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OPPONENTS Benfica (Portugal)
COMPETITION Europa League Round of 16 Second leg
DATE Thursday 20th March 2014
VENUE Stadium de Luz
PREVIEW

 

 

 

 

 

Having lost out 1-3 in the first leg and the aim of the season still to try and gain a Champions League place in the Premier League table, Tim Sherwood heads for Portugal with a decimated squad with one eye on Southampton's visit to the Lane on Sunday.

A genuine injury list in the central defensive positions are added to by Jan Vertonghen's suspension, so there may well be a youngster or two playing there, with others likely to be subs, but may come on if things go badly.  The spine of the team (apart from centre-half should be strong). with Friedel, Sandro, Soldado and the likes of Lennon, Chadli, Eriksen, Sigurdsson, Townsend and Naughton.

A week ago, Tottenham were found out, as the Benfica side moved and moved the ball around well to open the home defence up too often.  That was with a more recognised first team and while this will be an opportunity for the players who are selected to show what they can do and there may be some Benfica players rested, the work the team do has to be increased and the tempo and accuracy of passing must improve, along with particular concentration on marking at set pieces.

It is hard to see how Spurs can turn this one around, with the need to score at least three times, but they will go to Lisbon to give it a go, but the inclusion of players like Rodgrigo (who has now sparked Liverpool's interest), Gaitan, Markovic and Cardoza could well see Spurs hard pressed to keep them out.

The side have fared well in the competition up until now, but the number of games to reach the "eighth" finals has been many and there is nothing gained for getting knocked out at this stage other than the prize money for winning games and progressing in the competition, coupled with the TV revenue accrues.

Benfica to go through with another win and Spurs to struggle with a much weakened side.

PREDICTION Benfica    2         Tottenham Hotspur    0
 
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs travel to Portugal without Erik Lamela (back), Vlad Chiriches (back), Mousa Dembele (calf), Michael Dawson (thigh), Younes Kaboul (knee), Emmanuel Adebayor (ankle), Jan Vertonghen (suspended 1 of 1), Kyle Walker (groin), Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Hugo Lloris (rested).  The team will consist of a core of first teamers, but a number of the Under-21 squad have gone out to Lisbon and might feature, including Milos Veljkovic, Connor Ogilvie and Dominic Ball, who can play central defence, as Spurs are particularly short of players in that position.  Others who may included in the squad are Jordan Archer, Darren McQueen, Harry Winks and Joshua Onomah.
BENFICA TEAM NEWS :
COVERAGE :

TV
ITV 1 - 18:00 (live)

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore
Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/10/12/live_commentaries_feature.shtml click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

 
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Benfica  2 (1)                                                                                     Tottenham Hotspur  2 (2)
Europa League Round of 16 Second leg
Thursday 20th March 2014                                                                                                                    Kick off 18:00
Stadium de Luz
Goal-scorers  
Garay  34
Lima (p) 90+5
 
Chadli 78
Chadli 79
Cards  
    
Luisao (foul on Soldado)  10  
Suleymani (foul on Lennon) 90

    

    
Naughton (foul ) 90 + 1 
 

    
 

Crowd :   , Weather :  Warm, dry
Referee :  Damir Skomina (Slovenia) Assistant Referees :  Bojan Ul (Slovenia); Gianluca Cariolato (Italy)
Fourth Official :  Jure Praprotnik (Slovenia) Additional Assistants -  Slavko Vinčić, Roberto Ponis (Slovenia)
Benfica kicked off and played towards the - end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 5 minutes.
Benfica : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
41  Jan OBLAK

18  Eduardo SALVIO
  6
  Ezequiel GARAY 
  5  LUISAO     
16
  Guillherme SEQUEIRA

  6  Ruben AMORIM
10
  Filip DJURICIC (35   Enzo PEREZ 71)
  8  Miralem SULEJMANI       (50  Lazar MARKOVIC 93)
14
  Maxi PEREIRA

30  Andre GOMES
  9  Oscar CARDOZA (11  Lima 76  )
 

Unused subs: 
13  - LOPES
19  RODRIGO
33  JARDEL
34  Andre ALMEIDA



 

  24  Brad FRIEDEL

16  Kyle NAUGHTON     
35  Zeki FRYERS
30  SANDRO
  3  Danny ROSE

42  Nabil BENTALEB
22  Gylfi SIGURDSSON

  7  Aaron LENNON (c)
21  Nacer CHADLI    

17  Andros TOWNSEND (23 Christian ERIKSEN
76)

   9  Roberto SOLDADO (37 Harry KANE 71)

Unused subs: 
56 
Jordan ARCHER
51  Milos VELJKOVIC
63  Connor OGILVIE
64  Dominic BALL
62  Harry WINKS
 

 
Manager :  Jorge Jesus Manager :  Tim Sherwood
Sponsor :   ||| = O Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  adidas Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

Spurs were reduced to the last of the senior players as they faced top of the Portuguese league Benfica in the Stadium of Light, but came within a whisker of taking the home side to extra time and perhaps knocking them out of the competition after a quick fire double by Nacer Chadli turned this tie upside down.

With Sandro dropping back into the middle of the defence alongside Zeki Fryers and Roberto Soldado leading the attack on his own, it was an odd looking Spurs side, with Sherwood once more opting to keep Christian Eriksen on the bench favouring Bentaleb, Chadli, Sigurdsson, Lennon and Townsend in midfield.

