First half Spurs an anaemic shambles, who handed a not great Spartak Moscow side not just the ball but a two goal lead on a sliver platter. One half time talk from ‘Arry and the hook for a guy who didn’t want to be there in the first place and everything is completely changed, to end with a 2-2 draw.
And from a position where we would have gone out of the UEFA Cup, Spurs are facing Shakhtar Donetsk in the next round, with a game against either the Villa or CSKA Moscow in the last 16.
The way Spurs played in that first half I had wondered if ‘Arry had decided to sacrifice the UEFA Cup completely not just take it less seriously, especially with Gilberto’s name in the starting XI. The Brazilian made sure he’ll get his wish of a departure with his display that led to Spartak’s opener and then his eagerness to exit the fray…
Gilberto was quite happy to come off. There’s not really a way back for him here. The boy doesn’t want to play here. He’s a nice guy but just doesn’t feel confident playing here. ‘Arry Redknapp
…is he one of the players Comolli has been so eager to slap himself on the back about recently.
And then after me posting about how well Dawson and Zokora played at the weekend and that the latter does seem to perform better in defence, they opened like the Red Sea to let Dzjuba in for his and Moscow’s second.
Half time couldn’t come quick enough but it looked like Michael Laudrup, Spartak’s manager, was going to enjoy another away day at The Lane, as he was manager of Getafe when the became the first team to beat Spurs at home in Europe in what was Martin Jol’s last game in charge. All that was needed now was NEC to beat Udinese and Spurs were out.
But ‘Arry worked his magic again during the break, Gilberto was off, Lennon on with Bale moving to left back and it’s a completely different team. From being played off the park to completely dominating the game. All that was needed was the goals, when they came they were crackers. Modric’s half volley from Lennon’s cross after the little winger showed his stuff and then Hudd’s storming header.
Relief, especially with news that NEC had not only taken the lead but had gone two up, it really would have been curtains but in the end it was Moscow that lost out as they couldn’t get a kick second half and were lucky not to lose in the end. ‘Arry did it again, another game where Spurs were behind and not playing well that they didn’t lose.
In then end though ‘Arry could be counting the cost of wanting to progress as Modric suffered a hamstring injury and Lennon a groin problem in the game and both are dodgy for the far more important league game away to the Toon on Sunday.