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UEFA Europa League
November 8, 2012
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: A. Munukka
• Attendance: 27089
J. Defoe 22', 49', 77'
R. Berič 40'
And that's all from me, folks! I hope you've enjoyed reading this commentary as much as I've enjoyed writing it! Take care and have a good evening.
So Andre Villas Boas claims a victory in Europe with Spurs against a poor Maribor side. There will be tougher tests to come for the north Londoners, but their chances of progression to the next round of the competition have been greatly enhanced by this result tonight.
All over here at White Hart Lane! Spurs great value for the 3-1 win. Lloris and Naughton will certainly be relieved that their mistakes weren't costly. Bale and Defoe were electric for the home side tonight but a special mention must go to Tom Carroll whose passing was excellent in the middle of the park.
90' + 4'
The referee blows the whistle for full time.
90' + 3'
Not long left now and Spurs look to have got the result their performance has deserved. Aside from the goal they conceded, the home side haven't really put a foot wrong.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Four minutes of time added on to be played at the end of this game.
The game is in it's closing stages now and Spurs are in cruise control.
Spurs are still searching for a fourth. Dempsey squirms a shot away this time but his effort is easily collected by the Maribor keeper.
Bale embarks on another electric run down the left hand side and is thwarted by Milec at the last minute. And that's to be his last contribution as the managers opts to replace him with youngster Ryan Mason.
The hat trick hero, Defoe, is brought off to a standing ovation. He's been sublime this evening and all three of his strikes have been of the highest quality. Dempsey comes on in his place.
It's worth pointing out Adebayor's contribution to that goal. The striker brought the ball down on his chest and laid the ball off to Huddlestone for the through ball. The entire move oozed pure class and Andre Villas-Boas looks set to claim his first win in Europe as Spurs manager.
Assist Gareth Bale
Goal Jermain Defoe
GOAL! It's a hat trick for Jermaine Defoe and a really good team move by Spurs. Huddlestone lofts a ball over the top for Bale to race onto. The winger then squares for the onrushing Defoe in the middle who has the simple task of stabbing the ball home from a matter of yards.
Marcos Magno Morales Tavares
Yellow Card Thomas Carroll
Even better chance for Spurs! They could have put the game beyond doubt then. Kyle Walker slips in Adebayor who takes one touch and fires a shot on goal at the near post. Handanovic reacts well to turn the ball behind for a corner.
Good chance for Maribor. Tavares receives the ball in the area and looks to have lost his marker Naughton. The young full-back recovers just in time to block the shot, however.
You'd have thought they'd know better! Spurs play a risky back-pass to Lloris which the goalkeeper just about manages to clear this time, under pressure from Beric.
The referee denies Spurs again. Bale skips past Milec and appears to be body-checked by the right-back but the ref is having none of it and waves play on.
Good tracking back from Lennon. The winger hasn't had to do too much defensive work but was their when it mattered as Maribor looked to double up on Kyle Walker. Spurs concede a corner which is wasted by the away team.
Big shouts from the Tottenham faithful for a free-kick. Defoe races onto a through ball and appears to be brought down by the last man, Arghus. The ref waves play on, however.
Spurs still look dangerous from wide areas but are slightly more reluctant to commit so many men forward. They've learned their lesson about being caught with a sucker punch.
So close for Spurs! Adebayor wriggles free inside the area and feeds Gareth Bale on the edge of the box. Bale returns the favour by dinking a ball over the back-line for the striker to run onto but the ex-Togo international doesn't quite make good contact with the ball and prods it just wide.
Vertonghen brings down Tavares on the left flank. The resulting free kick is dangerously swung into the box but is headed over by a Maribor head.
Yellow Card Gareth Bale
Surging run from Gareth Bale who looks to pick up where he left off at the break. The winger beats 4 Maribor men before getting in a tangle with Milec. Strangely enough, the referee chooses to penalise Bale for the clash much to the frustration of the Welshman who is booked for his protests.
It took Spurs all of 4 second half minutes to snatch the lead again! Can they hold on to it this time?
Assist Thomas Carroll
Goal Jermain Defoe
GOOOAAAALLL! Spurs restore their one goal advantage thanks to Jermaine Defoe again! The ball falls to Tom Carroll in midfield who threads a perfectly weighted through-ball to Defoe in the area. The number 18 takes the pass in his stride before rolling the ball into the far corner beyond the reach of Handanovic.
It's the home side who get us back underway.
The second half will be kicking off momentarily. More of the same, please!
A warm round of applause for Fabrice Muamba as the former Bolton man returns to the scene where his heart stopped for 78 minutes back in March. It's great to see him looking so well.
Maribor, meanwhile, will be buoyed to go in at the break all square. They certainly didn't deserve their goal but once they got it they looked to push on and grab another. It would be foolish to write them off now.
Unbelievable scenes here in north London tonight. The home side have dominated in every aspect of the game but have been undone by one mistake! Andre Villas-Boas will probably ask for more of the same from his men in the second half, minus the dodgy back-passes!
45' + 1'
Half-time here at White Hart Lane. The score is 1-1, somehow...
The home side have lost their swagger and look slightly erratic as the first half comes to a close. They'll probably be glad when the whistle goes so that they can regroup.
