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February 20, 2014
• Dnipro Arena, Dnipropetrovs'k
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
• Attendance: 22356
Y. Konoplyanka 81'
That's all we have time for from Dnipro Arena, but we hope that you have enjoyed live coverage of Spurs' narrow 1-0 Europa League defeat against Dnipro. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you again next time, be sure to stick around for later coverage of Swansea's home tie against Napoli!
Spurs certainly have some work to do at home, but this tie is still within their grasp. Dnipro boasted great energy reserves and looked solid throughout, while constantly posing a threat on the break. Spurs could have found the net on several occasions, but the away side's finishing touch seemingly missed the plane to Ukraine.
FULL TIME! Dnipro take a slender one goal advantage to White Hart Lane, after defeating Spurs 1-0 at Dnipro Arena. It took a penalty from star winger Konoplyanka, but a victory was the least that Ramos' side deserved. An open game, with plenty of chances, and Sherwood won't be too unhappy to leave this stadium merely a goal behind.
90' + 1'
ZOZULYA! He strikes the inside of the post, with an excellent headed effort! The corner delivery is brilliant, and Dnipro's fans can't believe that they're not two goals in front! Friedel breathes a sigh of relief, he wasn't getting anywhere near that!
Leite Nascimento Matheus
Rose clears, with Tottenham suffering a goal mouth scramble in their own box! They've been defending awfully, and can't even clear their lines on this occasion either! The ball is pumped straight back into the area by Konoplyanka, with Fedetskiy skying an effort from ten yards out!
KANE! CHADLI! The substitute meets Eriksen's corner delivery, flicking the ball on at the near post, but his glancing header evades Chadli, who was steaming in at the back post! Sherwood has his head in his heads!
POST Mazuch makes an important interception, scuffing a Rose cross away from its intended target of Kane! Spurs win a corner as a result, which is hooked back into the box by Dawson, but Paulinho can only clip the outside of the post with the aid of a deflection.
Less than five minutes remaining, and Kane has a half chance to equalise! The young substitute is found on the shoulder of his marker by a hopeful long ball, but he can't kill it dead with his first touch, which allows for Boyko to claim.
KONOPLYANKA! The left winger thrashes a first-time effort towards goal on the half volley, and it dips narrowly over the crossbar! He's high in confidence and appears to be able to do whatever he wants with the ball. Dnipro certainly don't look like a side who haven't played competitively since December.
Less than ten minutes remaining, and Spurs need a very important away goal, which would put them in the driving seat. Konoplyanaka breaks down the left once again, driving constantly at his man, forcing him to commit himself, before whisking the ball away! He's been in fine form tonight.
Penalty GoalYevhen Konoplyanka
GOOOOOOOAL! KONOPLYANKA CONVERTS! He kisses his spot-kick off the inside of the post, before the ball comes to rest in the back of the net! A great penalty to cap a brilliant performance from the bright winger! Dnipro lead 1-0!
Yellow CardJan Vertonghen
MATHEUS GOES DOWN TO WIN DNIPRO A PENALTY! Vertonghen looks to have dragged down the Brazilian forward, as he raced into the penalty box! The hosts have a change to grab an important goal here!
Naughton gets completely embarrassed by Konoplyanka, with the Ukrainian winger deftly flicking the ball over the shoulder of the Englishman, before racing around him. He's been a bright spark all match, and it's clear to see why he's linked with top clubs.
Ramos shows one of his cards at last, with Giuliano replaced by Politylo. The Brazilian has been effective in the second half, but was beginning to look a little bit leggy, with this change giving Dnipro some renewed energy to press and harry Spurs.
MAZUCH! An excellent piece of skill from Konoplyanaka gives the Ukraine international the space required to whip in a cross, with the Czech defender's head being the desired target. It's a great delivery, and Mazuch meets it with power, but he can't keep his header down!
