Wisla Krakow (Poland) (Away)
UEFA Cup First Round Second Leg

Thursday 2nd October 2008


The first goal will be vital in this second leg tie, as both sides seek to reach the group stages.

If it goes Krakow's way, Spurs will need to score and keep Wisla out; if Tottenham hit the net first, then Wisla will need to score twice and have to come out and have a go at them.

It has been another encounter with a club who have dropped out of the Champions League and another intimidating atmosphere that Spurs will walk into.  With the experience in the side, there should not be too many nerves, but with confidence low, it might give them a few butterflies as they face the Polish champions.

Wisla look like they are comfortable knocking the ball around, with Spurs not exactly in the same boat at the moment, but the possession that Tottenham have should be turned into attacking intent and this will be difficult if only one striker is deployed.  Spurs are not resistant enough to withhold the pressure that Krakow will be looking to apply.  Personally, I would put Fraizer Campbell up front as his pace will be the ideal relief from any home pressure, with the chance that he might get away and draw a foul or sending off, with an outside chance of a solo goal.  With Ledley King returning for a rare appearance, it might add a bit of solidity to the defence, but the hope of keeping a clean sheet is often remote with Spurs, so it should be accepted from the start that we will need to score. 

The five man midfield has not worked so far, as there has been little support for the lone striker and there has been little protection for the back four.  A lot more effort will need to be applied to get anything going forward or keeping the home team at bay.

I think that there will be goals and hopefully, the result will end up even and allow Spurs to somehow get through ...

PREDICTION : -  Wisla Krakow (Poland)  1   Tottenham Hotspur   1


WISLA KRAKOW (Poland) :  - (-); - (-); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Alan Hutton (foot); Roman Pavlyuchenko (cup-tied); Vedran Corluka (cup-tied); 


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Wisla Krakow (Poland)   1   Tottenham Hotspur    1      (Half-time score : 0-0)  (THFC win 3-2 on agg)

UEFA Cup First Round Second Leg
Venue : -  Wisly Stadion
Thursday 2nd October 2008
Kick Off :  2.40 p.m. (UK time)
Crowd :   ,
Referee :  - (-)
Weather :  -  Warm, sunny
Teams : - 
Wisla Krakow (Poland) :


Piotr Brozek

Boguski (Marcelo82 )
Cantoro (Zienczuk 67)
Jirsak  (Lobodzinski 32     )

Pawel Brozek 

Unused subs: 

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

16  Gunter
26  King (c)
39  Woodgate     
  3  Bale     

  7  Lennon       (20  Dawson 88)
  4  Zokora     
  8  Jenas
14  Modric      (  6  Huddlestone 77)

18  Campbell (24  O'Hara 68)
10  Bent

Unused subs: 
21  Cesar Sanchez
  5  Bentley
17  Giovani
32  Assou-Ekotto

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Wisla Krakow (Poland)

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Wisla Krakow (Poland)

Pawel Broszek 84

Tottenham Hotspur

Glowacki (o.g.) 58

Cards : -  
Wisla Krakow (Poland)

Lobodzinski (foul) 45
Cleber (retaliation) 76   



Tottenham Hotspur 

Woodgate (foul) 34
Modric (foul) 59
Bale (foul) 62
Lennon (foul) 77
Zokora (retaliation) 77


Match Report : -  
Although Spurs had to contend with a physical Wisla Krakow side and a bumpy pitch, the team put in an improved performance to gain a 1-1 win which was enough to get Tottenham side through to the group stages of the competition.

While the team could not hold onto a 1-0 lead and failed to impress themselves on the home side when they had a lot of possession, at least there was a bit more joined up play and some structure to have support up front to pose problems for the Polish defence.

The first half contained little of note, apart from a flurry at the end of the 45 minutes when the home side should really have scored.  When Spurs broke away, they failed to pick out a black shirt with the final ball.  It was 20 minutes in that Cantaro found some space in the box, but only hit a weak shot with his left foot as he went a little wide.  Brozek hit a shot straight at Gomes and a Diaz free-kick was aimed straight at the Spurs keeper.  In between Jonathan Woodgate picked up what now seems to be his trademark yellow card for pulling back the goalkeeper as he tries to release the ball after catching a corner.  It happened on Sunday and happened again today.  Is it an indication that he is getting too slow to get back into position ?  Stupid bookings like this will tot up and catch up with him, when we least need it.

Just before the break, Wisla pressed forward and a ball slipped between King and Woodgate found Sobolowski, but the brutal midfielder lacked the finesse to finish and tried to beat Gomes at his near post, allowing the goalie to block his effort for a corner.  Then a corner was bobbling around the penalty area in front of goal and the Krakow forwards luckily could not get a decent contact on the ball to force it home.

After the break, Spurs came out looking a more confident outfit.  Fraizer Campbell let fly with s hot in the first few minutes and it took a deflection to divert it over the bar.  This was the first of a couple of corners won at the Wisla end, but, as ever, Tottenham failed to make anything from them.  Bale's pacy cross was whipped into the near post, but keeper Pawalek managed to get his body between the ball and the post to keep it out and ten minutes into the half, he had to be sharp again to grab Modric's shot as it bounced off the uneven surface.

