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Tottenham hold firm to end Milan challenge

Published: Wednesday 9 March 2011, 22.57CET
Tottenham Hotspur FC 0-0 AC Milan (agg: 1-0)
The home side survived some intense pressure from the seven-time winners to extend their debut campaign into the quarter-finals.
by Simon Hart
from White Hart Lane

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Match statistics

TottenhamMilan

Goals scored0
 
0
Attempts on target1
 
3
Attempts off target5
 
8
Corners4
 
5
Offsides1
 
6
Fouls committed16
 
16
Yellow cards0
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 9 March 2011, 22.57CET

Tottenham hold firm to end Milan challenge

Tottenham Hotspur FC 0-0 AC Milan (agg: 1-0)
The home side survived some intense pressure from the seven-time winners to extend their debut campaign into the quarter-finals.

Tottenham Hotspur FC's dream debut in the UEFA Champions League goes on after they booked their progress to the quarter-finals with a scoreless home draw against AC Milan.

This stalemate provided quite a contrast with the goal feasts White Hart Lane had previously witnessed in the competition but the home supporters were not complaining at the final whistle after their side squeezed through thanks to Peter Crouch's solitary first-leg strike.

For Milan this is the third time in four seasons they have exited against Premier League opposition at this stage. They succeeded in blunting Spurs' hitherto prolific attack but could find no way past Heurelho Gomes at the other end, going no closer than a deflected Robinho effort that William Gallas cleared off the line in the first half.

"One of the biggest games in the history of the club" was how Harry Redknapp had described Milan's visit. Certainly White Hart Lane had not staged a more significant European tie since Tottenham won the UEFA Cup in 1984 and the opening moments suggested the home side were ready to produce the adventurous, attacking display their manager had promised.

In the second minute Steven Pienaar found Rafael van der Vaart in space 20 metres from goal but he poked wide. It then took a brave save from Christian Abbiati to stop the Dutchman capitalising on Peter Crouch's knockdown. Yet Milan soon began to assert themselves, passing and probing and, after 16 minutes, drawing the first save out of Gomes when Zlatan Ibrahimović arrowed in a free-kick from the left.

With the visitors dominating possession, Tottenham were showing little sign of the high-tempo attacking that characterised their group-stage efforts and, by the 25th minute, they had Gallas to thank for their aggregate lead still being intact.

When a long pass dissected the home defence, Pato rounded Gomes out on the left and from the byline played the ball back to Robinho in the box. He scuffed his shot, which struck Benoît Assou-Ekotto and was looping into the net until Gallas's intervention.

Massimiliano Allegri had described the first leg as a "strange game" and certainly Milan, with the ageless Clarence Seedorf pulling the strings in midfield, looked more like Serie A leaders here. Although Van der Vaart's free-kick hit the top of the net, the anxiety levels among the home fans rose again when Ibrahimović played in Pato on the left but Gomes foiled his near-post shot.

Tottenham stepped up a gear at the start of the second half, Van der Vaart and Aaron Lennon both delivering dangerous balls to the head of Crouch, whose far-post presence was a regular worry for Milan's defence. Yet the home defenders were working harder. They had a let-off in the 65th minute when Robinho forced a save from Gomes and then stabbed the loose ball wide in the ensuing scramble.

Other scares followed – Pato lashed a shot into the side netting, while Robinho drove a whisker over in added time – but for the Rossoneri there was no way through. Tottenham's fairy tale continues.

Last updated: 27/11/12 3.20CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000119/match=2003762/postmatch/report/index.html#resolute+spurs+hold+milan

Quotes

Lineups

tottenham

Tottenham

milan

Milan

1
GomesHeurelho Gomes (GK)
32
AbbiatiChristian Abbiati (GK)
7
LennonAaron Lennon
7
PatoPato
Yellow Card64
11
Van der VaartRafael van der Vaart
Substitution66
10
SeedorfClarence Seedorf (C)
13
GallasWilliam Gallas
11
IbrahimovićZlatan Ibrahimović
14
ModrićLuka Modrić
13
NestaAlessandro Nesta
15
CrouchPeter Crouch
Substitution83
16
FlaminiMathieu Flamini
Yellow Card63
Substitution87
20
DawsonMichael Dawson (C)
18
JankulovskiMarek Jankulovski
Yellow Card48
Substitution70
22
ČorlukaVedran Ćorluka
20
AbateIgnazio Abate
30
SandroSandro
27
BoatengKevin-Prince Boateng
Substitution76
32
Assou-EkottoBenoît Assou-Ekotto
33
Thiago SilvaThiago Silva
40
PienaarSteven Pienaar
Substitution71
70
RobinhoRobinho

Substitutes

23
CudiciniCarlo Cudicini (GK)
1
AmeliaMarco Amelia (GK)
2
HuttonAlan Hutton
14
StrasserRodney Strasser
Substitution87
3
BaleGareth Bale
Substitution66
15
PapastathopoulosSokratis Papastathopoulos
8
JenasJermaine Jenas
Substitution71
17
OddoMassimo Oddo
9
PavlyuchenkoRoman Pavlyuchenko
Substitution83
52
MerkelAlexander Merkel
Substitution76
18
DefoeJermain Defoe
76
YepesMario Yepes
26
KingLedley King
77
AntoniniLuca Antonini
Substitution70

Coach

Harry Redknapp (ENG) Massimiliano Allegri (ITA)

Referee

Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Assistant referees

Peter Hermans (BEL), Walter Vromans (BEL)

Fourth official

Luc Wouters (BEL)

Additional assistant referees

Peter Vervecken (BEL), Jean-Baptist Bultynck (BEL)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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