Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) (Home)
UEFA Cup Round of 32 Second Leg

Thursday 26th February 2009

With bigger fish to fry, Spurs face a Shakhtar side, who probably cannot believe their luck.  While many of the Ukrainian side will be just about back to playing regular football after the winter break, many of the Tottenham team that will take to the pitch will be fresh from a 4-4 draw with Aston Villa youth on Saturday !!

While it is understandable that this competition takes third place behind Premier League survival and the League Cup Final on Sunday, I am disappointed that when the club has battled so hard for so many years to regularly be in Europe, that it comes to this.

It will be a good experience for the youngsters who get to wear the Lilywhite shirt, it would have been nice of they could have done so with the tie in the bag after a solid first leg performance had racked up a big score.  With the three points gained against Hull City on Monday, the team Harry put out against Shakhtar in the first leg was the right one in the circumstances.

Shakhtar looked rusty, but they tried to play the diagonal pass to get their midfielders and full backs in behind our defenders.  It will need a solid performance of the midfield to close down the Ukrainian players and stop them trying to play in the forwards.

For Spurs, it will be a matter of working the ball quickly and trying to catch Shakhtar cold, but the most important thing is to do themselves justice and to prove that the call to play will be done with confidence if these players are required in future.

Not a great game unfortunately, but it will be a tight one and hopefully, one that Spurs can just edge and Harry might get his wish of just one set of fixtures to concentrate on after Sunday ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  1    Shakhtar Dontesk (Ukraine)  0


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Jonathan Wooodgate (face); Ledley King (rested); Luka Modric (rested); Roman Pavlyuchenko (cup-tied); Robbie Keane (cup-tied); Vedran Corluka (cup-tied); - (-); - (-);

SHAKHTAR DONETSK :  - (-); - (-); - (-); 


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Tottenham Hotspur   1    Shakhtar Dontesk (Ukraine)   1      (Half-time score : 0-0)

UEFA Cup Round of 32 Second Leg
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Thursday 26th February 2009
Kick Off :  7.45 p.m.
Crowd :   30,595
Referee :  Paolo Tagliavento  (Italy)
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Weather :  -   Dry, mild
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

16  Gunter
97  Chimbonda
  6  Huddlestone (c)
11  Gilberto (51  Bostock 77)

17  Giovani 
12  Palacios      
24  O'Hara       (52  Parrett 71)
  3  Bale

18  Campbell
80  Obika

Unused subs: 
30  Jansson
67  Smith
77  Mason

Shakhtar Dontesk (Ukraine) :

-  Pyatov


Ilsinho (Gai 80)
Willian (Hubschman 46     )

Gladkyy (Moreno 61)

Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

  Shakhtar Dontesk (Ukraine)
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Giovani Dos Santos 55

Shakhtar Dontesk (Ukraine)

Fernandinho 86

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

O'Hara (foul)  28
Palacios (foul) 90  


Shakhtar Dontesk (Ukraine)

Lewandowski (foul)  17
Hubschman (foul)  50


Match Report : -  
A much changed Spurs side almost overhauled a two-goal deficit against Shakhtar Donetsk with some chances that flew narrowly wide and a couple of nailed on penalty claims, but a late Ukrainian goal put the visitors through to the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup.

The expected slew of youth team players in the starting line-up did not arise, with only Jon Obika making his first start, among a host of fringe players who were included in the UEFA Cup squad and others who are not eligible to play at Wembley on Sunday. 

With some good movement, Spurs opened up well and Jamie O'Hara returning from his hip injury was soon testing Pyatov from well outside the box, although it was fired straight in on the keeper.  A couple of minutes later Jadson made a nice move on the right to hit a cross in, but Heurelho Gomes could only get a stretching hand to push it out, but the ball fell to Willan, who could only scuff his effort wide of the goal.

