Bayer Leverkusen (Away)
UEFA Cup Group B

Thursday 23rd November 2006

Unfortunately, the old life/work balance is tipped the wrong way and I have not had time to have prepared a preview, but I think Spurs will replicate their previous results in the competition against the toughest side in the group and win

PREDICTION : -  Bayer Leverkusen  1   Tottenham Hotspur   2



TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Jermaine Jenas (calf); Paul Stalteri (knee)


Channel 5 (highlights)  11.00 p.m.
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)

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
Planet football - (free - only available when match is on.)
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Bayer Leverkusen   0   Tottenham Hotspur    1      (Half-time score : 0-1)

UEFA Cup Group B
Venue : -  Bay Arena
Thursday 23rd November 2006
Kick Off :  7.30 p.m. (UK time)
Crowd :   22,500
Referee :  Hakan Jonasson (-)
Weather :  -  Heavy rain
Teams : - 
Bayer Leverkusen :


Barnetta (Schwegler 15)

Schneider (c)
Ramelow (De Wit 79)

Kiessling (Freier, 46)

Unused subs: 

Tottenham Hotspur :


King (c)

Malbranque (Huddlestone 68)

(Mido 76)

Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Bayer Leverkusen

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Bayer Leverkusen


Tottenham Hotspur

Berbatov 36

Cards : -  
Bayer Leverkusen



Tottenham Hotspur 



Match Report : -  
Another self-assured performance by Spurs saw them ease to a 1-0 win away at Bayer Leverkusen to put them through to the knock out stages, despite a late rally from the home side.

Once more, Tottenham had to put up with a high volume home crowd, but in the end they were singing the name of one of the Spurs players ... that of Dimitar Berbatov, who had been their won hero a few months back.  And it was Berbatov who made the difference between the sides with a goal that took Tottenham to nine points from the three wins in the three games they have played so far.

Once more, Martin Jol shuffled his pack, with Tainio coming back in after his two goal performance in the reserves earlier this week and also Malbranque came in, with Chimbonda recovering from his knee injury to play.  Berbatov and Keane returned up front and with Aaron Lennon making a comeback in his right wing place with a fitness test behind him.

Berbatov played in the role that home supporters will have been familiar with, as he pulled off the shoulder of the last man to drag him wide or to lay the ball off to a colleague.  His movement is fluid and his demeanour calm, which are just the qualities you need in Europe and so it is proving.

Malbranque brought Jorg Butt into action with an early low cross and then the keeper had to rush out to halt Keane's run through when no offside flag came.  Berbatov's weight of pass let him down when he could have laid the ball into the path of Keane and butt rushed to collect the ball.

When Barnetta injured himself tackling Zokora and had to leave the field after 15 minutes and Mamelow and Barbarez were trying to impose themselves on the Spurs side.  While Leverkusen had the bigger share of the possession, they did little with it and Dawson and King mopped up anything that got as far as them.  Chimbonda had to react quickly when Rolfes nearly broke through after the ball bounced kindly for him and also won a vital header against Voronin to keep the pressure off Paul Robinson.

Dimitar diverted Tainio's corner wide before he brought a diving save from Butt with a drive after Zokora set him up.  Three minutes later, he went one better.  Zokora opened up the play with a pass out to Keane on the right flank and his pass outside to Aaron Lennon saw the little winger strike a shot on goal, which fell kindly for Berbatov to tap the ball into the Bayer net with 35 minutes on the clock.  It must have been fate that he would score against his old side, but we all know this happens often enough to be more than luck.

Spurs could have added to their total near the end, with Keane hitting Butt with a shot after beating his marker in the area, with Berbatov racing clear, but failed to pick out one of the three Spurs players waiting for the pass to arrive.

In all truth, the second half was a bit of a disappointment.  Although Leverkusen had a go, they could have played until September and still wouldn't have looked like scoring.  Whereas Spurs should have had more goals in the score-line.  Malbranque's quality of passing was showing itself and when he put Berbie through three minutes into the half, the ball back to Keane was lost when he got the ball caught between his feet.

Robbo finally got into the game, as he used his legs to keep out substitute Frier's low shot and from the corner that resulted, he took the skiddy header from Voronin cleanly.  Then the same player drilled a low shot that Robinson did well to get down to and keep out.  To release the defence from this pressure, Tottenham started to push forward again.  And when a simple opportunity presented itself, it was Berbatov who missed it alarmingly.  Tainio passed in Keane on the left wing and with a deft flick of his foot, he played the ball across the six yard box and Dimitar managed to miss the ball right in front of goal.  It was a moment when the game could have been wrapped up, but we all hoped that we would not live to rue the miss.

Lennon and Keane linked up to present another chance for the Irishman, but Butt guessed right and smothered his effort, as the game swung the other way.  It nearly brought the German side an equaliser, with Schneider firing in a shot out of the blue from about 30 yards out and Robbo wouldn't have got to it, but he found a friend in his goalpost, which kept the drive out and the shot should have given Spurs the warning they needed to heed.

Substitute tom Huddlestone had replaced a tiring Malbranque and the big Englishman fired in a shot from outside the box but it was straight at the goalie and with the last minute approaching, Tom nicked the ball away from a Leverkusen player and passed to Keane, who laid it into the path of the supporting Chimbonda.  The French full back lashed the shot low, but Butt kept it out with his legs.

With three minutes of added time to see out, Tottenham decided that it might be best to see it out at the other end of the pitch.  Keane made himself an opportunity, but shot straight at Butt, who pushed the ball aside.  Next up came a break when Spurs were three on three, but Mido choose the wrong option in going for a shot when Robbie was wide open.  This allowed Nutt to save.

The chorus of the Leverkusen fans when Berbatov left the pitch was a dig at their own management as much as praise for the striker.  The home team looked disjointed, as players ran hither and thither and it is not hard to see why their season has not ignited and how they have trouble scoring. 

For Spurs, it was another fine European night.  On paper this was the toughest match of the group, but in the end, it was a stroll which could have been won by even more goals.  Jol got his tactics just right and perhaps wins like this might prompt some more points gathered away from home back in the home country.

Dinamo Bucharest await and a top of the table playing is ours for the taking, as it will allow an easier game in the first of the knock out rounds.







Other scores in the groups :
Group A
Maccabi Haifa (ISR) 1 Partizan Belgrade (CRO) 0 Thursday
Auxerre (FRA) 2 Glasgow Rangers 2 Thursday
Group B
Club Brugge (BEL) 1 Dinamo Bucaresti (ROM) 1 Thursday
Group C
Liberec (CZE) 4 Grasshoppers (SWI) 1 Thursday
Sevilla (SPA) 2 Braga (POR) 0 Thursday
Group D
Parma (ITA) 2 Heerenveen (HOL) 1 Thursday
Odense BK (DEN) 1 Lens (FRA) 1 Thursday
Group E
Basle (SWI) 2 Nancy (FRA) 2 Thursday
Feyenoord (HOL) 0 Blackburn Rovers 0 Thursday
Group F
Sparta Prague (CZE) 0 Ajax (HOL) 0 Thursday
Espanyol (SPA) 6 Zulte Waregem (BEL) 2 Thursday
Group G
Paris St. Germain (GRE) 2 Hapoel Tel-Aviv (ISR) 4 Thursday
Rapid Bucharesti (ROM) 1 Mlada Boleslav (BUL) 1 Thursday
Group H
Fenerbahce (TUR) 3 Palermo (ITA) 0 Thursday
Newcastle United 2 Celta Vigo (SPA) 1 Thursday


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