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UEFA Europa League

  • November 22, 2012
  • • 1:00 PM
  • • Stadio Olimpico, Roma
  • Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes
  • • Attendance: 23318

Lazio 0-0 Tottenham: Magnificent Lloris secures important point for Spurs

Lazio 0-0 Tottenham: Magnificent Lloris secures important point for Spurs

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The keeper produced his best performance since joining, as the Italians secured their progression to the knockout stages with the Spurs still needing to navigate Panathinaikos.

Hugo Lloris produced a man-of-the-match display to keep his side in control of its own fate with a string of impressive saves as Tottenham drew 0-0 with Lazio in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Emmanuel Adebayor retained his starting spot despite his red card in Saturday’s north London derby, with Clint Dempsey returning as Jermain Defoe dropped to the bench. Elsewhere Tom Carroll - who shined in the club’s 3-0 win over Maribor two weeks ago – started. For Lazio, talisman Miroslav Klose failed to recover from a knock picked up against Juventus so Libor Kozak came in.

Spurs should have been ahead with less than five minutes on the clock when youngster Carroll thread a perfectly weighted pass through to Gareth Bale, who rounded the goalkeeper and converted into the empty net only to be incorrectly waved offside.

An entertaining end-to-end game continued to flourish as Lazio and then the Tottenham went close to breaking the deadlock. First Cristian Ledesma’s tested Lloris to his fullest with a swerving drive that the goalkeeper palmed onto the crossbar and away before Bale's out-swinging cross-cum-shot nearly caught out Federico Marchetti as the shot-stopper quickly readjusted his body to flick the ball away from danger.

Lazio grew more into the game as the first half cantered by, and Lloris, in arguably in best performance in a Spurs shirt, was called upon time and time again and came up trumps each time – most notably when Ledesma was played through a hesitant visitors defense to feed Kozak through on goal only for the France No.1 to rush out a avert the danger with apparent ease.

Spurs started the second half with less impetus than what was on show during the opening 45 minutes, with the defense showing particular strain in the form of fullbacks Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker.

Lazio should have taken advantage of this hesitance when Sandro was caught in possession inside his own half and Caulker mistimed a follow-up challenge to leave Kozak with half the goal gaping to slot his side into the lead, but the striker managed to put the ball the wrong side of the post.

Defoe and Aaron Lennon were brought into the fray on the hour mark for the disappointing duo of Dempsey and Sigurdsson, but it was in defense where the visiting side needed bolstering as again Lloris had to be heavily relied upon to keep the scores level with two impressive example of quick thinking denying Kozak and Lulic in quick succession.

Dembele was introduced with 15 minutes left to play following a six-week absence in an attempt to tip the midfield battle back into his team’s favor but all three second-half substitutes failed to have the desired effect as Lazio continued to control the tie.

The home side would have been aggrieved to not claim all three points, but had secured its progression come to final whistle as Tottenham prepares to face Panathinaikos in matchday six to settle its fate.

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