Tottenham Hotspur FC flirted with disaster at White Hart Lane, but recovered from going 2-0 down against FC Spartak Moskva to ease into the UEFA Cup Round of 32.
Goals from Luka Modrić and Tom Huddlestone helped Tottenham make amends in the second half after Artem Dzyuba struck twice before the interval to revive the Russian side's hopes of progressing. Had Spartak kept a clean sheet, Tottenham would have been out of the competition on goals scored away from home, with NEC Nijmegen winning 2-0 against Udinese Calcio in the evening's other Group D game.
Michael Laudrup's Spartak rocked the hosts in the first half, with huge centre-forward Dzyuba causing endless problems. His backheel allowed Vladislav Ryzhkov to fire at Heurelho Gomes from the edge of the area, and then took advantage after Gilberto misjudged a pass from Gareth Bale, stealing in to put the ball between the goalkeeper's legs and score.
Dzyuba's second goal ten minutes later, in the 33rd minute, was also one Tottenham would rather forget as he tapped the ball past Didier Zokora, skipped beyond the Tottenham defence, rounded Gomes and put the ball into an empty net. Things could easily have been worse for the English side, with Gomes then parrying a deflected Dzyuba effort to deny the striker a first-half hat-trick.
Tottenham emerged chastened after the break, with Stipe Pletikosa forced to make a save from Fraizer Campbell's header, but Dzyuba was to have another chance to score – firing straight at Gomes after Zokora's clearance went directly to him – before Modrić beat fellow Croatian international Pletikosa from substitute Aaron Lennon's pull-back. Huddlestone headed the leveller on 74 minutes, with Bale delivering a fine cross after David Bentley had sent the Welshman free down the left.