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Spurs v Kaiserslautern, 28.10.99

UEFA Cup 2nd Round

Spurs scorer:-
Iversen ( pen), 33

Attendance:- 35,177

Referee:- O. Erdemir ( Turkey )

Spurs (4-5-1):- Walker; Carr, Perry, Campbell, Taricco; Fox ( sub Clemence, 90 ), Leonhardsen, Freund, Sherwood, Ginola; Iversen

Subs not used:- Baardsen; Edinburgh, Vega, Young; Dominguez, Piercy

No bookings

Kaiserslautern (5-4-1);- Reinke; Roos ( sub Komljenovic, 74 ), Koch, Ramzy, Schjonberg, Strasser; Ratinho ( sub Buck, 46 ), Sforza, Hristov, Wagner ( sub Reich, 46 ); Marschall

Subs not used:- Gospodarek; Petterson, Sobotzick, Rische

Booked:- Ramzy ( foul on Iversen )

After a game which hardly set the pulses racing, an Iversen penalty separates the two sides, but George Graham will be pleased to have kept a clean sheet. In fact, after the game, he described it as a "nice patient game", and a bit like a chess match. George also thought that Walker had little to do, but personally, I thought he was the busier of the two keepers, whilst Spurs did have the more cutting edge chances, hitting the woodwork twice.

Kaiserslautern set their stall out from the start, spreading five across the back, although when they realised that Spurs only had one man up front, they did become more adventurous, and I was impressed with their number 24 Harry Koch, who seemed to get all over the place. One minute he was bringing Leonhardsen down, deep in defensive territory, and the next he was racing down the right flank, setting up useful attacks. Strasser too, a defender by trade, also found himself in the opponents box, with useful headed chances.

Spurs played the same format as against ManU, with Perry returning for Luke Young. Ginola seemed to have the measure of right back Akel Roos, and was the source of virtually all imaginative play for Tottenham. It was after a Ginola corner on three minutes that Mauricio Taricco got a chance to emulate Steve Carr, with a cracking shot that skimmed the outside of the post. Carr had a marvellous game, in my view, and several times was an effective last line in defence against a bursting attack from substitute Marco Reich in the second half. Any time Carr got the ball in the opponents' half, he was being urged by the crowd to shoot!

Ginola was finding plenty of space in the first quarter of an hour, but sadly over-hit some of his crosses. Sol Campbell forced a scrambled save and clearance off the line, when he powerfully headed down a Leonhardsen corner. Lone striker Marschall got in on the act, with a useful flicked header from a right wing cross, that went into Walker's hands. Freund then caused a little anxiety, giving away a free kick on the edge of the box. Wagner's powerful shot was deflected for a corner, and Walker did well to collect another clever flick.

After 31 minutes, Spurs should have taken the lead, when Ginola put Iversen clear in the middle, with only the goalkeeper to beat. Iversen failed to beat the advancing Reinke. However, he was soon able to make amends, as Ginola, burst through into the area, and almost reached the bye line when he was brought down by Reinke. Sherwood had to persuade Iversen to take the kick, but he coolly slotted into the left corner, and sank to his knees in celebration.

Confusion reigned at times, as both Leonhardsen, and Fox raced for a Ginola cross, and only succeeded in bringing each other to the ground. Egyptian defender Ramzy was forced to make a vital overhead interception,as otherwise a long ball would have found Leonhardsen in the clear.

German manager Otto Rehhagel made a bold double substitution at half time, and both the new players; Reich, and Buck made an immediate impact. Reich crossed for Strasser to make a deft flick, which Walker did well to push clear, and retrieve. Then Carr was forced into action against Reich.

The best chance for Spurs in the second half fell to Ginola, following good work by Sherwood and Iversen. Ginola curled a long left foot shot, which hit the post. For the visitors, Marian Hristov was becoming more effective, with some powerful forays. He found Buck on the right, whose cross was met by Marschall, heading just wide of the target. Strasser had another headed chance from a corner that was wide of the mark.

With ten minutes to go, Stephen Carr did get a shooting chance following a corner, but he was off target. By this time, it seemed that Spurs were happy to keep their clean sheet. Personally, I can't see next week's return being a much different game, although the Germans may have Youri Djorkaeff fit by this time. Whilst it wasn't much fun for the fans tonight, Spurs only have to score one goal next week to really turn the screw.

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