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UEFA Europa League
20 September 2012
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: O. Hațegan
• Attendance: 25030
Make sure you stick around on Goal.com this evening to catch the reaction from Spurs (and Lazio) players and coaches to this Europa League clash. It's time to wrap this LIVE commentary up however, but I hope you've enjoyed the match! Ciao.
Full-time at White Hart Lane! Tottenham have been held 0-0 by a solid Lazio side, denying Andre Villas-Boas his first home win and a victorious return to the tournament he made his name in two season ago. However, there were plenty of positives for the home side who saw two (or three, depending on who you ask) goals disallowed. On the other hand it would be hard to deny the Serie A visitors a point. An excellent advert for how to defend in football from both teams...I think that's a compliment!
90' + 5'
90' + 4'
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
Townsend can't direct his header at the back post from a long ball on target. The home side have just had no luck in front of goal this evening.
A late Bale free-kick is powerfully cleared by the visitors. They might just hold on here and if they do it will be a well-earned point. Lazio have defended just swell all night.
Sigurdsson makes a run down the left but it's to no avail, as Kyle Naughton's ball is far too hard for the Scandinavian to reach before it dribbles out of play.
Townsend tries an audacious shot from the right, stepping inside onto his left foot and testing Marchetti at his near post. The Serie A goalkeeper leaps onto it just in time, and also stops his save from exiting the field of play.
Yellow Card Stefano Mauri
Five minutes left. Are we in for a late goal or two, or will this match simmer to a goalless - albeit entertaining - stalemate?
Another Spurs player who's had a fine night in Dembele. The ex-Fulham man has been intricate without being unnecessarily flamboyant in the Spurs midfield.
Boyhood Spurs fan and youth product Andros Townsend comes on for Defoe in attack with eight minutes left to go.
A confident, calm, cool catch from Lloris as the corner is whipped high and hard into the box. The French keeper hasn't put much wrong tonight, but then again he hasn't had that much to deal with either.
Mauri beats Spurs' offside trap but he cannot control the ball with his first touch and Lazio must settle for a corner instead of the goal away fans might have dreamt of.
Lennon tracks back with guile and dispossess Lulic with his pace on the Lazio left wing, but the Bosnian defender then brings the England winger down to the ground by clumsily clattering into him. Free-kick to Spurs.
Clint Dempsey makes way to polite applause for fellow Spurs summer signing Sigurdsson. Like for like, so to speak.
Bale is down on the floor receiving treatment on his ankle after tumbling awkwardly. A minute or two pause as he hobbles back to his feet.
Goal.com are hearing that Lennon is being subjected to monkey chants now by a portion of away fans it seems. No place for that in football if that is the case. Hopefully Uefa will look into it after the match.
Another disallowed goal for Spurs! That's their third of the match! This time Steven Caulker's header from Bale's delayed corner is prevented from being given because the referee believes the defender clambered all over Stefano Mauri. Replays are...inconclusive, and hugely subjective. Personally I think it was a foul as he gripped his opponent's shoulders as he leapt in the air for the header, but then again there are a lot worse things going on in the box every set-piece!
Greg Stobart, at White Hart Lane, with some slightly worrying reports: "Debate here in the press box over whether Jermain Defoe has been subjected to monkey chants from the Lazio supporters or normal booing. I think it’s hard to tell from what we’ve seen and heard so far but some of my colleagues are convinced."
Ledesma with a tidy slide tackle on Bale after Dempsey's slightly-too-heavy pass. Spurs pressing once more, with more bodies forward then ever I suspect.
As we approach the final 20 minutes of the match, the fixture is still finely poised. And, coincidentally, the polar opposite of the Young Boys 3-5 Liverpool match earlier this evening, in that there have been no goals but excellent defending from both teams.
Yellow Card Á. González
Oh, it really should be a goal! Sandro misses a semi-sitter five yards out, Bale's whipped cross from the right skidding off his forehead and flying past the left upright. Lazio survive the scare while Sandro holds his head in his hands. He knows he probably should have netted than one.
Lennon is slid to the floor by Lulic on the edge of the box, on the Tottenham right wing. Can anything come of it?
Yellow Card Andrè Dias
Andre Diaz makes it two Lazio centre-backs out of two to be on a yellow card. He drags down Bale in a cynical fashion as Spurs try to counter. Good call ref, good call.
A subdued few minutes as both teams try to battle for the ascendancy. Tottenham just about pipping it as I type.
The ball's in the back of the Lazio net once more, but it's ruled offside in the visitors' favour...again! Dempsey cleverly slots in Bale - making a run from the left behind the Serie A side's defence - but the Welsh winger is just offside and the assistant referee correctly calls it. Once inside the box, by the way, Bale had squared it for Defoe who slotted home from 10 yards, but the ref had been blowing the whistle like a man possessed for a few seconds beforehand.
Now, however, the Italian team have made it past the halfway line as they look to break the deadlock and score the first goal of the game..
Bale has a free-kick nodded clear by Lazio and driven away, but their counter-attack is half-hearted and doesn't get past the halfway line.
Defoe has been excellent throughout this match, especially with his hard work and graft. The striker earns another corner for the home team. Applause for his efforts ensue.
