Anorthosis Famagusta (Cyprus) (Home)
UEFA Cup 1st Round 1st Leg

Thursday 20th September 2007

I can't claim to know much about Anorthosis, apart from initially thinking it was some awful bird disease that would need quarantining and a 3km exclusion zone.

Former Newcastle United midfielder Timuri Ketsbaia is the manager there and SCBC's former Latvian striker Marian Parhars is the striker for the side, but other than that, they are a bit of a mystery.  The team contain Slovenian, Albanian, Portuguese, Rwandan, Polish and Cypriot internaitonals and a Serbian, a Hungarian, a Bulgarian and two Brazilians.

15 times champions of Cyprus, the side how play in the Turkish sector of the island despite their Greek background, are well organised and beat Galatasaray in 2005 in the Champions League.

We can expect them to try and frustrate Spurs, something which is not the best proposition for us, as we struggle to break teams down, but with home advantage and the need for a win uppermost in everyone's mind, I foresee a decent win to take into the second leg, with Spurs changing things around during the game to give players some on-pitch time ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  4    Anorthosis  1


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR  : -  Ledley King (knee); Bebnoit Assou Ekotto (knee); Teemu Tainio (suspended); 

ANORTHOSIS  : -  Arain Beqaj, Nikos Katsavakis, Hamad Ndikumana (all injured)


ITV 4 -  19:30 - 22:05 (live coverage)
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click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Tottenham Hotspur   6    Anorthosis Famagusta (Cyprus)   1      (Half-time score : 4-0)

UEFA Cup 1st Round 1st Leg
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Thursday 20th September 2007
Kick Off :  8.00 p.m.
Crowd :   35,780
Referee :  Paolo Dondarini (Italy)
Weather :  -  Mild, dry
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

12  Cerny

  2  Chimbonda
  5  Kaboul  
20  Dawson  
32  Assou-Ekotto (16  Bale 80)

25  Lennon
  4  Zokora
22  Huddlestone
15  Malbranque (Taarabt 70)

23  Bent  
10  Keane (c)     (18  Defoe 63   )

Unused subs: 
  1  Robinson
  8  Jenas
  9  Berbatov
33  Rocha

Anorthosis :

  1  Beqaj

  3  Lambrou
  4  Katsavakis
  5  Nicolaou (c)  (Panagi 58)
15  Loumpoutis

  8  Fabinho Pereira      (Pahars 64)
  6  Zlogar (Deyanov 82)
  7  Poursaitides
23  Skopelitis

88  Boaventura
  9  Sosin

Unused subs: 
30  Nagy
  2  Tripotsgris
11  Frousos
24  Constantinou

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

All blue

Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Kaboul 5
Dawson 40
Keane 42
Bent 43
Defoe 65
Defoe 90


Zlogar 81

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  




Fabinho (diving)    


Match Report : -  
With a much changed team from Saturday's Premier League game, Spurs eased to a comfortable 6-1 win over Anorthosis to take to Cyprus in two weeks time for the second leg.  In the days when things were simpler, First Round UEFA Cup score-lines like this were commonplace, but it was heartening that Tottenham can still so it when required.

But with the Cypriot team being so poor, it should have been about twelve with some simpler play and some more accurate shooting.  With 22 efforts on goal, only half hit the target and while the keeper saved the ones straight at him, he failed to make a difficult save in the match.

A defender had sliced a through-ball narrowly wide of his own goal for a corner, before Spurs got one on the other side and Huddlestone's pacy delivery was headed home by Younes Kaboul to give Tottenham a fifth minute lead.  From that, Spurs should have built a commanding early advantage, but Robbie Keane was intent on using the surprise element in his armoury, but unfortunately, this only succeeded in presenting the ball to Anorthosis on most occasions, whereas a simple control and lay-off would have retained possession and made life harder for the Cypriot side.

When Tottenham did pass the ball around, they created pressure and Zokora's run saw him brought down and Kaboul thundered the ball off the wall for another corner, while a good move released Darren Bent on the right and as he moved past the defender, it appeared that he took the striker's legs from under him.  The Italian referee looked unimpressed and waved play on.

Anorthosis only troubled Spurs with a few attacks in the first half, with Kaboul blocking a shot from the Brazilian Boaventura and their big, but cumbersome, centre-forward headed a corner wide when unmarked and Katsavakis landed another header from a corner onto the top of the net.  When they did threaten, Pereira looked to have earned a free-kick on the edge of the Tottenham area, but the ref showed him a yellow card for diving.