There are only 20 minutes remaining, and this game is still looking to promise goals! Plenty of players are being committed forward, with Dnipro in particular looking to break at every given opportunity. With tired legs coming into the equation, a few more gaps could start opening up.
GIULIANO! Friedel makes a very important save! The Brazilian manages to wriggle past Vertonghen, with a lovely piece of skill, but the former USA international denies the Dnipro attacking midfielder! He's quick off his line to keep Spurs' clean sheet intact.
SOLDADO! The Spanish striker is denied by a block, flicking a ball to Eriksen on the right flank, before working hard to break into the penalty area to get on the end of the Dane's cross. He makes contact, but a Dnipro shirt gets in the way, diverting Soldado's effort behind for a corner.
Friedel is forced into action, making a smart stop to his right hand side, with Konoplyanka causing all kinds of problems once again. When the home side break, they have plenty of numbers forward, with Matheus being supported by Konoplyanka, Zozulya and Giuliano.
KONOPLYANKA! What a brilliant run from the winger, who jinks past several Spurs players, before attempting to curl an effort inside the bottom right corner! Dawson gets the all-important block in, to deny Dnipro's star man!
After a game of ambitious, long-range efforts, Townsend is the first man to make way for the visitors. Eriksen replaces him, and the Denmark international certainly possesses the tools required to find the killer ball. The former Ajax midfielder finds the back of the net within ten seconds, but the linesman's flag is raised!
MATHEUS! The lone striker is given an opportunity to bear down on goal, before shying away from the ball as Friedel came to collect. The Spurs keeper has a big frame, but no player should be pulling out of a situation like that! He was centimetres from potentially getting goalscoring contact.
GIULIANO! The Brazilian finds himself in a pocket of space on the right, before drifting into the penalty area. He has too much time to think about the pass, and takes too long, allowing for Vertonghen to get in a position to block the eventual cross. Another wasted chance for Dnipro!
Soldado and Paulinho look to combine on the edge of the penalty area once again, but tenacious work from Konoplyanka prevents the two from enjoying any harmony. The game is really opening up now, it's end-to-end stuff!
SOLDADO! WHAT A MISS! The former Valencia striker is fed a brilliant ball by Paulinho, who sprays a pass to the back post, which beats Boyko! Soldado just has to apply the finish at the back post, under no pressure, and shins the delivery over the bar from six yards out!
Yellow CardRoman Zozulya
MAZUCH! The Czech defender rises brilliantly to meet a Rotan free-kick in the air, but his attempted header is blocked by his own player! Friedel rushes out to claim the rebounding ball ahead of Zozulya, but the Dnipro forward throws himself to the ground, trying to claim that the Spurs goalkeeper pulled him down.
Fedetskiy goes down theatrically after competing aerially with Paulinho, taking off his boot and rolling around in pain. The physios make their way onto the field quickly, but there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the right-back, who runs off the field without any problem.
Dnipro continue to hold their shape brilliantly, with Spurs continuing to struggle to penetrate the Ukrainian side's lines. Soldado looks to combine with Paulinho once again, but the Spain international's attempted through ball is cut out.
TOWNSEND! Cutting in from the right hand side, he fires an ambitious effort across goal, but Boyko is equal to it! Aside from nearly gifting Soldado the ball inside his own penalty area, the Dnipro shot-stopper has looked very solid.
Townsend works his way down the left flank, before being crowded out by the combined efforts of Fedetskiy and Mazuch. He's been Spurs' brightest spark, and looks to be continuing in the same vein in the second half.
Early chance for Dnipro, as Dawson fails to clear his lines, cannoning the ball onto Matheus who can't provide a decent cross. The Englishman redeems himself from a corner, however, nodding the ball away from Mazuch! Two set pieces in quick succession for the hosts, who have started the second half positively.
We're back underway for the second half, as Dnipro look to remain resilient, to ensure that they have a chance of stealing an important away goal in the reverse fixture. Ramos' side have matched the Premier League outfit, with Spurs looking scrappy at full-back and in the centre of midfield, which could beckon some early re-shuffling.