The Italian referee was to prove lenient in the extreme and as in the first leg, Shakhtar got away with some heavy challenges, although Lewandowski got booked for a foul on Campbell.  When the Donetsk side moved the ball about, they did so nicely, with some smooth passing, but Spurs were matching their work-rate, although they failed to close down Fernandinho, who got the ball 25 yards out and hit a low shot to Gomes' right hand and the Brazilian keeper got down to it to push the ball out for a corner.

While not first team match fit, Gilberto did show some decent touches, but did give the ball away too easily a couple of times and failed to continue with his runs when other players passed to where he should have been.  O'Hara was passing well and also got stuck in, but his tackle on one of the midfielders after the ball slipped a little too far away from the Spurs man, earned Jamie a yellow card.

Just before the half hour, screams for a penalty when Rat darted in to trip Fraizer Campbell were all in vain, with the official waving play on, but as the ball was returned to the edge of the area, Jon Obika struck his shot just a couple of feet wide of the post.  It was ironic that a lot of fouls outside the box were given, while the ref chose to ignore one player falling on Campbell and another kick him in the stomach as the loan forward fell down.  Then Rat popped up at the other end to fire in a long range drive that had Gomes keeping it out at the foot of his post.

Obika took an O'Hara pass outside the box, moved the ball out of his feet and hit s shot that once more went close to the upright, but was on the wrong side as far as Tottenham were concerned.  Five minutes before the break, a free kick on the edge of his own area saw Tom Huddlestone take it quickly and fire a perfect pass to Gareth Bale, who had snuck forward into the Shakhtar area.  He had to take the ball inside as a defender got across to him and this put it on his weaker right foot, with the resulting shot a weak one right at Pyatov, who was central in the six yard box.  A yard either side and it could have been 1-0.

Spurs were having the better of the half as it came to a close and Chimbonda rose to meet O'Hara's cross with a towering header, but could not beat the visiting keeper, who dived to make a good stop on his line.

The appearance of Academy Manager John McDermott and his successful youth side who went to Mexico for a tournament they finished third in, must have provided inspiration for one player in the Tottenham line-up.  A youngster himself and not one who often gets a look in, Giovani Dos Santos made this match memorable for him, if it would not be one that lived long in many of the fans.

Tottenham had opened up the Shakhtar defence when Gareth Bale slid a low ball across the middle of the penalty area from the left and Obika went sliding in and failed to connect by inches.  The Academy striker also made a chance for himself, but Pyatov dropped on the ball to deny Campbell a half-chance.

However, with 54 minutes on the clock, a similar move to that which opened the first half saw Campbell go in for it and the ball ran through to Giovani just inside the area and fired the ball high into the roof of the net past Pyatov.  The young Mexican had been bought as one with a lot of promise, but has failed to have the chance, as a struggling team is not the best stage for a talent to flourish, but he celebrated his goal with gusto and looked like he felt a weight lifted off his shoulders.

It was game on now, with only one more goal needed to take the game to extra time, but scoring might have been the worst thing to happen, as Spurs went off the boil after it and failed to put pressure on the Ukraine side.

Gilberto fired a low cross in for Campbell and Obika and neither managed to get the vital touch to it, then Campbell was taken down from behind in the area by Ischenko, but the referee failed to see anything wrong with it again.  The fact that Campbell stayed down for a long time afterwards and then proceeded to continue to limp on after the incident implies that contact and big contact took place.

From about the hour mark, Shakhtar started to move the ball about more confidently.  Fernandinho shot at Gomes, Moreno was released through on goal in the area after some good passing, but his shot was not good enough to beat Gomes and in the 81st minute Jadson fired in a long shot that the Spurs keeper made a very good save from.  In between, there was only the respite of a free kick (see he was still giving them outside the area) that Bale struck well, but slightly too high with Pyatov rooted to the line.

Then it happened.  Four minutes from time, Spurs conceded another late goal to go with the two let in in Dontesk.  Jadson passed to the left side of the penalty area, where Fernandinho ran onto the ball and side-footed a curler around Gomes and into the far corner of the net.  It was a well created goal and showed the importance of having a decent final ball.

