Tottenham Hotspur FC moved a step closer to joining an élite band of three clubs after disposing of SC Braga in a UEFA Cup last-16 tie which coach Martin Jol felt typified the London club's season.
Having won 3-2 in Portugal, Spurs were both irrepressible, Dimitar Berbatov scoring two delicious goals, and irresponsible, conceding twice from set-pieces, at White Hart Lane last night. They could only relax for the final 14 minutes after Steed Malbranque put the tie beyond the Portuguese visitors, leaving Jol to say: "It's probably the story of our season - exciting. We made it difficult for ourselves because I felt we were better than them and should have scored four or five goals."
Tottenham lifted the UEFA Cup in 1972 and 1984, and know that if they reign again in Glasgow on 16 May they will join Liverpool FC, Juventus and FC Internazionale Milano in recording a hat-trick of victories in the competition. With Berbatov in such outstanding form that is certainly well within their realm, the Bulgarian having taken his tally to seven in the UEFA Cup with his cheeky outside-of-the-boot finish and volleyed second against Braga.
"Dimitar set up the first goal with a one-two with Robbie Keane, the second goal was a great goal and he set up the third goal with a one-two with Malbranque, so I'm very happy with him," said Jol. Berbatov's former club Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Werder Bremen and CA Osasuna also progressed last night, and Jol is keen to avoid a Bundesliga team in Friday's draw. "Leverkusen have improved a lot and are a traditional club in Europe," he said. "While Bremen are real dark horses who would be difficult opponents." Exactly what the other hopefuls are saying of Spurs.
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