Greg Stobart, who is in the stands for Goal.com tonight, assesses the Spurs situation: "The atmosphere is picking up here in the stands as the home fans sense a goal. Andre Villas-Boas has been on the touchline roaring instructions to Gareth Bale - now playing on the right side of midfield - as Spurs look to find a route to the Lazio goal."
A melee - and I mean mental melee - inside the Lazio box as Defoe drives inside the box, slots it for Lennon who falls over and the home crowd want a penalty. But in the meantime Lennon flies in the shoot the loose ball but it's blocked and Dempsey cannot direct the bobbling ball past Marchetti, and it's a Spurs corner. Madness inside the 18-yard box, unbridled madness.
Lloris with a mammoth shout inside his box to claim a cross from the left. Vertonghen and Caulker and Co. are going to need to wear ear muffs or something this season not to go deaf if all of his shouts are that loud!
Lazio defender Andre Dias gives Defoe a bit of a shove to push him off the pitch, and the England striker collides with the hoardings as a result. He's not a happy striking chappy, but the referee splits the arguing pair up and it's a Lazio goal-kick.
Klose come deep to collect the ball and Lazio benefit from it, passing to ball in neat triangles, squares and whatever over three-or-four sided shapes you can think up.
We're back under way! Lazio get us started this time...
The Group J clash is about to get back under way. Can AVB craft his side to a victory in his first Europa League managerial match since he won the competition with Porto in the 2011 final? Will Lazio hold Spurs to a draw, be it goalless or goal-ful (that's a word now, definitely...)? Or, can the Biancocelesti pull off a shock win by converting their chances in the final third in this half? We will soon find out...
Goal.com's match correspondent Greg Stobart summarises the first 45 minutes for me, you and everybody else on the planet who stumbles across this play-by-play: "Sandro and Hernanes swap shirts at half-time in a gesture that reflects the rather too friendly nature of that first 45 minutes. Tottenham have been the dominant side but lack a killer instinct in the final third, with Jermain Defoe virtually anonymous so far. At the other end, Lazio have served warning of their threat on the counter-attack and came closest to scoring when Gonzalez rattled the crossbar with a fierce volley."
The referee blows his half-time whistle before the 45-minute mark - I think that's the first time I've seen that happen! Either way, that's the end of the first half. It was a first half of bursts of action without being particularly captivating. Tottenham were the more dominant but, paradoxically, Lazio could be 3-0 if Klose had taken his two chances and Gonzalez's stunning half-volley had dipped an inch lower under the bar. As it stands, it's 0-0 at White Hart Lane. Still plenty to play for (isn't there always?) in the second half...
Defoe and Dempsey are working well together up front but Lazio are going excellently to close the gaps and ensure they cannot worm through on goal.
Alvaro Gonzalez smashes it against the crossbar with his first touch 25 yards from goal! I told you to keep an eye on the Uruguayan! It was a pearl of a half-volley, and Lloris was completely beaten and probably incredibly thankful that it bounced off the bar and away from immediate danger.
Mauri makes another good run into the middle but his headed flick-on for Klose is too heavy and it's a goal-kick to Spurs.
Lulic is harshly penalised when Walker is clipped as they run alongside each other and possession is back in their favour.
Lazio are pressing relatively heavily for the first time all game pretty much. Can Spurs withstand the pressure?
Greg Stobart reports on a fan love-in at White Hart Lane: "Nice Gazza love-in as the Lazio fans sing Paul Gascoigne’s name in an hilarious Italian accent, which is greeted with applause from the Spurs fans. A legend for both clubs."
Square one? Who said square one can't bring about immediate chances! Stefano Mauri gets on the end of a long ball into the box and squares it left for an umarked Klose, but the Germany international miskicks for the second time tonight. I shouldn't have called him a legend before the game should I? I've jinxed it!
The corner is headed clear and Lazio will start from square one.
Klose wins a corner after dinking it past Jan Vertonghen on the right, but the centre-back gets back to block the shot.
Lazio have a free-kick for once! Kyle Naughton, playing in a slightly unfamiliar role at left-back (he's naturally a right-back), concedes it in the away team's half.
Biancocelesti right-back Luis Cavanda brings Defoe down 50 yards or so from goal on the Spurs left unnecessarily. Another free-kick to the hosts. I've lost count!
Eurgh. Another wasted free-kick for Spurs, this time from Dempsey. Someone needs to remind these free-kick takers that the ball needs to be kicked over the Lazio opponents stood in front of them...
Yellow Card Giuseppe Biava
Lazio centre-back Giuseppe Biava picks up a booking after bumbling down a speeding Lennon on the left, who had been gifted the ball from a fancy Bale flick.
Bale with another wasted set-piece, firing the free-kick against the assembled Lazio wall.
Hernanes drops his shoulder into Dempsey and it's a Tottenham free-kick 35 yards out...
That offside goal has put some spirit back into the home fans, who are signing in unison again as Lazio seem happy to sit back and absorb the pressure.
