Shakhtar Dontesk (Ukraine) (Away)
UEFA Cup Round of 32 1st leg

Thursday 19th February 2009


Not having played for two months, Shakhtar might be a bit rusty, but then they have the advantage of being used to playing at -4 degrees, which is the temperature Spurs will face when they take to the pitch in Ukraine. 

The Ukrainian side is one I am not familiar with and having beaten a second string Barcelona side, they should not be taken lightly.  Containing a string of Brazilians, there will be flair in the team, but how they graft will be interesting to see.  For Spurs, Redknapp claims this is not an important game, although for individuals, it might prove more so.  The likes of Bent, Bale, Bentley, Gomes, Gunter and some of the younger players will be trying to prove to the manager that they can play a part in the near future of the club.

As far as our ambition in this tie goes, it might be to be fresher than the opposition and get a goal to take back to White Hart Lane.  With the Donetsk side being more used to the weather, it might give them a slight edge and for all their talk about not being 100% physically ready, I reckon they will get a win, especially as Spurs are not great away from home ... 

PREDICTION : -  Shakhtar Dontesk   2   Tottenham Hotspur   1


SHAKHTAR DONETSK :  - Tomáš Hübschman  (suspended); - (-); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Roman Pavlyuchenko (cup-tied); Vedran Corluka (cup-tied); Robbie Keane (cup-tied); Jermain Defoe (foot); Ledley King (thigh); Adel Taarabt (not in UEFA Cup squad); Ricardo Rocha (not in UEFA Cup squad); Alan Hutton (foot); - (-); - (-); 


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Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
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North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

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click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Shakhtar Dontesk    2   Tottenham Hotspur    0      (Half-time score : 0-0)

UEFA Cup Round of 32  1st leg
Venue : -  RSK Olympiyskiy Stadium
Thursday 19th February 2009
Kick Off :  6.45 p.m. (UK time)
Crowd :   25,000
Referee :  Thomas Einwaller (Austria)
Weather :  - Cold, dry
Teams : - 
Shakhtar Dontesk  :

30  Pyatov

  2  Rat     
32  Ishenko
39  Chygrynsky
33  Srna

22  Lewandowski
18  Willian
11  Ilsinho  (18 Luiz Adriano 68)
  7  Ferdandinho

21  Gladkyy  (  9  Seleznyov 78)
  8  Jadson

Unused subs: 
12  Khudzamov
44  Fedetskiy
36  Chyzhov
  4  Duljaj
13  Vyacheslav

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

16  Gunter
20  Dawson
  6  Huddlestone
97  Chimbonda

  8  Jenas (c)
  4  Zokora
52  Parrett  (51  Bostock  89)
17  Dos Santos  (10  Bent 69)
  5  Bentley

18  Campbell

Unused subs: 
30  Jansson
11  Gilberto
67  Smith
77  Mason
80  Obika

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Shakhtar Dontesk

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Shakhtar Dontesk

Seleznyov 80
Jadson 88

Tottenham Hotspur


Cards : -  
Shakhtar Dontesk  

Rat (foul) 40   


Tottenham Hotspur 



Match Report : -  
A poor display by Spurs ended with a 0-2 deficit left to overturn when the second leg is played at White Hart Lane next week.  While the defence did well to hold out for nearly 80 minutes, we have all seen this sort of game before to know that Tottenham cannot keep the opposition out for the whole 90 minutes and an opening goal from a set-piece laid the way for a second once Gomes was injured.

Spurs had looked reasonably comfortable during the first half, although opened up on the flanks a couple of times.  They did little attacking, but there was an early scare when a ball in from the left was missed by Gladkyy and then on ten minutes, a great cross-field ball from right to left found Willian running in to hit a first time volley, but it went over the top.

With Pascal Chimbonda starting his first game since his return, wearing the 97 shirt for some reason, he showed why sometimes, he can be good - with a well times tackle, just as a Shakhtar player was about to shoot from ten yards out - and what frustrates about him - when he runs with the ball towards his own dead-ball line and then plays team-mates into trouble.  Dawson was blocking and tackling well, with Huddlestone tidying up alongside and behind him.  Chimbonda got caught coming infield and Chigrynskyy found space behind the full back when he received a well weighted pass.  Fortunately for Tottenham, he tried to hit it first time and instead of going on target, the ball went sideways and ended up going off for a throw-in on the other side of the pitch, at a point behind where the player took the shot from.