Shakhtar almost added a second in injury time, but Gai hit a defender with his shot as he came in from the right side of the area.

So, Harry got his wish and Spurs can now concentrate on the league ... after Sunday's Cup Final that is.  That will require another reshuffle, with players cup-tied and injured, there will not be as many of the youth team involved (here there were some of them who warmed up but were not even on the bench) and a more recognisable Tottenham team will take on Manchester United.

Having lost to the second best team in Ukraine, we now face the best team in the world.

Should be a forgone conclusion for a Spurs win then !!



Reaction : -



Although albeit by force due to CC Final, we had to field a youthful side and show that we do have a youth system and some younger players coming through, it is a shame we do not do this more often. 

When was the last time that a Tottenham Youth Player came through the ranks and established himself as a first team regular? Ledley King is the only one who springs to mind, the likes of Jonny Jackson, Dean Marney, Luke Young deemed not good enough to make the grade and almost all the other youngsters we have such as Bale, OíHara, Gunter bought in at a 17-18 years of age to develop. 

I hope there are home grown players coming through because it is these types of players which give the team passion and spirit and spine when the chips are down: G. Neville, S. Gerrard, J. Carragher, J. Terry, R. Giggs, P. Scholes, G. Barry, L. King are the type of players Iím talking about who stay loyal to the club and are given a chance. 

Either Spursís youth set up and scouting policy is rubbish or the kids are never given a chance. We should try and give these kids more time (difficult in relegation battle granted) but this has been going on for years, it would also save us a shed load of money in the transfer market and give our team the spine and spirit it has been lacking over the years. 

You cannot beat having local lads in the team who give a damn about the club, this enthusiasm transcends down to the other team members, and games are taken more seriously with more of a will to win mentality coming through. Fortunately Robbie Keane is back to give the team that impetus and I can see why Redknapp wanted Bellamy; because he is a winner and hates losing and will make sure you know about it if you are not pulling your weight. 

For the first time in years, our manager has identified what the fans have been thinking for a long time, we need a spine, we need heart, we need a never say die attitude and he knows where are weaknesses lie. We have a good squad with lots of talent, if we can blend that with a will to win and some talented local youngsters we will start to deliver the sort of performance the fans want to see. 


huw davies










Other scores from first leg ties in this round :
Deportivo La Coruna (SPA) 1 AaB Aalborg (DEN)  (win 6-1 on agg.) 3 Thursday
CSKA Moscow (RUS)  (win 3-1 on agg.) 2 Aston Villa 0 Thursday
Hamburg (GER) (win 4-0 on agg.) 1 NEC Nijmegen (HOL) 0 Thursday
VfB Stuttgart (GER) 1 Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS)  (win 4-2 on agg.) 2 Thursday
Galatasaray (TUR) (win 4-3 on agg.) 4 Bordeaux (FRA) 3 Thursday
Standard Liege (BEL) 1 SC Braga (POR) (win 4-1 on agg.) 1 Thursday
Valencia (SPA) 2 Dinamo Kiev (UKR) (2-2 on agg.  Kiev win on away goals) 2 Thursday
St. Etienne (FRA) (win 5-2 on agg.) 2 Olympiakos (GRE) 1 Thursday
Wolfsburg (GER) 1 Paris St. Germain (FRA) (win 5-1 on agg.) 3 Thursday
AC Milan (ITA) 2 Werder Bremen (GER) (2-2 on agg.  Bremen win on away goals) 2 Thursday
FC Metalist Kharkiv (RUS) (win 3-0 on agg.) 2 Sampdoria (ITA) 0 Thursday
Ajax (HOL) (win 2-1 on agg.) 1 Fiorentina (ITA) 1 Thursday
Manchester City  (win 4-3 on agg.) 2 FC Copenhagen (DEN) 1 Thursday
Udinese (ITA) (win 4-3 on agg.) 2 Lech Poznan (POL) 1 Thursday
Schalke 04 (GER) 0 Marseille (FRA) (1-1 on agg.  win 7-6 on pens) 1 Thursday


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