EUROPA LEAGUE GROUP J
THURSDAY 6th DECEMBER, 2012
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 (1) PANATHINAIKOS 1 (0)
Karnezis (o.g), 76
Referee:- Mr. Pawel Gil
Assistants:- Mr. Piotr Sadczuk & Mr. Marcin Borkowski
Fourth official:- Mr. Konrad Sapela
Additional Assistants:- Mr. Robert Malek & Mr. Hubert Siejewicz
(All officials from Poland)
Spurs (4-4-2):- Friedel (Capt.), Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton; Lennon (sub Livermore, 87), Sandro, Carroll (sub Dembele, 75), Dempsey (sub Sigurdsson, 80); Defoe, Adebayor
Subs not used:- Cudicini; Stewart; Huddlestone, Townsend
Panathinaikos (4-2-3-1):- Karnezis; Seitaridis, Triantafyllopoulos, Vyntra (Capt.), Spyropoulos; Vitolo, Sow (sub Christodoulopoulos, 60); Zeca, Sissoko, Mavrias (sub Fornaroli, 83); Toche (sub Petropoulos,78)
Subs not used:- Kapino; Marinos, Chouchoumis, Velazquez
Booked:- Spyropoulos (foul on Lennon)
No Greek tragedy here for Spurs
There was no Greek tragedy at The Lane tonight as Spurs qualified as runners-up from Group J to go through to the Round of 32 in the New Year, when the Europa league reconvenes.
Things could have been scary though, after Zeca equalised Adebayor's first half goal with a head across Spurs skipper for the night Brad Friedel. While the scores were still level, Panathinaikos had a good chance to take the lead when Spyropoulos crossed deep from the left but Toche managed to pull his shot wide, when a goal looked on the cards. Spyropoulos had been the provider for Zeca's equaliser in the 54th minute.
Spurs were sparked into a higher gear in a game which never got the pulses racing, securing their win after Clint Dempsey's powerful header rebounded off the bar, then into the goal off the unfortunate Karnezis in goal, and then with a deft chip over the keeper by Jermain Defoe, scoring his 131st career goal for Spurs.
A decent crowd turned up at The Lane on a bitterly cold and damp night, including a full contingent of Greek fans in the lower Park Lane end.
Spurs fielded a strong side, and once again opted for a 4-4-2, with Adebayor partnering Defoe. Dempsey played on the left of a midfield, which included young Tom Carroll beside Sandro.
The visitors played in a 4-2-3-1 style, possibly seeking to match the anticipated tactics of AVB. Toche was the front man, with Zeca, Sissoko, and Mavrias behind him. Vitolo and Sow sought to protect the Greek back four.
There was no notable action in the first quarter of an hour, as both sides cancelled each other out in the midfield, and no chances were forthcoming. At last a glimmer of hope came when Dempsey was fouled on the edge of the box. Walker took the free kick, but it was fired into the wall.
Panathinaikos had an effort on Friedel's goal soon after that when Seitaridis's free kick was flicked goal ward by Toche, but held by the alert keeper. Friedel was notably coming out to the edge of his area to claim the ball, as often demonstrated by Lloris.
Tom Carroll had an exchange of passes with Dempsey, who was looking busy, but fired well wide with this effort on goal. Spurs took the lead after good work by Walker to claim the ball at the back, before releasing Dempsey with a good pass through the middle. Dempsey threaded the ball directly forward for Adebayor, who hit the net with a right footed shot to the left of the keeper.
After Brad Friedel had come out and patted away another threatening ball, Carroll sent Adebayor clear down the right channel. Adebayor passed inside; Defoe flicked, but Dempsey was off target with another shot on goal. Adebayor next combined with Lennon, who fed the ball back to Sandro, who fired over
After a spell of good passing football, a Lennon cross was headed down by Dempsey, but scooped well over the target by Defoe. A corner by Walker just before the interval was headed goalward by Vertonghen, but simply led to another corner, which was cleared.
Soon after the re-start, Spurs should have increased their lead, when Dempsey passed the ball through the middle for Defoe, who took one touch, before hitting a shot which beat the keeper, but rebounded across the goalmouth off the post.
Spurs paid for that when Spyropoulos made his cross for Zeca's equaliser in the 54th minutes. Then they missed the chance to take the lead with that effort by Toche.
Spurs replaced Tom Carroll with Dembele, after a free kick had been awarded to Spurs outside the Panathinaikos area on Spurs' right flank. Walker took the kick, which Dempsey headed goalward with power. The keeper was a little unlucky, and unable to prevent the ball going into the net , when it rebounded into him off the bar. The stadium announcer gave the goal to Dempsey, but it has been confirmed as an own goal.
The visitors now needed two goals to qualify, and the game inevitably opened up. Sigurdsson came on for Dempsey.
Spurs increased their lead when the ball fell for Walker when he challenged in the middle. Kyle then fed it to Aaron Lennon, who made headway towards the right, before coming inside and feeding he ball to Defoe, who deftly chipped it over the keeper for a very nice 3-1 scoreline.
Defoe had one more chance, after Adebayor had fed the ball to Walker, who got into the box, and to the bye-line, pulling the ball back for Defoe, who pushed his shot wide.
Lazio were 4-1 winners in Maribor to win the group. Both teams will now have to see who they pull out of the hat when the draw takes place on December 20th.
Europa League Group J Final Table
Pos P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Lazio 6 3 3 0 9-2 7 12
2. Spurs 6 2 4 0 8-4 4 10
3. Panathinaikos 6 1 2 3 4-11 -7 5
4. Maribor 6 1 1 4 6-10 -4 4