It took 30 minutes for Tottenham to trouble the Donetsk goal.  Dean Parrett, making a debut which promises a lot more from the 17 year old, passed to Giovani on the left wing and as he tried to get past the defender, he hit a left foot cross that ended up as a shot and almost caught Pyatov out at his near post, but the effort just missed the post and hit the side netting.

I thought the Austrian referee was quite lenient towards the Shakhtar players all night, with some cynical and crude challenges going by without a yellow card, just because they were not anywhere near goal.  The only player to receive a caution was Rat five minutes before half-time.  Two minutes before half-time came Shakhtar's direct first shot on goal, but Gomes was right behind Willian's drive.

It was a particularly uninspiring first half and in truth the second half was little better.  Watching on TV it was possible to tell it was cold, but not how hard the pitch was.  Players didn't seem to be sprinting flat out and turning appeared more difficult than normal, so conditions might have played their part.  It certainly looked like it might cause a goal when Willian's low left wing cross went across the six yard box, but it evaded everyone and Chimbonda could not stop, so touched it out for a corner.

With so many regular players out, it was never going to be a fluent performance from Spurs, but the team seemed solid enough, although Fernandinho got to a free-kick before anyone else to glance his header off target.  With just over 50 minutes on the clock, Jermaine Jenas ran through onot Giovani's ball over the top and the ball bounced just too high for it to come down for him to get a decent shot off, as Pyatov came outside the box to meet him.  JJ got a toe on the ball to put it past the keeper, but Ishenko swept up behind his goalie.

Darren Bent came on for Giovani and while his running into space wasn't great, he did almost get through on Parrett's through ball, but Chigrynskyy got in his way to stop him getting into the box.  Parrett himself had nearly got behind the Shakhtar defence when a shot on goal was deflected wide, but the keeper just beat him to the ball in the area.

Chris Gunter had produced a good block in the box, before Didier Zokora was penalised for a foul 25 yards out.  As substitute Sereznov ran into the box, Spurs had to sort out who would be marking him and it appears that it wasn't fully resolved, as Fernandinho's free-kick into the centre of the six yard box saw him run in and flick a header past Gomes, who was behind him and in no-man's land.  The Spurs keeper went down and required lengthy treatment, for what was claimed to be a knock in the face, but the longer the treatment went on, the more it seemed likely that Tottenham would concede a second goal if Gomes stayed on.

Not that he was to blame for the second goal, but recent history of not replacing a keeper who is not 100% has cost Spurs in the past.  It came two minutes from time and not in the last minute as usually is the case.  Jadson started on the right hand corner of the penalty box, played a one-two with Willian and ran across the face of the penalty area, before hitting a left foot shot back the way he came to send Gomes the wrong way.  Maybe Dawson should not have run away from Jadson and Gunter might have shut him down closer, but the second goal is the one which might knock Spurs out of the competition.

Over-coming a two goal margin might be difficult, especially when the players available to the manager mean that it is difficult to pick a settled side in all competitions.  Today Harry gambled and lost.  In recent games, we have done well when taking the game to the opposition.  When we sit back and let them dictate the game, we are always on the back foot, without a player who can spark a goal out of nothing.  To win 3-0 at home will be marvellous if we can achieve it, but I am not too confident that it will be possible.





Reaction : -









Other scores from first leg ties in this round :
AaB Aalborg (DEN) 3 Deportivo La Coruna (SPA) 0 Wednesday
Aston Villa 1 CSKA Moscow (RUS) 1 Wednesday
NEC Nijmegen (HOL) 0 Hamburg (GER) 3 Wednesday
Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS) 2 VfB Stuttgart (GER) 1 Wednesday
Bordeaux (FRA) 0 Galatasaray (TUR) 0 Wednesday
SC Braga (POR) 3 Standard Liege (BEL) 0 Wednesday
Dinamo Kiev (UKR) 1 Valencia (SPA) 1 Wednesday
Olympiakos (GRE) 1 St. Etienne (FRA) 3 Wednesday
Paris St. Germain (FRA) 2 Wolfsburg (GER) 1 Wednesday
Werder Bremen (GER) 1 AC Milan (ITA) 1 Wednesday
Sampdoria (ITA) 1 FC Metalist Kharkiv (RUS) 2 Thursday
Fiorentina (ITA) 0 Ajax (HOL) 1 Thursday
FC Copenhagen (DEN) 2 Manchester City 2 Thursday
Lech Poznan (POL) 2 Udinese (ITA) 2 Thursday
Marseille (FRA) 0 Schalke 04 (GER) 1 Thursday


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