Be sure to join us for the second half action, as Sherwood looks to leave Dnipro Arena without being punished by Juande Ramos' direct and pacey side. It's been generally end-to-end, with both sides' transitions being the main talking point, and anyone could be victorious come the 90 minute mark.
Konoplyanka and Townsend have been the dangerous outlets thus far, with the Ukraine international causing Naughton all kinds of problems. Dnipro remain resilient and solid, conceding only a handful of chances during the opening 45 minutes. Spurs have looked a little shaky at times, with lofted through balls proving to be effective - given that Friedel isn't as quick off his line as their usual number one.
HALF TIME! The two sides go into their respective dressing rooms without registering a goal, but both managers will be pleased with what their teams have shown. Matheus missed the best chance of the half, passing a one-on-one opportunity straight at Friedel, before Boyko nearly gifted Soldado a goal late on.
Good defending by Rose! The left-back recovers brilliantly to get back and ahead of Matheus and Zozulya, as the Brazilian looks to run through on goal yet again. He steers the ball back to Friedel, despite Zozulya throwing himself to the ground and asking for a penalty.
Excellent work from Soldado, who holds the ball up brilliantly, before nutmegging his marker and spreading the play. Townsend loses possession, before Dnipro break, with the move ending in Rotan ballooning an effort over the crossbar!
BOYKO! What a mistake from the Dnipro goalkeeper, who uses a Cruyff turn to deceive Paulinho, before turning straight into Soldado! He scuffs his clearance into the Spaniard, before pouncing on the rebounding ball, what a lucky man he is!
Dnipro continue to look well-drilled and organised, with their central midfield in particular funneling Spurs out wide. Strinic doesn't quite have the measure of Townsend, while Chadli has looked quiet against Fedetskiy. If the away side are to create some chances, it will probably come through the English winger.
Cheberyachko rises highest in the penalty area to meet a Rotan free-kick delivery, but the centre half can't direct it towards goal. The rebound falls to one of his teammate, but the first time effort arrows out of play for a goal-kick. The hosts are still right in this game, despite Spurs beginning to probe down the right hand side.
TOWNSEND! The free-kick is curled over the crossbar by the Englishman, as it dips past the far post - though Boyko had his angles covered. A devilish strike, but Dnipro breathe a sigh of relief. Strinic could be considering a lucky man, Paulinho was bursting through on goal, and a red card could easily have been brandished in the heat of the moment.
Yellow CardIvan Strinic
PAULINHO! The Brazilian is slipped through on goal by Soldado, before bursting towards the edge of the area. Strinic gets the wrong side of the Brazil international, before the Croatian left-back drags his marker to the ground. Dawson wants a penalty and a red card, but the referee awards a yellow card and a free-kick on the edge of the 18-yard box.
Ten minutes until the half time break, and both sides have had their chances to break the deadlock at Dnipro Arena. The hosts have had the best opportunity, spurned by Matheus, but Spurs have managed to cause their opponents some problems in wide areas. An even match.
Paulinho uses a nice piece of skill to free himself on the right hand side, before swinging in a cross that is heading away by Mazuch. The half-clearance falls to Rose, who fires a long-range effort towards goal, but the shot takes a deflection which takes all of the power off if it.
Matheus goes down in the penalty area, but the referee doesn't point to the spot, after a terrible dive by the Brazilian forward. He does well to drive inbetween Capoue and Vertonghen, before taking a heavy touch. Once he realised he couldn't catch up with the ball, he threw himself dramatically to the turf - that should have been a yellow.
Konoplyanka is causing problems yet again, with his driving runs down the left hand side making Naughton look rather daft. His change of pace and quick feet make him a nightmare for opposition full-backs, he just hasn't quite managed to pick out a teammate with his square balls.
CHADLI! The Belgian winger turns an intelligent cross over the bar from ten yards out! Rose drives down the left hand side brilliantly, before picking out the former FC Twente man, who just couldn't apply the finish.
