed out for a corner by the midfielder, as it looked like
it might rip into the top of the net.
|And it all ends in heartbreak for Spurs as Chimbonda puts
his spot kick wide. MISS
|Marcellis confidently puts his penalty into the bottom
|And then Didier Zokora finally finds the net for Spurs to
send the shoot-out to sudden death! GOAL
|Bakkal then put PSV back ahead in the shoot-out. GOAL
|It came down to Jermaine Jenas and Gomes dived to his left
to push it away. SAVE
|Dzsudzsak had a decisive penalty but kept his cool. GOAL
|Bent then slams his penalty into the corner with plenty of
Berbatov knocked a free-kick over the bar
and a couple of passes into the Spurs area were defended well before the
whistle went for the end of the first period. The second period
started much the same as the first, with Bent having an opportunity and
hitting Marcellis with a volley. It ended with another volley, as
the ball popped up to Steed Malbranque and his dipping effort brought a
fine save from Gomes, who managed to palm the ball over the crossbar.
The tie was over in terms of open play
and PSV won the toss to take penalties first in the shoot-out.
Captain Tommy Simons put the first confidently past Robinson, before
Berbatov coolly stroked his shot just past Gomes' right hand.
Lazovic took PSV's second and Robbo didn't dive too wide and stopped the
effort near the middle of the goal. Surprisingly, but bravely,
Jamie O'Hara stepped up to take the second Spurs penalty and got it past
Gomes' dive to make it 2-1. Farfan buried his penalty and Tom
Huddlestone equalled the effort making it 3-2. Salcido and Darren
Bent took it to 4-3 and Jermaine Jenas stepped forward to take the shot
that could have won the game for Spurs, but Gomes pushed his effort
aside, as it was at a height comfortable for the keeper to reach.
PSV started the sudden death section of
the shoot-out and substitute Bakkal putt hem ahead, when Didier Zokora
walked up to the penalty area to take Tottenham's sixth spot-kick.
Never having scored for Spurs (nor St. Etienne come to that), he took a
good kick, high out of the goalie's range. 5-5.
Marcellis put his shot past Robinson to
make it 6-5 and then Pascal Chimbonda took a short run-up to send Gomes
the wrong way, but his strike was slightly scuffed and it went wide of
the post to leave PSV through to the quarter finals.
It was a sad end to another UEFA Cup
campaign that promised more. This time we beat a Champions League
side and took another all the way before losing out. Ramos showed
in this tie that he has the analytical mind to pit his wits with any
coach across Europe and next season he will be able to do so again, with
another UEFA Cup campaign secured by the League Cup win.
The players had done all they could,
apart from finish some of the chances that were created against PSV.
One error in the first leg had really cost Spurs dear, but it is not the
nature of the mistake, but the way the team responded to it that we will
take from this tie.
Ah, well. We've been to the City of
Manchester Stadium anyway !!