This was only the precursor to a Bale cross from a ball that went over the penalty area from the other side.  As the ball came into the near post, Campbell challenged captain Glowacki for the ball.  However, it was the Polish defender who got there first and glanced a fine diving header low across his goalkeeper and just inside the post to put Spurs 1-0 up.  It is the sort of ball in that our forwards will make something of, but in this case, they were beaten to it !!

The goal seemed to spark a change in the referees attitude.  He had been fairly pro-Spurs up until then, but suddenly, the first tackles by our players began to earn yellow cards.  Strange, when one of the Polish players dived full length to pull Jenas back with his hand ... by grabbing his foot !!

The game seemed to be going so well.  When Zokora broke up a Krakow move on the halfway line, it seemed to be going better than that.  He raced forward away from the red shirts and as the keeper came out, he swept a left foot shot past him, but narrowly past the post too.  Knowing his track record for scoring (or lack of it), he would have been better squaring it to Campbell, who was unmarked in front of goal.  Darren Bent went equally as close with a shot across the keeper after turning three defenders on the edge of the area.  He looked a bit more like the striker he was prior to joining Spurs, with other players around him giving him more support. 

In the 70th minute, Boguski closed Gomes down getting in the way of his clearance, with the luck favouring Tottenham, with the bounce off the midfielder going wide, with the goalie scurrying back to try and cover it if it went close.  A weird incident in midfield, when Aaron Lennon nudged Cleber ended with both players getting yellow cards and so did Zokora, who waded in with his hands on someone's chest.

The returning Ledley King did well to clear away from Brozek as he went for a corner, but the Spurs skipper knocked the ball away fro another corner.  From this one, the ball went into the rear post area of the six yard box and Brozek was there again, but he could not control the ball.  With ten minutes to go, Brozek did better as he headed a cross goal-wards, but Gomes, with Dawson diving on the line behind him, palmed the ball off the line and up onto the post and away.  King then got in the way of Zienczuk's shot, but two minutes later, he was as culpable as Woodgate for the goal that came for the home team.  A simple lobbed high ball through the middle of the defence saw Brozek going through to lobe the ball over Gomes as he came to the edge of the area.

As always with Tottenham, this lead to a panicky last ten minutes.  Cleber managed to fire a low shot on target, but the big Brazilian got down to it and pushed it out.  Unfortunately, he only managed to push it out to Brozek, who dived in to head it back at goal, but his effort went straight to Gomes and he caught it this time to relieve the pressure.  Dawson came on for Lennon, as Ramos tried to block out the Polish side and the central defender was required to produce a well-timed tackle to take the ball and not the player in the area.

Still there was time in the last minute for Marcelo to break onto a ball on the edge of the penalty box and thundered a volley on goal, which went just over the top.  With four minutes of injury time, Tottenham managed to play the ball sensibly and keep the ball away from their own goal to get through to the final whistle and relief in qualifying for the group stage of the UEFA Cup. 

It was symptomatic of the way Spurs' season has gone so far that they always looked fragile, but the play between the midfield and forwards gave the team a bit more going forward and this did help keep the ball up the other end.  There were still not enough quality balls into the box or shots on goal, but the understanding appeared to be coming.

It should be remembered that Wisla were Polish champions and were in the Champions League qualifying round and that they beat Barcelona at home in their second leg.  However, the team will need to have stepped up their game by the time they meet their group opponents.





Reaction : -



In typical Tottenham fashion, what looked a reasonably comfortable progression to the group stages became a panic stations back-to-the-walls last ten minutes, as we carelessly let in a late goal. 

Without being fluent or outstanding, the team had done enough to edge ahead 3-1 in the tie and looked like they might add more, as the Polish champions struggled to get their own game together.  As Tottenham dropped deeper into their own penalty area, Wisla pushed on and only a couple of good saves from Gomes and a lack of urgency by the Krakow forwards let Spurs off with a draw and to go through 3-2 on aggregate.

With Campbell on the pitch, there was a degree of pace up front to maintain some caution in the home defence, but with his substitution, the back line of Krakow could push on and allow their midfield to join in with the attacks, with the Spurs threat diminished.

There was a better look to the side, as the 4-4-2 formation helped the players fit into a system they know.  There was still some work to do and with the ball bouncing around on a bobbly pitch, the need to keep possession should have been burned into their minds.  It didn't quite work out like that, as the attacks Tottenham had were not made the most of with crosses not finding their targets and the shots they did have missing the goal.

After a couple of escapes just before the break, Spurs came out fired up at the start of the second half.  There were shots on goal from Campbell and Modric, who looked better in an advanced midfield role.  It was Campbell who went in for Bale's low cross and forced the defender to get to it first, but his header snuck past his own keeper to give Spurs the first goal that made Krakow's task that much harder.

