Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spurs - Another First in Europe

Tottenham - 8 Consecutive wins in Europe
Dimitar Berbatov - the Star of Spurs UEFA Cup campaign

Last night's win at White Hart Lane against SC Braga gives Martin Jol's side a new record - 8 consecutive wins in European competitions. No other British club has achieved that number of wins in Europe.

It is an amazing record and one which started in Prague in early September, when a goal from Jermaine Jenas gave Spurs their solitary goal victory over Slavia Prague. A late goal from Robbie Keane was enough to secure the tie on a 2-0 aggregate and into the Group stage of the competition.

Spurs headed the five team group with a maximum 12 points following wins over Besiktas in Turkey, FC Brugge at White Hart Lane, Bayer Leverkusen in Germany and the final home game against Dinamo Bucharest.

In Turkey goals from Ghaly and Berbatov gave Spurs an impressive win, while Dimitar Berbatov's goal was an indication of the class and goal scoring ability of the player who joined Spurs in the summer.

At White Hart Lane Berbatov (2) and Robbie Keane scored the goals in a 3-1 victory over FC Brugge from Belgium.

The next game saw Berbatov return to Germany to the club he had left to join Spurs and he quietly scored the only goal of the game to secure Spurs' win. The final game against the team, Dinamo Bucharest, hoping to oust Spurs from the top of the group was won with goals from Berbatov and Jermain Defoe (2).

The next round draw saw Spurs to meet old rivals from Holland, Feyenoord. However, Spurs received a bye when the Dutch side where expelled from the competition due to the bad behaviour of some of their ans in an earlier game against Lens.

The round of 16, paired Spurs with SC Braga from Portugal. The two cubs had previously met in the opening round of the UEFA Cup in 1984-84 season when Spurs were holders of the trophy. Spurs progressed comfortably then with a 9-0 aggragate win, 3-0 in Portugal and 6-0 at home. Spurs again scored three in Braga but it was a closer affair after the home side pulled back from two down to level and it was only an injury time goal from Robbie Keane which gave Spurs the advantage for the home leg. He had earlier scored the first goal and Steed Malbranque got the second. Dimitar Berbatov was the star of the game in Portugal when he had run Braga ragged but somehow failed to score. He made up for that in the return game by scoring two great goals to give Spurs a half-time lead after they had unexpectedly found themselves a goal behind against the run of play. A further goal from Malbrangue, created by Berbatov, secured Spurs place in the Quarter finals of the competition, where they are only British club left and the only club able to win it for a third time.

  • Berbatov scored in four consecutive games and his failure to score in Portugal prevented him from becoming the first Spurs player to score in five consecutive European games.

  • Dimitar Berbatov has now scored 7 goals in the UEFA Cup.


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