Friday, November 24, 2006

Berbs Breaks Bayer Hearts

Spurs sailed into the next round of the UEFA Cup last night with a relatively simple 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen, with the goal scored inevitably by Dimitar Berbatov. Spurs always looked in control, and missed an absolute hatful of chances that would have put the game to bed long before the final whistle. Yer man Schneider had a shot cannon off the post, which as was pointed out on here yesterday is a speciality of his, but bar that and a couple of Robbo saves it was cruise control all night.

BMJ picked a nice attacking side, which seeing as we only needed a draw seemed a fairly baffling but pleasing decision after the bore-fest of Blackburn. Chimbonda made a welcome return and showed how he is approximately one million times better than any other full back we have at the club, and nearly got his first goal too after a lung busting run at the death which was finished with a shot that cannoned off the goalkeeper’s legs. In the midfield the more defensive trio of Davids, Ghaly and Huddlestone were replaced by the almost holy trinity of Malbranque, Tainio and Lennon. Steed is getting better with each game, and there were some nice through balls and bits of skill shown by him last night that hopefully foreshadow a glittering Spurs career.

Lennon was off colour, and got disposed at every turn – presumably the Germans had targeted him as the danger and saw to it that he never got a chance to dribble at them. Either that or they just defend much better than your average Premiership defender. The fact that the little man has just come back from injury probably means he wasn’t going at full pelt, and lets hope he saved something for Sunday instead. TT looked pretty good in his favoured central midfield position, always looking forward rather than sideways, and Zokora looks a proper player when allowed time on the ball. His forward surges when the pass isn’t on are excellent and he’ll come good after a bit more time in England.

Berbs actually looked a little off colour last night, presumably confused by playing against his old team, and the fact that he looked sheepish after tapping in his goal probably said more about the circumstances than the ease of the chance. The reception he got from the whole crowd when he was subbed for Mido after 75 minutes must have been a nice moment for him, and he can now get this game out of the way and concentrate on winning the UEFA Cup single handily for Spurs which he seems to be doing at the moment. Robbie Keane was the star man, until in front of goal that is, and it was his lovely through ball that set up Lennon for the move that created the goal. He was buzzing around and stepping over everything all night, as he did against Chelsea, and was causing the Germans lots of trouble. His finishing though was poor, and he could have easily had a couple of goals if he showed a little more composure. Mido had a great chance late on too, which he should have squared for Robbie, but then the Egyptian is not exactly an unselfish player so it wasn’t to be expected and the way Robbie was shooting would probably have gone over anyway.

So that was that. Lots of pleasing shots of Bayer’s Sporting Director and former strike partner of Jurgen Klinsmann, Rudi Voller looking shocked last night, and perhaps he should have a re-think about the comments he made about Berbatov going to a top club, not Tottenham. Still think that Rudi?

Wigan preview to appear later.

The Waddler.