|DATE||Thursday 20th September 2012|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
|Unfortunately, time did not allow for a preview of the match.|
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 1 Lazio 0|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :|
|LAZIO TEAM NEWS :|
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
0 (0) Lazio 0 (0)
Thursday 20th September 2012 Kick off 20:05
White Hart Lane
Biava (foul) 28
Andre Dias (foul) 63
Gonzalez (foul) 66
Mauri (foul) 85
|Crowd : 25,030||Weather : - Mild|
|Referee : Ovidiu Alin Hategan (Romania)||Assistant Referees : Zoltan Szekely (Romania); Octavian Sovre (Romania)|
|Fourth Official : Cristian Nica (Romania)||Additional Assistants - Alexandru Don Tudor (Romania); Istvan Kovacs (Romania)|
|Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Lazio :||kit|
Andros TOWNSEND 81)
18 Jermain DEFOE
7 Honarato Campos EDERSON 90)
HERNANES ( 2
Michael CIANI 90)
|Manager : Andre Villas-Boas||Manager : Vladimir Petkovic|
|Sponsor : Investec||Shirt sponsor : -|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Macron|
It is never easy to play against an Italian side, especially one playing away in Europe. And this was a stereo-typical performance by an Italian side, full of defensive attitude and cynical and petty fouling, designed to disrupt play and to prevent the other team establishing a pattern of play, working for Lazio at White Hart Lane in leaving with a 0-0 draw.
Spurs played well and it was an intriguing game, rather than an exciting Glory Glory night under the lights at the Lane. There was only one team who wanted to play football and it was ironic that the closest either team came to scoring was the one shot that Lazio had which hit the bar and bounced out with Lloris unable to get close to Gonzalez's volley. Spurs had their chances, but failed to capitalise on them to make the Italian side come out to play.
Starting well, holding the ball despite being shut down quickly by the visiting players, Spurs almost went a goal behind, when a ball was slipped square across the box in the twelfth minute by Lulic. Miroslav Klose was moving onto the ball, but it was a little too far in front of him, with Hugo Lloris, making his debut, quickly off his line to spread himself in front of the German, just in case he got a touch on the ball.
From that point, Spurs dominated the half. Lennon had already had one dangerous cross headed away before he found himself inside the area in space on the right freed there by Defoe. With the goal in front of him, Aaron, captain for the day, chose to cross into the heart of the six yard box, but it was blocked and when it came back to him, he lofted a cross to the far post, where Gareth Bale headed at goal, but there was little power in it. 19 Minutes had gone and Spurs looked as though they were building the pressure on the Lazio goal. Not that the Italians were willing to allow this to happen, with some crude and cynical fouling to stop any flow to the game.
However, two minutes later, when Bale swapped wings to the right and crossed into the penalty spot for Dempsey to dive to head the ball past Marchetti, it looked like the deadlock had been broken until a linesman raised a flag for offside. Despite winning a few free-kicks for the offences by Lazio players, Spurs failed to beat the wall on any occasion, but that was not surprising, as they walked blatantly forward about three yards when the referee was watching them prior to the kick being taken.
Lennon was put into the box again by Walker, but his cross was cut out, as he delayed the delivery and Lazio started to do what they do best and hit on the break. Klose almost got through on the right, but his cross was blocked, then Mauri crossed into the path of Klose, but the German international completely mis-kicked with nearly 35 minutes on the clock. Lazio went closer on 39 minutes, with a cross into the box being headed out by Jan Vertonghen, with the ball hanging nicely for the on-coming Gonzalez to hit a technically perfect volley from just to the right of centre against the bar. Lloris could not have done anything about it and the ball luckily hit the bar and bounced down and out in front of the goal.
The half-time whistle came with applause from the Spurs fans for the team's performance, but with no goals. it could have been another tale of woe if Lazio managed to nick on the the counter-attack.
No changes at the start of the second half, the teams lined up and Tottenham started attacking once more. Five minutes after the start, Jermain Defoe played the ball in from the right into Lennon, who shot, but Marchetti saved and then, as the ball ran lose, Dempsey was kicking away at it but couldn't force it home before the ball was hacked out. Then, a minute before the hour, Dempsey took the ball from bale, played it back to him on the left and his low ball was knocked into the goal by Defoe on the edge of the six yard box, but once more the flag was up and offside given. This time it was Bale offside and Spurs were denied again.
In the 71st minute, another disallowed goal prevented Spurs taking the lead, as Steven Caulker rose at the far post to Bale's corner to head home getting high above the Lazio defence. It seemed a harsh decision to say then least, with the centre-half's header right in the top corner where Marchetti couldn't reach it, but once more Spurs had to start again.
It didn't make it any easier when Lazio started to put in some vicious tackles, with Bale laid low by a set of studs on his shin from Cavanda who then managed to get away scot free with a "challenge" that he made looking the other way and ended with Kyle Naughton suffering a nasty ankle injury as the player's studs once more met flesh. The Romanian referee plainly wasn't interested in the paperwork, as he didn't even award a free-kick.
There were two plate chances for Spurs, with Bale heading Walker's cross wide and then Naughton's long cross form the left was met by a good run from substitute Andros Townsend, but he lost his composure and headed it behind the goal rather than back across it for colleague waiting for the ball.
At the end a point a piece would have suited both sides, but Lazio more than Tottenham. It will be a different game out there and they will have to come out more to please their fans, so leaving space for Tottenham to break into. But we can probably expect the same type of cowardly fouling and "professional" tactics as they do anything they feel necessary to avoid losing.
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Position before match : N/A
Position after match : 3rd
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