MATHEUS! Another chance for Dnipro! Capoue is robbed off possession, before the Brazilian cracks a shot at Friedel from 25 yards out! The former Blackburn keeper makes the save, before pouncing on the rebound in front of Zozulya.
Spurs' full-backs are struggling a little bit so far, with Rose being caught out of position on two occasions, while Naughton has his hands full with Konoplyanka. This is a tough test for the visitors, that's for sure!
WHAT A CHANCE! MATHEUS SPURNS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY! The Brazilian gets in behind the Spurs defence, before slowing down to nearly a walk in front of Friedel. The former USA international stands tall, before Matheus fires straight at the goalkeeper from five yards away! What a miss!
TOWNSEND! The England international cuts in from the right hand side, before firing a low drive towards goal through a ruck of players. Boyko is unsighted, but barely has to move, collecting the effort easily.
Plenty of niggling fouls in the opening stages, but the referee is yet to reach into his back pocket for a card. Townsend whips in a near post delivery from the right flank, but Boyko is able to smother the ball easily. A lack of final ball from the visitors thus far, the Dnipro keeper can face those kind of crosses all night.
Ramos' side are looking very well organised, with Tottenham being forced to play the ball around the back four, without making too many inroads. Rotan and Kankava are providing an efficient screen, with Soldado being left totally isolated at the head of the attack.
Rose returns to the field, but Zozulya fouls the English left-back within moments. He's feeling his toe gingerly once again, and it appears that Dnipro might have rattled the Spurs man. The visitors continue to dominate the ball, but haven't managed to carve out too many chances.
Danny Rose has gone down with a knock, after being caught by a late challenge from Rotan, and the Spurs physio is quickly onto the field. There didn't look to be a great deal of contact, but the away side might need to take him off as a precaution, he's had toe problems earlier this season.
Friedel is nearly caught off his line, after a clearance from the American goalkeeper is wayward, as Rotan tries his luck from 35 yards. He looks to hook the ball over the veteran goalkeeper, but the execution isn't right, with the ball spiralling into the 42-year-old's grasp.
Spurs are slowly managing to wrestle control from the hosts, with the English outfit beginning to dominate possession. Sherwood's men are happy to hold onto the ball and stroke it around, hoping that their opposition will waste some energy with their pressing.
SOLDADO! Chadli beats Mazuch with a lovely piece of skill, before whipping in a dangerous cross. Soldado meets it with his head, but the former Valencia striker can't turn the ball home!
Dnipro continue to press high, and they're exerting plenty of energy in the opening quarter of an hour. Tim Sherwood's side aren't comfortable, with the hosts tactics preventing the away side from settling down too much. Chadli and Townsend are the main outlets for Spurs.
The opening ten minutes certainly haven't suggested that the Ukrainian side are going to be a pushover for Spurs this evening. Soldado has barely been involved, with plenty of drive from Konoplyanka and Zozulya taking Dnipro towards Tottenham's goal at pace whenever possible.
MATHEUS! Excellent work from Konoplyanka, after a very quick break upfield from the hosts! He shakes off Naughton, before rocketing to the byeline, but his eventual near post cross is turned wide of the post by Matheus!
Half chance for Spurs, as Townsend breaks nicely down the right flank, before an eventual cross is placed too close to Boyko. He reacts positively, looking to throw the ball out immediately, Dnipro aren't wanting to hang around this evening!
PAULINHO! The first effort of the game for Spurs, who juggles the ball over Mazuch cleverly, before his eventual volleyed attempt takes a deflection. Easy for Boyko to collect.
Dangerous moments in the Spurs box, as Zozulya almost robs Naughton of the ball before driving into the penalty area. Capoue is very deep, but manages to help out his right-back, clearing upfield. Dnipro aren't looking rusty thus far.
