Sevilla (Home)
UEFA Cup Quarter final Second Leg

Thursday 12th April 2007

Having seen that Sevilla can make life difficult for you if you let them have time and the ball, it will be imperative that it is an energetic Tottenham that takes the field for Thursday's second leg match.  The midfield of Spurs could be a key factor and with Zokora and Jenas running directly at the visitors' defence, it could commit them and allow chances to be created.

A similar start to the one made in Spain will give Spurs the impetus to go ahead and show what the side are capable of, so given a strong and even-handed referee, it could be a fine night of European football.

With Sevilla looking to get the goal that might seal their passage through to the semi-final, it could let Tottenham in behind them and with Aaron Lennon on the right being double-manned, it should leave space for others to use and that is an advantage we must not give up easily.  Crisp passing and good movement off the ball would pull Sevilla around and as Manchester United showed, even the best sides find that hard to live with.

If Tottenham play Ledley King, it will give a lift to the side and the crowd, but his lack of match fitness might be a problem, especially if he is up against Fredi Kanoute, who could try to run at Ledders.  Michael Dawson will be available for covering anyone who gets away from the  skipper, but that might pull him out of position.  Tottenham did a good job on limiting the attacking opportunities for Daniel Alves on the Sevilla right and he will be an important player again, so a tight rein must be kept on the Brazilian.

There were long periods of the first leg that saw Tottenham hold possession and Sevilla back off into their own third.  If this happens at WHL, then Spurs could be on a winner, as the attacking game is better for us than being pushed back and having to defend.

I would have thought that Sevilla will score on the night, but hopefully by then, Spurs will be out of reach.  With good luck and a good ref, I think it could end up ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  3    Sevilla  1


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Anthony Gardner (broken leg); Tom Huddlestone (knee); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee); Dorian Dervite (knee); Ricardo Rocha (cup-tied)

SEVILLA :  -  Andres Palop (calf); Ernesto Chevanton (injury); Fernando Sales (injury)


ITV 1  - (live coverage)
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
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)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Tottenham Hotspur   2    Sevilla   2      (Half-time score : 0-2)

UEFA Cup Quarter Final Second Leg
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Thursday 12th April 2007
Kick Off :  7.45 p.m.
Crowd :   35,284
Referee :  Konrad Plautz (Austria)
Weather :  -   Warm, dry
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :


King (c)

Zokora (Defoe 65)


Unused subs: 

Sevilla :


Javi Navarro

Daniel (Renato 55)
Adriano Correia (Aitor Ocio 69)

Kerzhakov (Maresca 82)

Unused subs: 
Javi Varas
Luis Fabiano
Jesus Navas

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Defoe 65
Lennon 67


Malbranque (o.g.) 3
Kanoute 8

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Dawson (foul) 31
Malbranque (foul) 36
Defoe (foul) 90

Tainio (foul) 90





Match Report : -  
Two early goals sealed Tottenham's fate in this season's UEFA Cup competition, but they went down with a spirited fight-back to preserve a home record in Europe of only one defeat, as they grabbed what, after fifteen minutes, looked like an unlikely draw.

A slice past Robbie Keane on the line from Steed Malbranque gave Sevilla a cream start after just two minutes and Kanoute contrived to miss a close range header before he combined with the Russian Kerzhakov to waltz around the Spurs defence and Paul Robinson to stroke home the second with just eight minutes on the clock.

The quick start Tottenham hoped to replicate from the first leg had gone the other way and Tottenham looked lethargic and lop-sided.  With King slotting back alongside Dawson in central defence, it allowed Chimbonda to move to full back, but with Lee missing, the French defender was played at left back, with Tainio coming in at right back.  Every time Pascal got forward, he had to check back onto his right foot and he was guilty of trying to play too much football out of defence.  A lot of Sevilla's forays came down his side and Tottenham could easily have been 0-4 down at the break.

King has needlessly given away a corner that the first goal came from and Dawson picked up a booking for a rash tackle from behind.  He was lucky that it wasn't worse, when late in the first half, he crashed into a tackle on the West Stand touchline and was fortunate that the Spanish player broke past him and kept on his feet.  The ref was having a shameful display, with a large majority of the free-kicks given to the visitors, while every yellow card of the game (and one red) went to Tottenham.  It was hardly as if Sevilla were the sinned against parties on every occasion.  Having been 2-0 ahead, their players set about some disgraceful play-acting and time-wasting.  For a side as good as they are, it only tarnished their reputation.  It is a side of the game that needs dealing with and this referee was so weak that there was no control over either aspect of the La Liga side's gamesmanship.  So bad was he that he showed Chimbonda a yellow card for a foul on Alves, before the referee booked Malbranque instead in one of the most blatant cases of wrongful identification you will ever see.

