Udinese (Italy) (Away)
UEFA Cup Group D

Thursday 23rd October 2008


Without a great amount of time to do a preview for the game, I must say that the interest in the UEFA Cup has gone out of the window somewhat due to our present precarious league position.

I know that Udinese are second in Serie A behind Internazionale and have been noted for good form in European competitions while they have not always been consistent in the league.  However, this season, driven on in midfield by Swiss international Gokhan Inler and with Di Natale and Quagliarella up front, they are a potent force.  With a home crowd behind them, the patched up injury and confidence-hit Tottenham side really have a task on their hands.

Amazingly, it was just two years ago to the day when Tottenham were losing to Stoke City that they achieved one of their best results in Europe for many a year, taking Besiktas to the cleaners 3-0 in Turkey.  How times have changed and this game could see a complete turnaround from that day, even with Ramos' outstanding record in the competition ...

PREDICTION : -  Udinese  3   Tottenham Hotspur   0


UDINESE :  - (-); - (-); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Vedran Corluka (cup-tied); Roman Pavlyuchencko (cup-tied); Tom Huddlestone (??); - (-); 


FIVE  - (live coverage) 18:00
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 :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Udinese (Italy)  2   Tottenham Hotspur    0      (Half-time score : 1-0)

UEFA Cup Group D
Venue : -  Stadio Friuli
Thursday 23rd October 2008
Kick Off :  18.10 p.m. (UK time)
Crowd :   22,000
Referee :  Felix Brych (Germany)
Weather :  -  Warm, dry
Teams : - 
Udinese :

22  Handanovic

23  Motta
  6  Domizzi
13  Coda
24  Lukovic       (26  Pasquale 89)

88  Inler
15  Isla     
21  D'Agostino       (83  Floro Flores  86)

11  Sanchez  (  7  Pepe 79)
10  Di Natale
27  Quagliarella

Unused subs: 
99  Sala
32  Ferronetti
  5  Obodo

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes     

  2  Hutton
26  King
39  Woodgate  (Giovani 64)
32  Assou-Ekotto  (Modric 46)

  3  Bale     
  8  Jenas
  4  Zokora
24  O'Hara              
  7  Lennon

10  Bent

Unused subs: 
21  Sanchez
20  Dawson
  3  Gunter
11  Gilberto
17  Campbell

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  

Di Natale (p) 24
Pepe 86

Tottenham Hotspur


Cards : -  

Lukovic (asking for Gomes to be sent off)  24   
D'Agostino (foul) 74
Isla (foul) 82


Tottenham Hotspur 

Gomes (foul) 24
O'Hara (foul) 56 
Bale (foul) 63  

O'Hara (second yellow - foul) 57

Match Report : -  
Another defeat and one which can't really be attributed to Juande Ramos despite the media piling pressure on him.  Two individual mistakes cost Spurs, although the result was about right in terms of the share of play and the chances created.  Gomes and Giovani put Tottenham in a position where they were chasing the game and then got caught out at the end to lose 0-2.  

To often the decisions on what to do with the ball were poor, leaving Udinese in possession or wasting some good possession of our own.  Free-kicks were blasted too long or off target when shooting at goal, the movement was not good and the support of Darren Bent, playing alone up front, was not good enough.  Udinese were as guilty in conceding possession at times, but Spurs were not capable of taking advantage.

It was a bit of a surprise that Spurs started brightly and while Udinese had a chance with a header by Quagliarella that went just wide, the way Spurs approached the game with just one striker was a refreshing relief.  It was one that did not last long though.  Assou-Ekotto lost the ball too easily on the left and the ball had to be headed away by a diving Ledley King.  it did spark Spurs into attack and Jenas worked space for Lennon, but his cross only reached Handanovic at the near post, while O'Hara's perceptive diagonal ball picked out Bale, who took it on his chest, but could not beat the defender who went with him.

