After poor results against Arsenal and West Ham, Spurs looked underwhelming for the 1st 45 minutes against Dutch champions FC Twente in its first-ever home Champions League game. Harry Redknapp had opted for a 4-4-2 formation with Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko up front with Modric, Huddlestone, Van Der Vaart and Bale getting the nod in midfield. Rafael Van Der Vaart (who was Spurs’ player of the half) even had a penalty saved after some decidedly unsporting behavior from the FC Twente players.

However, within 5 minutes of the restart, Spurs raced to a sensational two-goal lead with Van Der Vaart atoning for his penalty miss with a superb close-range effort from Crouch’s knockdown and Pavlyuchenko converted a 2nd penalty (after Bale was tripped in the area) with ease.

Then, in typical Spurs fashion, it all went slightly pear-shaped as FC Twente punished Spurs’ sloppy defending to halve the deficit and Van Der Vaart received his 2nd yellow card and marching orders for an unnecessary foul. Suddenly, it was white knuckle time as FC Twente was given the impetus to take the game to Spurs.

But, Spurs was rather gifted yet another penalty as the referee ruled on a dubious handball in the area and Pavlyuchenko sauntered up to casually slot in his unlikely 2nd to stretch Spurs’ advantage. FC Twente was shaken by the penalty and even though they continued to threaten, the Spurs defence remained comfortably resolute.

There was even icing on Spurs Champions League cake as a defensive error saw the excellent Bale take full advantage and give Spurs a highly improbable 4-1 victory – it’s first ever in the Champions League! Next up a tricky away tie at the reigning champions, Inter Milan.


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