Their goal seven minutes from time left Woodgate and King looking exposed to a simple ball through the middle into the penalty area and it was lobbed over the advancing Gomes.

The result was the important thing, as it will be on Sunday.  Except on Sunday, only a win will do.






Other scores in this UEFA Cup round :
CSKA Moscow (RUS) (Win 3-1 on agg.) 1 Slaven Koprivnica (CRO) 0 Tuesday
St. Patrick's (RoI) 0 Hertha Berlin (GER) (Win 2-0 on agg.) 0 Tuesday
FC Zurich (SWI) 0 AC Milan (ITA) (Win 4-1 on agg.) 1 Thursday
Schalke 04 (GER) (Win 5-2 on agg.) 1 Apoel Nicosia (CYP) 1 Thursday
Olympiakos (GRE) (Win 7-0 on agg.) 5 FA Nordsjaelland (DEN) 0 Thursday
Aston Villa (Win 4-2 on agg.) 1 Litex Lovich (BUL) 1 Thursday
Standard Liege (BEL) (Win 4-3 on agg.) 2 Everton 1 Thursday
Motherwell 0 AS Nancy (FRA) (Win 3-0 on agg.) 2 Thursday
Partizan Belgrade (SER) (Win 3-1 on agg.) 1 Polytechnica Timisoara (ROM) 0 Thursday
Ajax (HOL) (Win 6-1 on agg.) 2 Borac Cacak (SER) 0 Thursday
Manchester City (Win 4-2 on agg.) 2 Omnia Nicosia (CYP) 1 Thursday
Spartak Moscow (RUS) (Win 2-1 on agg.) 1 Banik Ostrava (CZE) 1 Thursday
Galatasaray (TUR) (Win 6-4 on agg.) 2 Bellizona (ITA) 1 Thursday
FC Metalica Kharkiv (RUS) (Win 4-2 on agg.) 4 Besiktas (TUR) 1 Thursday
Guimaraes (POR) 2 Portsmouth ( 2-2 on agg. a.e.t. - win 4-2) 2 Thursday
Udinese (ITA)  (2-2 on agg. a.e.t. - win 4-3 on pens) 0 Borussia Dortmund (GER) 2 Thursday
Artmedia Petrzalka (SVK) 0 Sporting Braga (POR) (Win 6-0 on agg.) 2 Thursday
Rosenborg (NOR) (Win 5-3 on agg.) 3 Brondby (DEN) 2 Thursday
Club Brugges (BEL) (Win 4-2 on agg.) 2 Young Boys (SWI) 0 Thursday
Heerenveen (HOL) (Win 6-3 on agg.) 5 Vitoria Setubal (POR) 2 Thursday
Valencia (SPA) (Win 3-1 on agg.) 2 CS Maritimo (POR) 1 Thursday
VfB Stuttgart (GER) (Win 4-3 on agg.) 2 Cherno More (BUL) 2 Thursday
Kaunus (LIT) 1 Sampdoria (ITA) (Win 7-1 on agg.) 2 Thursday
FC Copenhagen (DEN) (Win 3-2 on agg.) 1 FC Moscow (RUS) 1 Thursday
Honka Espoo (FIN) 0 Racing Santander (SPA) (Win 2-0 on agg.) 1 Thursday
Salzburg (AUS) 0 Sevilla (SPA) (Win 4-0 on agg.) 2 Thursday
Benfica (POR) (Win 4-3 on agg.) 2 SSC Napoli (ITA) 0 Thursday
Lech Poznan (POL) (Win 5-4 on agg. a.e.t.) 4 Austria Wien (AUS) 2 Thursday
Levski Sofia (BUL) 0 MSK Zelina (SVK) (Win 2-1 on agg.) 1 Thursday
Deportivo La Coruna (SPA) (2-2 on agg. a.e.t. - win 3-2 on pens) 2 Brann Bergen (NOR) 0 Thursday
Vaslui (ROM) 1 Slavia Prague (CZE) (Win 1-1 on away goals) 1 Thursday
Kalmar FF (SWE) 1 Feyenoord (HOL) (Win 2-2 on away goals) 2 Thursday
St. Etienne (FRA) (Win 4-2 on agg.) 2 Hapoel Tel Aviv (ISR) 1 Thursday
FC Rapid Bucharest (ROM) 1 Wolfsburg (GER) (Win 2-1 on agg.) 1 Thursday
AFC Unirea Urziceni (ROM) 0 Hamburg (GER) (Win 2-0 on agg.) 2 Thursday
Dinamo Bucharest (ROM) 0 NEC Nijmeigen (HOL) (Win 1-0 on agg.) 0 Thursday
Paris Saint Germain (FRA) (Win 2-1 on agg.) 0 Kayserispor (TUR) 0 Thursday
Sparta Prague (CZE) 3 Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) (Win 3-3 on away goals) 3 Thursday
Twente Enchaede (HOL) (Win 2-2 on away goals) 1 Rennes (FRA) 0 Thursday


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