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UEFA Europa League

  • September 15, 2011
  • • 18:00
  • • Stadio Toumbas, Thessaloníki
  • Referee: M. Mažić
  • • Attendance: 24645

PAOK 0-0 Tottenham: Much-changed English side hold out for draw

PAOK 0-0 Tottenham: Much-changed English side hold out for draw

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Harry Redknapp's second-string XI pick up an impressive point in Greece as home side controversially miss a first-half penalty at the second attempt

Tottenham picked up a point in their opening game of this season's Europa League with a 0-0 draw away to PAOK in Greece's second city, Salonika.

Harry Redknapp made 10 changes to his team from Saturday's game against Wolves, only Kyle Walker remained in a side that included fringe members of the Spurs squad and several youngsters.

The first-half started steadily on a bobbly pitch among the white-hot atmosphere in the Toumba Stadium, Vieirinha had an early effort blocked for the home side.

Spurs had a great chance to open the scoring when Jake Livermore broke into the box, turned inside two defenders and the goalkeeper, Livermore squared the ball to debutant Tom Carroll whose goal-bound effort was cleared off the line by Contreras.

Both sides created half-chances before Spurs forward Harry Kane went down under Contreras' challenge in the box, there appeared to be clear contact but referee Mazic booked Kane for simulation.

Moments later PAOK were awarded a penalty of their own as Cudicini was slow off his line and brought down Athanasiadis when through on goal.

Tall full-back Lino stepped up and confidently stroked the ball into the net, but was ordered to retake the spot-kick due to encroachment. It was a harsh decision, and Lino looked shorn of his previous confidence, stepping up and duly dragged his effort wide.

Pavlyuchenko went close late in the half with a rifled free-kick that at first glance appeared to have gone in and sparked celebration from the Spurs fans but the game remained goalless at half-time.

The second period was played at a much slower tempo than the first and neither side managed to dominate the match.

Both sides had good opportunities to score, however and it was Spurs who got their chance first when Pavlyuchenko muscled the ball away from PAOK's goalkeeper and laid the ball to Falque who put the ball just past the post on his Spurs debut.

PAOK striker Athanasiadis had a great chance 10 minutes later but could only fire over from Salpangidis' right-side cross. The Greek international almost scored late on with an overhead kick but Cudicini made a smart save down to his right.

Cudicini also saved well in injury time from Vieirinha and Ivic struck the bar to ensure that Redknapp's men went back to north London with a point.