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Match Reports
Besiktas v Spurs, 19.10.06


Ghaly, 31
Berbatov, 63

Referee: - Nicolai Vollquartz (Denmark)

Attendance: - 26,800

Besiktas (4-4-2):- Vedran RUNJE; Ibrahim TORAHAN, Gokhan ZAN, BAKI, IBRAHIM; Fahri TATAN (sub Ibrahim AKIN, 66), Ricardhino, Serdhar, Mehmet SEDEF (sub BOBO, 46); NOBRE, BURAK

Subs not used: - Murat SAHIN; Mustafa DOGAN; Gokhan GULEC, Ali TANDOGAN, Ali GUNES

Booked: - Tatan, Toraman

Spurs (4-4-2):- Robinson; Chimbonda, Dawson, King (Capt.), Ekotto; Ghaly (sub Lennon, 82), Jenas, Huddlestone, Murphy (sub Ziegler, 79); Keane, Berbatov (sub Defoe, 89)

Subs not used:- Cerny; Gardner, Stalteri; Davids

Booked: - Chimbonda, Ghaly

(This report was compiled from TV coverage)

Tomorrow's newspaper headlines will surely read "Turkish Delight for Spurs", as Dimitar Berbatov led a simply magnificent away victory to give Spurs a head start in the UEFA Cup Round Two League programme. Berbatov was clearly man of the match, as he set Hossam Ghaly on his way for the first goal, then sealed the win with a fine second half goal. Whilst the atmosphere sounded hostile, with the Besiktas crowd loud throughout, but the end of the game the home fans were jeering their own team, who proved to be quite toothless against a composed Spurs side.

As expected, Spurs were able to field their first choice defence, and whilst it was a blow that Didier Zokora had to pull out through illness, Tom Huddlestone did a fine job in the middle, next to Jermaine Jenas, with Danny Murphy getting another start, and doing enough to strengthen his hold on a midfield slot. Hossam Ghaly made a surprise start, bearing in mind the pre-match reports of a hamstring problem.

Besiktas had their own late casualty, as Argentinean Matias Delgado also pulled out. Ricardinho played a holding role in the midfield, and enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half. It was Spurs who controlled the early stages though, with the back four supreme, and Huddlestone also enjoying domination. It was Huddlestone that gave Ghaly the first half chance of the game after 8 minutes, with a neat ball across the right side of the box. Ghaly had options, but scuffed his attempted shot. Three minutes later, Spurs had the ball in the net when Berbatov latched onto Murphy’s parried shot, only to be ruled out through offside.

Besiktas had their first threat on goal after 19 minutes, when Fahri Tatan hit an effort that was deflected and diverted away from Paul Robinson’s territory. A Jenas corner from the right mid-way through the half was cleared as far as Ekotto, whose long range attempt was high over the bar. Besiktas then had another effort when Toroman cut back from the right and Sedef was miles wide. Spurs took the lead from the goal kick, as Berbatov received the ball down the right channel, controlled well, turned and threaded the ball to Ghaly, who was in space and advanced upon the keeper. Runje parried Ghaly’s shot, and the ball simply rebounded off Ghaly into the Besiktas goal for a somewhat fortuitous, but deserved lead.

Paul Robinson made a great double save five minutes after the goal, when Dawson was penalised, and Burak hit a great shot from 30 yards, which Robbo parried, then cleared off his line, after recovering superbly from his fall to the ground. Berbatov displayed great skill and determination on the left side, winning his way through to send Murphy away on the inside left position. Murphy hit a left footed shot across the goalmouth, which the keeper just touched clear. In injury time, Spurs had a slight scare as Robinson looked slightly hesitant coming for the ball, which Nobre just failed to reach, after a shot on goal.

Jean Tigana sought to regain ground at half time, replacing Sedef with Bobo, who played up front. For a while, Spurs surrendered their domination, but held out firmly against the expected attack. Murphy floated in a free kick on 51 minutes, which Jenas headed and Runje should have saved easily. Instead, the keeper only half cleared and Spurs maintained the initiative. Berbatov squeezed a shot through the defence, and this time Runje did manage to hold the ball.

Serdar hit a 25 yard shot after 58 minutes, from Ibrahim’s pass, but that was deflected for a corner. Having been under a little pressure, Spurs suddenly relieved the burden on the break, when Robbie Keane flicked the ball on just inside the Besiktas half, and sent Berbatov away on a run against Baki, who he started to taunt by this stage of the game. Berbatov weaved and turned inside the defender, then rounded the goalkeeper, before a fine low finish from 15 yards to double the lead. Spurs had every chance to really turn the screw now, especially when Berbatov crossed short to Keane, who hit his shot into the ground, hitting the bar as the ball bounced back upward. Keane soon had another effort over the corner of the goal in front of the jubilant band of some 850 Spurs fans.

With 20 minutes to go, Spurs enjoyed some good midfield play, starting with a fine headed interception by Murphy, and ending with a threaded ball by Ghaly to Keane, whose shot was held. Berbatov might have had a penalty then, when he was challenged from behind by Baki, but the referee was not interested. Reto Ziegler and Aaron Lennon replaced the Spurs wide men, and by now the home side had lost heart. Burak did test Robinson with a long shot after 87 minutes, but it was Spurs that might have finished three up in the closing stages, as substitute Jermain Defoe hit Ekotto’s cross wide from close range.

With Club Brugge and Leverkusen drawing the other game in this group tonight, this was a fantastic result for Spurs, who must already be favourites to qualify from the group of five They will have the chance to strengthen their hold in two weeks time, when they entertain Club Brugge at White Hart Lane. Spurs have yet to concede a goal in their European quest this season, and they must now transfer their good form in Europe to consistent performances in the Premiership, starting on Sunday against West Ham!

· Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
· Read the preview for this game.

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