A comfortable start from the home side, in front of a very vocal home crowd, perhaps stirred up by events in Kiev of late. Matheus is looking lively in the opening exchanges, linking up with Giuliano with some clever touches. A matter of time until Spurs get a foothold in the game.
This is a Dnipro side who haven't been involved in much competitive football of late, but they look sharp in the opening stages, getting the ball forward neatly from the off. The pitch isn't in great condition, with large patches devoid of grass, but the run of the ball isn't affected.
We are underway in the first half! After a minute of silence, for those who have lost their lives in the protests in the current Kiev protests, we get the ball rolling. A touching moment for all involved. Dnipro have a big opportunity to stand themselves in good stead for their trip to White Hart Lane tonight!
The teams emerge into the evening air, and we are moments away from some knock-out Europa League football. Spurs need an away goal to put themselves in a favourable position for the second leg, while Juande Ramos has old scores to settle with the travelling Lilywhites. Be sure to stay with us for all of the action!
At home, Dnipro are unbeaten since their 2-1 Europa League defeat to Fiorentina in October, dropping points against Vorskla and Metalist in the following months. Their last three matches at Dnipro Arena have seen the Ukrainian side score a total of 13 goals, conceding none in the process. This is certainly a tough test for a much-changed Spurs side, in what should be an intimidating atmosphere.
Dnipro currently sit in fourth place in their domestic competition, under the control of ex-Spurs manager Juande Ramos. Though the Spaniard doesn't have any hard feelings about his dismissal from White Hart Lane, the former Real Madrid coach will certainly be targetting a clean sheet here tonight. Konoplyanka will be the key man for the Ukrainian side, with Townsend presumably having to double up on the winger to aid Naughton - Spurs' probable weak link.
Sherwood has opted to have the ability to blood some youngsters this evening, including the likes of Gareth Bale lookalike Kenneth McEvoy, Milos Veljkovic and Joshua Onomah. The more likely changes will presumably be Eriksen and Kane, but Spurs certainly have the option to give some youngsters a dream debut should they find themselves in a comfortable position.
Spurs substitutes: Eriksen, Fryers, Kane, McEvoy, Archer, Veljkovic, Onomah.
Spurs starting line-up: Friedel; Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Paulinho, Capoue, Bentaleb; Townsend, Soldado, Chadli.
Dnipro substitutes: Kravchenko, Kulakov, Kalinic, Lastuvka, Bruno Gama, Douglas, Politylo.
Dnipro starting line-up: Boyko; Fedetskiy, Mazuch, Cheberyachko, Strinic; Kankava, Rotan; Zozulya, Giuliano, Konoplyanka; Matheus.
TEAM NEWS: Hugo Lloris hasn't travelled, as the Frenchman is rested. Kyle Naughton comes into the side at right-back, with Nabil Bentaleb retaining his place in the centre of midfield. Nacer Chadli and Andros Townsend take up positions on the flanks, with the Belgian hoping to continue in a positive manner, following his excellent goal against Newcastle. Roberto Soldado, the forgotten man of late, starts on his own in attack.
TEAM NEWS: Star winger Yevhen Konoplyanka starts on the left hand side of midfield, after a January transfer window where the 24-year-old was linked with top European clubs. Matheus starts in attack for the hosts, despite the Brazilian only finding the back of the net on three occasions this season, but former Blackburn forward Nikola Kalinic is an option from the bench.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you fully updated with all of the action from Dnipro Arena, as Tim Sherwood looks to gain a favourable result in Eastern Europe tonight. Plenty of rotation from the visitors, but these two sides are more than capable of finding the back of the net - especially given Sherwood's rather positive and offensive system.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Tottenham's Europa League trek to Ukraine, to face Juande Ramos' Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. The home side are fielding a strong starting line-up, while Spurs are using tonight as a chance to rotate their squad and allow some deputies to impress on the European stage. If Dnipro plied their trade in the country's capital, we might have been watching this match in an entirely different country, given the current Ukrainian unrest in Kiev.
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