My thanks go to Declan Mulcahy for this report while I was in Madrid
TUESDAY 5 APRIL 2011
8:45p.m. (local time), 7:45p.m. (UK time)
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER FINAL, FIRST LEG
REAL MADRID (1) 4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (0) 0
Adebayor 4, 57
Di Maria 72
Real Madrid (4-4-1-1): Jose Mourinho
1 I Casillas (c); 4 S Ramos, 2 R Carvalho, 3 Pepe, 12 Marcelo; 22 A Di
Maria (8 Kaka 77), 14 X Alonso, 23 M Ozil, 24 S Khedira (10 L Diarra
61); 7 C Ronaldo; 28 E Adebayor (20 G Higuain 75)
Subs Not Used: 13 A Adan, 17 A Arbeloa, 11 E Granero, 19 E Garay
Booked: Adebayor (12 foul on Assou-Ekotto), Pepe (36 foul on Bale)
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-1-1): Harry Redknapp
1 H Gomes; 22 V Corluka (19 S Bassong 80), 13 W Gallas, 20 M Dawson
(c), 32 B Assou-Ekotto; 14 L Modric, 30 Sandro, 8 J Jenas, 3 G Bale;
11 R Van der Vaart (18 J Defoe 45); 15 P Crouch.
Subs Not Used: 23 C Cudicini, 6 T Huddlestone, 21 N Kranjcar, 9 R
Booked: Crouch (8 foul on Ramos), Van der Vaart (20 dissent), Defoe
(74 foul on Carvalho)
Sent off: Crouch (15 Second Bookable Offence foul on Marcelo)
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Attendance: 80,000
Referee: Felix Brych
Assistant Referees: Thorsten Schiffner, Mark Borsch
Fourth Official: Peter Sippel
Additional Assistant Referees:
Christian Dingert, Marc Seemann (All officials from Germany)
TH Navy blue shirts, shorts and stockings
RM White shirts, shorts and stockings
TEN-MAN TOTTENHAM SUFFER REAL BLOW
At the outset it looked like Tottenham would field their strongest
possible team. Unfortunately Aaron Lennon was taken ill in the tunnel
just before the match started (He had been suffering from influenza
this week). Jermaine Jenas was elevated from the substitutes to
replace him. Initially it was thought that Lennon would drop to the
substitutes bench but UEFA ruled that this was not permissible so
Spurs had only six substitutes. With the last minute change there were
three changes from the team which drew with Wigan as Gallas, Bale and
Crouch replaced Bassong, Defoe and Pavlyuchenko. Real Madrid did play
Cristiano Ronaldo although he had been in doubt before the game.
Higuain, who had returned from injury at the weekend, did not start
but was among the substitutes.
Tottenham did not make a great start. After four minutes they conceded
a corner which Ozil took on the right. Adebayor, on loan to Real from
Manchester City, was allowed a free header. He directed it towards the
left post. Although Modric was stationed there he was unable to
prevent the ball entering the net.
Crouch was booked after only seven minutes for a needless foul on
Ramos. Soon afterwards Adebayor was also booked for a foul on
Assou-Ekotto. Disaster struck after only fourteen minutes. Crouch
committed another needless foul on Marcelo. He received a second
yellow card and was sent off. It was a very stupid error on Crouch's
part. Marcelo the player fouled was seen to be unsportingly
celebrating the red card. Mourinho to his credit did give Crouch a pat
as he trudged off.
Bale had started on the right wing in Lennon's absence and had seen
nothing of the ball. After sixteen minutes he switched to his normal
left wing position and stayed there for the remainder of the game. Van
der Vaart was booked soon afterwards for kicking the ball away and
Gomes made a save from Ronaldo.
Madrid were exerting quite a bit of pressure on Tottenham. When the
latter had possession there was no front man to aim for after Crouch's
red card. Consequently Spurs had to try and pass the ball towards the
Madrid goal and they inevitably lost possession.
Tottenham had only two opportunities in the first half. They came in
quick succession both involving Bale the first after 27 minutes. Bale
made a run down the left but the ball was deflected into touch. Bale
quickly sent a long throw in the box where he found Van der Vaart but
the latter was unable to put in a shot on target. Almost immediately
afterwards Dawson played a good pass which set up Bale. He ran into
the box and was just about to shoot when Ramos closed him down and
Bale's shot hit the side netting.
Shortly after the half hour mark Madrid created a good opportunity.
Ramos on the right of the box produced a diving header from a ball
which was almost at ground level. It looped towards the far post where
Adebayor rose but was unable to connect with the ball. Shortly
afterwards the Madrid central defender Pepe was booked for a foul on
Bale and will miss the return leg.
There were three incidents in the Spurs box in the last five minutes
of the half. Di Maria unleashed a shot from just outside the box. It
hit Dawson's raised and out-stretched arm inside the box. Spurs could
have had no complaint if the referee had awarded a penalty. A minute
later Adebayor went down in the box under pressure from Gallas but
replays shows that it was a fair tackle. Then Ronaldo went down on the
edge of the box after coming together with Corluka but it was an
obvious dive. In the last minute of the half Ramos should have been
booked for a blatant foul on Bale.
At the interval Redknapp replaced Van der Vaart with Defoe. A change
was not surprising since Spurs had conspicuously lacked any presence
up front after Crouch's sending off. Unfortunately the move did not
pay dividends. Defoe saw very little of the ball as Madrid totally
dominated the second half.
The second half began with Madrid advancing on the Spurs goal in
waves. Initially Spurs did well defending once the ball reached their
box. After 56 minutes following a short corner the ball reached
Marcelo on the left. He crossed the ball to the right of the box.
Gallas found himself with two players to mark and moved towards the
nearer one Khedira. This left Adebayor unmarked and he scored with a
header to the far post. This was Adebayor's tenth goal in ten matches
against Tottenham (some reports say 10 goals in thirteen games).
In the 65th minute Gomes tipped an Adebayor header over the bar.
Shortly afterwards Bale needed treatment for an injury. Initially it
looked like he might have to be replaced but he returned.
In the 72nd minute Di Maria jinked into the box on the right and
unleashed an unstoppable shot to the upper left hand corner. It was
the best goal of the game. The question now was whether Spurs could
hold the deficit at three giving themselves some hope for the return
leg or would Madrid extend the margin out of sight.
Soon afterwards Defoe was booked for a foul on Carvalho. Then Gomes
beat away a shot from Ronaldo. Corluka had to be substituted with an
ankle injury. Assou-Ekotto moved to right back and Corluka's
replacement Bassong slotted in at left back.
With four minutes left, Kaka, a Real substitute, on the left of the
box, crossed to Ronaldo on the right. The latter hit a volley towards
the near post. Gomes appeared to have it covered but the ball
deflected off him and squeezed in at the post. It was typical of the
occasional wobbles he has had this season. Unfortunately the fourth
goal probably puts a Tottenham recovery in the return leg out of reach.
Tottenham's record against Spanish teams in Europe is not good. They
beat Atletico Madrid in the 1963 Cup Winners Cup Final but have failed
to win any of the eight subsequent games against Spanish teams. In
addition two of the three home European defeats have come against
Spanish teams Real Madrid in 1985 and Getafe in 2007. This is the
third time that Tottenham have gone four games without scoring a goal,
the other two occasions being in 1980-81 and 2000-01.
At this stage it looks like the European adventure is over. It was
hugely enjoyable for as long as it lasted and was an enormous credit
to the club. The team and manager now need to focus on the remaining
eight league games and try and gain as many points as possible
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