Kaboul had a really good game and almost played Bent in, but as the ball dropped, he chose to try and set up Keane, with his pass being cut out.  Both Keane and Lennon were denied by Beqaj and Lennon played a fierce low cross across the six yard box, which Bent just missed and then he could not get a touch on it when Assou-Ekotto played a similar ball in from the left as the ball was still in play.  The left back had a solid game coming back after his knee surgery, although he was rarely tested defensively.

It took until nearly the 40th minute when Spurs doubled their lead.  Another corner and another goal, making it frustrating when corners failed to clear the first man between the goals.  Hud provided another cross for Chimbonda to rise at the far post and knock it down for Dawson to nip in ahead of a defender to touch home.

Little did we realise that this was the signal for a mini goal avalanche that sealed the game in Tottenham's favour.  Assou-Ekotto made ground up the left wing and played a ball into Robbie's feet on the edge of the box.  He took a touch, which lifted the ball off the floor and hit the volley on the turn, producing a low shot that went past Bejaq's left hand for 3-0.  To be honest, in my view, it was the first good thing he had done in the match.  Then, more or less straight from the kick off, Spurs got possession and played a ball into the right hand channel, which a defender tried to cut out, but only succeeded in diverting past his own keeper, who was coming out to collect it.  Darren Bent was alert to this and raced onto the ball as it headed for the line and won the foot race against a defender with a slide, which earned him his second Tottenham goal from a combined total of 4 inches !!  Still, they all count and 4-0 at half-time at least settled our nerves as 3-0 up at that stage is not a good score for Spurs !!

After the restart, it was damage limitation for Anorthosis, as they tried to gain some credibility from their performance and Spurs, who had conceded possession too often in the first half, played a better passing game to maintain control of the game.  Keane control let him down in the box and Chimbonda slammed a good chance well over the bar when just inside the penalty area.  Zokora fancied his chances of a goal tonight too and struck a 30 yard effort straight at Beqaj.  The same end result came from a Keane shot when he had been put in by a perceptive pass from Huddlestone on the hour.  It was almost the last thing Robbie did before he was replaced by Jermain Defoe, who got a great reception form the Tottenham crowd after all that had been said in the papers about him not signing a new contract at the club.

It took less than two minutes to prove why he is so loved by Tottenham fans.  Jermain took the ball as it was played forward, swapped passes with Bent and standing a yard outside the penalty area, he looked like he was going to shoot, but picked out an exquisite chip that left the tall keeper looking as the ball sailed over his head and hit the back of the net.  Not only did he and the crowd go delirious, but the team celebrated his goal like it was a championship winner.  A great goal from a great goal-scorer.

Jol then took the opportunity to give some of the players a run out.  Taarabt got his first taste of European football with Spurs and his twisting turning and theatrical falling won a couple of free-kicks and his powerful drilled shot flashed past the post.  Then, against all expectation, a free-kick for the visitors was played into the box and it dropped on the edge of the area and a weak prod from Zlogar saw the ball bumble towards goal and Cerny, who had done well up until then, went down in stages, as the ball beat him to go into the corner of the net.

Keeping a clean sheet is something anathema to Spurs and to Defoe to close proceedings with a belter of a 25 yard shot that Beqaj saved and then, in injury time, one that he shifted out of his feet after receiving Huddlestone's pass, to rifle with no back-lift past a bemused keeper. to rack up a 6-1 first leg lead.

While Jol was sitting mainly impassively on the bench, he must have been pleased with the night's result, as this is how he wants his team to play.  It is still not yet perfect and having left the likes of Robinson, Berbatov and Jenas on the bench, he must hope that it could still get better and that will need to start on Sunday with the trip to Bolton.  Never an easy one, but never more do we need to win, especially as they are currently sitting at the bottom of the table.



Reaction : -



Sitting in the East Stand, the view of the match was constantly interrupted while I had to allow my eyes to readjust to the brilliance of one advert on the ever-changing LCD display that shone blinding white light onto the pitch.  This would be a major hazard in any bother form of life and perhaps the club should offer residents of stands opposite these advertising displays free sunglasses to cope with it.  The flashing adverts may well constitute a hazard to people suffering from epilepsy of a similar scale to the 2012 Olympic logo (although I am sure that the Premier League must have checked this out before allowing them to be shown).

If that was my only grumble on such a goal-packed night.