Danny Rose had to make a timely interception when Benfica threatened to burst through and then he was fouled going forward, but Tottenham’s free-kick came to nothing. Spurs were looking comfortable on the ball, but the strength of the Benfica players tended to ease it off them. An iffy decision to give the home team a corner on nine minutes was going to be a test for Tottenham’s defence, but it was cleared, although when it came back in Garay nodded the cross back towards goal and Luisao won the header, but put it over the bar. The defender was soon in the midst nof the action again when he was booked for pulling Soldado down as Roberto looked to get away from him. Only the fact that the ball was going across the pitch saved him from a red card. Sigurdsson’s free-kick hit the wall and went off for a corner. Oblak won the punch and Spurs could not get anything from the second phase.

From a corner in the 15th minute, the ball fell to Soldado onside and wide of the goal, saw him took the ball down and hit his shot into the ground and wide with two players inside him in the six yard box. It showed the lack of regular football is affecting his ability in front of goal. He also had a half chance when Chadli’s header dropped towards him, but a defender knocked the ball away before it came to ground.

Tottenham’s inability to make the most of the opportunities around the box as a tram was evident in the 31st minute. Sigurdsson played a short free-kick to Townsend, who rather than put his foot through it tried to play a low ball into the box, but it went wide towards Sigurdsson again, Benfica won the ball and a strong run forward saw Bentaleb track back well and concede a corner. The ball was cleared, but Salvio picked it up, went past a weak Lennon tackle and lifted a deft cross to the middle of the six yard box for Garay to power in and take advantage of the lack of a natural centre-half and head past Friedel.

The rest of the half was scrappy, with few openings, leaving the side to take the home side on in the second half with merely pride to play for. Tottenham’s propensity to give the ball straight to red shirts only served to make the task all the more difficult, especially when that was the final ball around the opposition’s box.

Chadli bent a cross ball in on 55 minutes, but it was just too far ahead of Gylfi’s stretch on the edge of the six yard area, then just before the hour, a good ball left to Townsend saw the winger cut inside and unleash a low right foot drive that deflected off a defender before hitting the side netting.  At the other end, Sandro did well to deny Sulejmani on the break on the left at the cost of a corner, but Tottenham defended this one better and survived the set-piece.

Kane came on for Soldado and was part of a pack hunting the ball, which sent Chadli in on the edge of the box and he hit a low shot around a defender, but it was straight at Oblak. Eriksen replaced Townsend and this time when Chadli got a chance, he hit a straighter, harder shot from the same position that bounced as it went past the keeper’s left hand side in the 77th minute.

So, 1-1 when you least expected it, with just under a quarter of an hour left and when Spurs attacked again, Lennon crossed the ball from the right, Kane headed downwards into the six yard box and Chadli was on it, hitting a left foot shot into the roof of the net to give Spurs the lead on the night, despite looking offside by a narrow margin.

Nerves were getting to Benfica, with Naughton’s ball inside the full back set Lennon in on goal and with Oblak coming out, the captain pulled a low ball back across goal, but Garay was first to it and smacked it away, ending up straight in the keeper’s arms. As Spurs pressed on, it did leave space at the back and Friedel had to save from a shot from 12 yards out by Salvio.

With a clearance that bounced back off a defender, Kane was moving into the box and Sulejmani nudged Kane over, but the referee played on and it was the Benfica winger who got all the sympathy as he feigned injury to take the attention away from his challenge. Interestingly, the same foul a minute later in midfield brought Perez a booking and a free-kick for Spurs.

As the game entered injury time, Chadli swung a fine cross in from the left, which evaded the last man and Sigurdsson ghosted in to head down and forced Oblak to dive up to push the ball out from going just inside the post. Benfica were reduced to time wasting, but there was still a chance, when Chadli popped up on the right wing and his cross was a little too high for Kane, who still got a header on target, but with little power. Then, Benfica broke and when Lima went into the box on the right side, Sandro took him out and the ref pointed to a penalty. Lima got up to take it and scored by sending Friedel the wrong way in the fifth minute of injury time.
That was the last kick and Spurs stopped their losing run and deserved to end it with a win, but a 5-3 aggregate win for the home team saw a spirited performance give them problems with a side stripped of a large number of first-teamers.

We know money can't buy you love and from the experience of this season, it can't buy you a Champions League place either.

Barrington Levy

 

 
 
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Other first leg scores in this round :
Anji Makhachkala (RUS) 0 AZ Alkmaar (HOL) (win 1-0 on agg.) 0 Thursday
Valencia (SPA) (win 4-0 on agg.) 1 Ludogorets (BUL) 0 Thursday
SS Napoli (ITA) 2 FC Porto (POR) (win 3-2 on agg.) 2 Thursday
Vitoria Plzen (CZE) 2 Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) (win 5-3 on agg.) 2 Thursday
Real Betis (SPA) 0 Seville (SPA)  (0-2 a.e.t.; win 4-3 on penalties) 2 Thursday
Red Bull Salzburg (AUS) 1 FC Basel (SWI) (win 2-1 on agg.) 2 Thursday
Fiorentina (ITA) 0 Juventus (ITA) (win 2-1 on agg.) 1 Thursday

 

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