Clint Dempsey puts the ball in the back of the net...but he's ruled offside! Gareth Bale dinks with pace from the right using his left and Dempsey, leaping past the back-four and heading the ball into the bottom left-hand corner at the far post. Replays indicate it was JUST offside. His left foot looked a tiny bit off. Small margins.
Sandro tackles Lulic nicely, the Brazilian slots in down the wing for Lennon, a sublime one-two with Defoe later and he's one-on-one with the keeper but Lazio somehow scramble his shot behind for a corner. Excellent attacking play from the home team.
An update from Goal.com's man at the ground, Greg Stobart: "All of the noise here is being made by the Lazio fans as they make the most of their trip to London. On the pitch, though, it’s been a rather low key start to the match but Tottenham are starting to settle on the ball and control possession."
Bale's whipped free-kick from 45 yards out on the right is the textbook definition of 'below average', therefore Lazio don't have to try very hard to clear it.
After Dempsey was bundled down, this time it's Walker to get hacked to the ground on the right wing.
The crowd's noise had died down a little after that almost-goal from Lazio. They realise this might be a bumpy ride, perhaps.
Lazio should be ahead!! Lulic whips the ball the ball in from the left flank after Walker's careless header in the final third and Klose - unmarked 10 yards from goal - fumbles his shot and the ball skids right by him. Very uncharacteristic for the German frontman, that.
Bale whips it in right-footed this time, but it's cleared once more. Mousa Dembele tries to fire it back towards goal, but his effort is semi-blocked and the visitors can calmly retain possession.
Clint Dempseym wearing the No.2 (what?!) for Spurs, can't get his head on Gareth Bale's slightly wayward cross from the left, and it drops back for Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti to smother.
Kyle Walker beats the much-hyped Hernanes to the ball on the Spurs right-back's right flank and passes back to Lloris. In the small, insignificant victories tally, Tottenham are now about 3-1 up...
Lazio anchorman Cristian Ledesma flies into Sandro's loose leg and a foul is given the the hosts around the halfway line. Just a little bit eager.
Lazio left-back Senad Lulic intercepts tonight's Tottenham skipper Lennon and no foul is given, much to the majority of White Hart Lane's disgruntlement.
Klose gets his hands (or should that be feet?) on the ball for the first time tonight, bursting into the box before a heavy touch takes it past his man but into the grateful arms of Spurs keeper Lloris.
Gareth bale penalised for a shove on the Lazio right-back. Faux-innocence from the Welshman, but replays show he gave his opponent a cheeky push as he chased the ball down to the byline.
The early play is just hoofing back and forth between both sides. Nothing of interest, but plenty of chanting from the home fans.
And we're under way! Tottenham get us started with a centre-kick, would you believe it.
The Tottenham game is mere seconds from kick-off by the way. The players are out on the floodlit pitch and this Group J (yep, J, there are a baffling 12 groups with four teams in each in the Europa League) game is about to get started...
Elsewhere tonight, Liverpool overcome a tough test in Switzerland to beat Young Boys 5-3! Jonjo Shelvey came off the bench to help the Reds to a win, after an absolutely shocking defensive performance from both sets of players. Shocking defending = plenty of goals though, so I won't complain too much!
Our correspondent at White Hart Lane, Greg Stobart, fills us in on what's going on in north London: "The two teams have finished their warm-ups at White Hart Lane and the screens here are now showing a video promoting Tottenham’s swanky new state-of-the-art £40m training centre. There are a few pockets of empty seats around the stadium but the supporters here seem excited ahead of kick-off, perhaps taken in by their manager’s positive talk about the Europa League."
You may just have spotted Miroslav Klose's name in the Lazio line-up! The Germany international goalscoring LEGEND starts up front in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Vladimir Petkovic's team aren't full of big names but there are one or two others to keep your eye on. Brazilian midfielder Hernanes has had a storming start to the Serie A season, while fellow midfielder Alvaro Gonzalez, a Uruguay international, is also highly rated.
Aaron Lennon is captain by the way! He hardly strikes me as skipper material but, on the other hand, he has been with the north London club for at least six years so he certainly has the experience. Can you imagine the winger bossing people about though?!
Andre Villas-Boas makes three changes to the Spurs team which beat Reading 3-1 at the weekend! Hugo Lloris come in between the sticks for Brad Fridel to make his debut for the club he signed for on deadline day in the summer; Steven Caulker comes in for William Gallas in defence; and Clint Dempsey is swapped in for Gylfi Sigurdsson in attacking midfield at White Hart Lane.
Lazio: Marchetti; Cavanda, Biava, Dias, Lulic; Ledesma, Onazi; Gonzalez, Hernanes, Mauri; Klose. Subs: Bizzarri, Ciani, Scaloni, Ederson, Zarate, Kosak, Floccari.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton; Sandro, Dembele; Lennon, Dempsey, Bale; Defoe. Subs: Cudicini, Dawson, Gallas, Huddlestone, Mason, Townsend, Sigurdsson.
Team news is coming up in 3...2..1...
Welcome, one and all, to Goal.com's LIVE! coverage of Tottenham v Lazio! Kick-off is in just under half an hour and I - Miles Chambers - will be with you all the way from start to finish to tell you what exactly is going on an White Hart Lane.
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