Tottenham Hotspurs’ adventure in the Champions league is set to be extended after they took a crucial 1-0 aggregate lead away to A.C. Milan in the San Siro. In the previous round Spurs showed their pedigree by beating Inter Milan at home and losing 4-3 at Milan. It was Gareth Bale who was the star of the group stages for Tottenham. But sadly for Spurs fans, he couldn’t recover from a back injury that kept him out of yesterday’s game.
Peter Crouch started upfront for Spurs and the impressive Dutchman, Rafael Van Der Vaart was deployed just behind him. Steven Pieenar and Aaron Lennon provided the width for the team while Wilson Palacios and Sandro, the Brazilian, played in the midfield. Spurs were hit by a number of injuries to key players but were boosted by the return of Jonathan Woodgate who played in the final parts of the game.
As for Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho were deployed upfront and the four-time Champions League winner, Clarence Seedorf played just behind them. Milan were missing key players also. Pirlo and Inzaghi were out injured. Thiago Silva played as a makeshift Defensive Midfielder. And the former Arsenal man, Mathieu Flamini also started.
There were little chances created in the first half. Harry Redknapp, insisted on playing an attacking game. But there were doubts about whether the Spurs defense can cope with the impressive pairing of Zlatan and Robinho. But the lead by Gallas and Dawson, Tottenham were disciplined and composed in defense. Gomes kept out defender Yepes twice with impressive saves. The goal came in the 80 minute when a loose ball from Milan was passed to Aaron Lennon.
He ran through the defense and beat two Milan players and played a neat pass to Peter Crouch who placed the
ball in the bottom Left Corner. The keeper Amelia, who had come as a replacement for Abiatti who had received a knock in the first half, could do anything.
The always fiery Gennaro Gattuso had an altercation with Joe Jordan, Redknapp’s assistant. Gattuso held him by the neck and pushed him. Later after the game, they were again involved in a heated outburst and Gattuso seemed to head-butt Jordan in the head. Again Gattuso had to be restrained.
The defeat means Milan have to score at White Hart Lane. By the time the second leg takes place, Luka Modric and Bale will be fit. So Spurs are in the driving seat to go through this tie.
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