All of Tottenham's hard work has been undone in one moment of madness! And the goal looks to have breathed new life into the Slovenians with Spurs rocking.
Goal Robert Berić
GOAL FOR MARIBOR! An absolute howler for Kyle Naughton and Hugo Lloris! The full-back plays a dangerous back-pass to his keeper who was under pressure from Beric. The frenchman's kick is straight at the striker who is left with the simple task of rolling the ball into the back of the net.
Yellow Card Aleš Mejač
Kyle Walker is hacked down in the Maribor half, it's all Ales Mejac could do to stop him! The result free-kick is swung in by Tom Huddlestone but it comes to nothing.
Lennon is trying his luck down the left now, after seeing the joy that Bale has been getting. The England international engineers space for himself before floating a cross to the back post which is just too high for the onrushing Kyle Walker.
Well, it would and could have been a contender for goal of the tournament! A pass into Adebayor on the edge of the areas sees the big man spin away from his marker before chipping the keeper... but the goal doesn't count as Adebayor was adjudged to be offside. It was a close one...
Huddlestone wins the ball in midfield and lays the ball off to Tom Carroll. The 20-year-old plays an incisive ball down the left flank and Bale whips in the cross but Maribor just about deal with it.
Bale (who else?) attacks the full back once again but his low cross is smothered by Handanovic. Maribor just can't get out of their own half at the minute, such is the dominance of Spurs and their wingers in the particular.
Kyle Walker has assumed the Danny Alves role tonight and is playing more as a second winger. He'll have to be careful, though, as Maribor nearly catch the young full-back out on the break.
Assist Gareth Bale
Goal Jermain Defoe
GOAL FOR SPURS! It was only a matter of time! Gareth Bale collects the ball on the wing but opts to fizz in a cross from deep, rather than attack the full back. The ball catches everyone by surprise... everyone, that is, except Jermaine Defoe who expertly volleys the ball into the far corner from 8 yards out. Deserved lead for the home side!
Decent chance for Defoe. The little man rose highest in the box to meet a Kyle Walker cross but his header is straight at Handanovic in the Maribor goal.
Martin Milec, the Maribor right-back, is having a tough time of it tonight. Bale gets the better of him once again bit his cross is just too high for Jermaine Defoe to make a good connection with. If only it had been Adebayor in the middle.
Agonizing for Spurs! Gareth Bale picks the ball out of the air with consummate ease. The Welshman races towards the by-line but his subsequent cut back rolls through the opposing penalty area with not a white shirt in sight!
The game is starting to settle somewhat now, much to the relief of Maribor! The away team still look fragile in wide areas, though.
The north Londoners look to really mean business tonight. Sharp and composed so far, Villas-Boas will be delighted with their application.
It's going to be a long, long night for the Slovenians if the match continues like this! Adebayor and Defoe have just combined to create a half chance for the latter, but the England international skewed his shot wide from 18 yards.
It's been a bright and positive start for the home side. They're trying to exploit the pace of Bale and Lennon on the wings and both players are getting a considerable amount of joy from the full-backs.
Second corner in as many minutes as the other wide player, Gareth Bale, has a cross put behind by the opposing defence. The corner floats straight through the box and out for a throw-in, though.
Great start from Spurs. Dawson floats a ball out wide to Lennon who's control is perfect. The winger uses his pace to attack the Maribor back four and force the corner, from which Adebayor heads over the bar.
And it's Maribor who get us underway here.
Not far away from kick-off now. It's a mild evening under the floodlights at White Hart Lane - I hope you're all looking forward to this as much as I am! Which of these teams can seize the initiative in Group J? We'll find out shortly...
The visitors, meanwhile, would love to see Robert Beric find the back of the net again after the striker was the man to put the Slovenians ahead in the reverse fixture last month.
Well, the obvious talking point from that news is that Defoe and Adebayor BOTH start. Andre Villas-Boas is clearly hoping for goals galore from his troops tonight and, with those two on the pitch, you wouldn't bet against them bagging a few this evening!
MARIBOR: Handanovic, Milec, Rajcevic, Arghus, Mejac, Ibraimi, Mertelj, Filipovic, Cvijanovic, Tavares, Beric. Subs: Subs: Pridigar, Vidovic, Mezga, Komazec, Potokar, Viler, Dodlek
TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson, Naughton; Lennon, Huddlestone, Carroll, Bale; Adebayor, Defoe. Subs: Cudicini, Gallas, Mason, Dempsey, Sigurdsson, Falque, Livermore.
Anyway, let's bring you some team news!
Spurs have yet to pick up a victory in the competition, but to their credit they haven't been beaten either! Maribor, meanwhile, have had a mixed campaign thus far with a 3-0 victory over Panathinaikos in their opening game but have recently lost away to Lazio and drew with Spurs.
It promises to be an exciting night of Europa League action here in north London. Neither side are guaranteed passage into the knock-out stages of the competition and the desire to pick up points will be strong in both camps.
Good evening! Welcome to Goal.com's live text commentary of Tottenham Hotspur versus NK Maribor. My name is James Vause and I'll be guiding you through all the action, as it happens, from White Hart Lane this evening.
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