Tottenham's best opening came when Jenas drove into the right hand side of the penalty area and picked out a cross to Darren Bent at the far post.  Instead of taking time when he could have steadied himself for a shot on goal, he took the header early, but could not get any power behind it.   Then just before 20 minutes, a corner was cleared out and Jamie O'Hara hooked it back towards goal and it went just over the top, but the Udinese keeper was worried it might drop on target.  In the next attack, Lennon hit the keeper with a shot when he might have better dragged a square ball across the six yard box.  The ball was cleared out, but luckily for the Italian side, it dropped to Zokora, who hit his shot with his usual inaccuracy.

With the pressure building up on the home goal, the whole game turned when Assou-Ekotto played a back-pass to Gomes and he took a touch and then slipped as he went to start his approach to the ball.  This allowed Quagliarella to get in front of him and without considering the consequences, the Brazilian keeper dragged him down and a penalty was given.  As the striker was going away from goal, it was only a yellow for Gomes, but the same fate was handed to Lukovic, who obviously wanted a red for the Spurs goalie, by the imploring waving of an imaginary card he mimed.  The penalty went in and Spurs were on their way to another defeat.

While Gomes was at fault for the goal which put Spurs into the position of chasing the game, he did keep some out.  He made a good stretch to push aside a low drive from D'Agostino on the half hour and had a bit of luck when he half-punched a corner and the two follow-up shots were blocked by Spurs bodies in the area.  Five minutes before the break, it was time for Tottenham to attack and Bale put in a corner that the keeper missed completely, leaving the ball to drop at the feet of Alan Hutton at the far post.  Well, actually, it dropped between the feet of Alan Hutton, who could only lay it back for O'Hara, who blazed it over with his right foot.

Half time saw Ramos put Assou-Ekotto out of his misery and substituted him with Modric coming on in midfield, while O'Hara dropped to left back.  it didn't take the youngster too long (well, ten minutes and 65 seconds) to make an impact, with the 65 seconds being the time between his two yellow cards and a red to go with them.  Down to ten men again - this is getting to be a habit, as is picking up yellow cards with the frustration the players are experiencing - we all hoped that they would come back the same way they did on Sunday.  Not so.

Quagliarella brought out a low save from Gomes as the ball seemed to be creeping inside the post in the 50th minute and after the sending off, the keeper got his body in the way when Bent missed his kick in the area from a free-kick, leaving Domizzi with the chance, but he could not beat Heurelho.  Then he showed his good footwork, when Di Natale was left in the clear and he initially came out, but then was lobbed, so moved his feet well to get him going backwards and diving perilously near to the post, he managed to flap a hand at the ball to keep it out as it tried to sneak in at the far post.

Woodgate suffered a knock and was substituted as a precaution, but it showed that Sunday is much more important than this game, even though Spurs still strove to get something from the match.

And they almost did so in the 84th minute, as Giovani made a penetrating run up the right wing and pulled a cross back from the by-line to find Bent's had in the centre of the goal and his effort was inches under the bar with power behind it.  However, Handanovic rose and pushed the ball over with a very good save and he enjoyed a little bit of luck as the ball was straight at him.  With the sniff of a point in the offing, Tottenham continued to go forward and Giovani was too easily dispossessed this time, giving Udinese the chance to break with a 4v3 situation.  Quagliarella just about managed to play the ballto his right and Pepe stepped around Modric and then Gomes to knock the ball in past Jenas on the line, via the goalpost.

And that was that.  In what will be a group with this as the toughest game, Spurs really have to step up their game to go through, but they also have to do that in the league and do it without Dawson and Bale and now without O'Hara in the UEFA Cup.  Injuries and suspensions usually hit in the spring, but they are coming now, when Spurs least need them.

While I want Tottenham to win every game, this was one we could sacrifice if it means we will add league points to a meagre tally.  If only that could be guaranteed.





Reaction : -





Other scores this round :
- - - - -day
Aston Villa - Ajax - Thursday
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
Manchester City - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day
- - - - -day


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