The lack of goals (yes, six was not enough) is a major concern.  From the outset, it was clear that Anorthosis were not up to the level of the UEFA Cup First Round.  They rarely held onto the ball for more than six passes and Tottenham should have been looking at a record European score for the club.  But it in true Spurs style, they tries to score the perfect goal and thus spurned so much possession and so many goal-scoring opportunities, that they even allowed the Cypriots to get a goal themselves.

It was only when Defoe came on that he showed how simple goal-scoring is.  Get the ball in space.  Have a shot.  Get it on target.  Put it where the goalkeeper isn't.  Four shots (all on target), two goals. Not a bad return.

It is perhaps symptomatic of Spurs at the moment that the defenders are scoring almost as many as the forwards.  Bent got another close-in goal as he snaffled the misplaced swipe at the ball from an Anorthosis defender in true goal-poacher's style, but the lack of balls played in behind the defence for him to run onto is making it difficult for him to get service.  Keane looked to flick his way around defenders, when he might have been better putting his foot on the ball and laying the ball off.  His goal showed what can be done when he does what he is paid to do ... get shots on goal.

I was pleased to see Assou-Ekotto have a good game back, although he was rarely stretched, but he got forward and linked well on the left, while Kaboul also enjoyed the freedom to roam forward with the ball.  Cerny did all that was asked of him until the goal, which he might have seen late, but it was not a firmly hit shot and squirmed past him.

The result should be enough to see Tottenham go through, but with better teams ahead, it will call for better performances.







Other scores this round :
Litex Lovech (BUL) 0 Hamburg (GER) 1 Thursday
RC Lens (FRA) 1 Copenhagen (DEN) 1 Thursday
Artmedia (HUN) 1 Panathanaikos (GRE) 2 Thursday
Larrissa (GRE) 2 Blackburn Rovers 0 Thursday
Rabotniki Kometal (MAC) 1 Bolton Wanderers 1 Thursday
Sparta (HOL) 0 OB (DEN) 0 Thursday
Empoli (ITA) 2 Zurich (SWI) 1 Thursday
Everton 1 Metalist (UKR) 1 Thursday
Pacos De Ferreira (POR) 0 AZ Alkmaar (HOL) 1 Thursday
Anderlecht (BEL) 1 Rapid Vienna (AUS) 1 Thursday
Zenit (RUS) 3 Standard Liege (BEL) 0 Thursday
Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 3 Leiria (POR) 1 Thursday
Villareal (SPA) 4 BATE (BLR) 1 Thursday
Sion (SWI) 3 Galatasary (TUR) 2 Thursday
Atletico Madrid (SPA) 4 Erdyesspor (TUR) 0 Thursday
Tampere (FIN) 3 Bordeaux (FRA) 2 Thursday
Panionios (GRE) 2 Sochaux (FRA) 0 Thursday
Getafe (SPA) 1 Twente Enschede (HOL) 0 Thursday
Groclin (POL) 0 Crvena Zvezda (SER) 1 Thursday
Midtjylland (DEN) 1 Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS) 3 Thursday
Gronigen (HOL) 1 Fiorentina (ITA) 1 Thursday
AEK Athens (GRE) 3 Salzburg (AUS) 0 Thursday
Nurnberg (GER) 0 Rapid Bucharest (ROM) 0 Thursday
Sarajevo (CRO) 1 Basel (SWI) 2 Thursday
Austria Vienna (AUS) 2 Valerenga (SWE) 0 Thursday
Hapoel Tel Aviv (ISR) 0 AIK (SWE) 0 Thursday
Aris Salonika (GRE) 1 Real Zaragoza (SPA) 0 Thursday
Dinamo Bucharest (ROM) 1 Elfsborg (DEN) 2 Thursday
Locomotive Sofia (BUL) 1 Rennes (FRA) 3 Thursday
Brann Bergen (NOR) 0 Club Brugge (BEL) 1 Thursday
Bayern Munich (GER) 1 Belenenses (POR) 0 Thursday
Aberdeen (SCO) 0 Dnipro () 0 Thursday
Heerenveen (HOL) 5 Helsingborgs (SWE) 3 Thursday
Toulouse (FRA) 0 CSKA Sofia (BUL) 0 Thursday
Sampdoria (ITA) 3 AaB (DEN) 2 Thursday
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0 Ajax (HOL) 1 Thursday
Hammarby (SWE) 2 Braga (POR) 1 Thursday
Spartak Moscow (RUS) 5 Hacken (SWE) 0 Thursday
Mlada Boleslav (BUL) 0 Palermo (ITA) 1 Thursday


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