Tottenham played a long ball game in the first half and with Berbatov regularly penalised for fouling his marker as he jumped for the ball, it was a tactic doomed to failure.  Keane got in on the quarter of an hour to take the ball around the stand-in keeper, but could only dink it back into his hands when he had time to pick out a Spurs player.  Kanoute and Adriano both missed when well-placed, while Spurs struggled to get Aaron Lennon into the game.  Five minutes before half-time, Zokora went on one of his trademark runs and caused consternation in the visiting defence, setting up Berbatov who shot wide.  He got closer nearer half-time, as his 18 yard shot bounced away off the post with Cobeno stranded.

Having failed to get back into the match before the break, it would have taken a Herculean effort to go through, but it didn't stop Spurs having a go.  Zokora's direct running was causing problems after the interval and Navarro clashed with him in the box, seeming to pull him around, but the ref waved play on (as he did for most of the night ... even when no advantage accrued).  The Ivorian tried to break his duck with Spurs when well played in on the edge of the box, but his measured shot lacked power and was easily saved by the stand-in goalie.  Spurs really failed to test him and even after 90 minutes, he had not had many shots to save.

Poulsen looked to have stamped on Jenas' head when they clashed on the touchline, but whether it was intentional, it was hard to tell.  But it was Zokora who made way for Jermain Defoe on 65 minutes after he had been brought down for a free-kick.  The ball was floated in, but headed out to Robbie Keane on the edge of the 18 yard box.  His volley came in from the left of the area, struck into the ground and standing in front of the keeper, Defoe got the final touch (his first) on the ball to divert it into the net.

With a minute, Spurs were level.  Roared on by the crowd, who thought that Sevilla might be crushed by the pressure, Spurs got the ball into the area once more and it bounced around before falling kindly for Lennon to steer home from close range to equalise.

Game on and it was a question now of if Tottenham could get a third to put pressure on the Spanish side towards the end.  Ramos broke up the Spurs momentum with some substitutions and put more defenders on, leaving Puerta to support the forwards with runs from left back.  It was his 79th minute lung-busting run ended with a shot that Robbo did well to palm aside for a corner.  The play switched to the other end and only a deflection denied Berbatov a goal as it was inches over the bar for a Tottenham corner.  The second phase after the corner saw the ball drop in front of goal, eight yards out, to Michael Dawson and he got his effort all wrong and it cleared the bar, when he should have hit the target.  With seven minutes left, it would have made for a grandstand finish.

Robinson pulled off another fine stop to deny the marauding Puerta, while Dimitar spurned a great opening when he tried to go for precision with a side-footed shot after Lennon played the ball back to him.  it was a comfortable save for the Sevilla goalie, who was untroubled by a Jenas free-kick which he skied over the bar from 25 yards out.  Defoe played a cross behind the goal and then curled a shot wide of the far post when he cut into the left side of the area.

In defence, Tainio made a super block as Maresca fired an effort in from the edge of the Tottenham box.  With moments remaining, Defoe was booked for a foul and then, as a ball bounced high near the side-line, Tainio challenged for the ball and Puerta went on to roll over many times after he was caught by the Finn.  Expecting a yellow perhaps, Tainio was shocked to see red in added time. 

Into the final minute of added time, Robbo came forward for a last gasp corner.  The ball flew over his head, but he stayed on the edge of the box, the ball came to him and he chested it down and struck a volley that might have seen him notch his second goal of the season, had Poulsen not blocked the drive.

And then it was over.  As was our UEFA Cup campaign.  It had been a lesson in how to play European football from Sevilla.  They took their chances, as we failed to do, both here and in Spain.  They held the ball well and stroked it around comfortably, while Spurs huffed and puffed and gave the ball away by playing too many percentage balls.  Sevilla showed that they can defend, by getting numbers back behind the ball and not leaving spaces for the other side to move into.  They capitalised on the space we allowed them and punished Tottenham for it.

There was no trouble with the crowd and the good natured and vocal Sevilla fans made the occasion one like the good old European nights.

The only difference being on those nights we used to win.

We can learn from this experience and how to play the game in Europe, but we did show that we are not too far behind the likes of Sevilla, who will go on to do well in the semi-final and probably the final.  They are a class side, but we need to tighten up at the back and be more decisive in our finishing up front.  But that is for another day ... starting Sunday.





Other scores this weekend :
Benfica (POR) 0 Espanyol (SPA) (win 3-2 on agg) 0 Thursday
Werder Bremen (GER) (win 4-1 on agg) 4 AZ Alkmaar (HOL) 1 Thursday
Osasuna (SPA) (win 4-0 on agg) 1 Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 0 Thursday


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