Saturday 27 May 2017

Redknapp: Champions League wide open

Harry Redknapp. Photo: Getty Images
Harry Redknapp. Photo: Getty Images

Harry Redknapp insists "anyone can win" the Champions League after he guided his Tottenham team into the quarter-finals.

Last night's goalless draw with AC Milan completed a 1-0 aggregate win after Peter Crouch's goal in the San Siro three weeks ago - and set up the possibility of a last-eight clash with Barcelona, conquerors of Spurs' local rivals Arsenal on Tuesday.

Redknapp admits Barca are the team to beat, but will await the outcome of the draw with eager anticipation.

"Barcelona were amazing the other night," he said.

"Arsenal had a man sent off but to outpass Arsenal - who are as good as any team in the Premier League and were made to look so ordinary - (Barca) are as good a team as I've seen in my time in football, they're the team to beat for anybody.

"We're in the last eight and we look forward to the next round when it comes up. You can't pick who you draw - we were in the toughest group but we won that.

"They'll be two fantastic games, whoever we draw."

And he added on Sky Sports News: "Anyone could win it, you never know - Jose (Mourinho) won it with Porto (in 2004) when they weren't expected to.

"The favourites are the two Spanish clubs (Barca and Real Madrid), there are two fantastic English clubs with Manchester United and Chelsea but we're in there, let's see where it takes us - it's been a great adventure and we want more of it, we want to see if we can go all the way."

Redknapp acknowledged the stern test Massimiliano Allegri's men posed Spurs last night, saying: "It was a tough game, they came and played ever so well.

"The way they set up made it difficult, they played the diamond in midfield and outnumbered us. It was difficult to get pressure on to stop them playing, they had Clarence Seedorf in that holding role and he was free.

"It's sometimes dangerous to go away and get the lead, everybody thinks it's already done.

"It was a dilemma - do you go for it or sit back? As much as I tried to stress we should attack, when we got the lead the natural tendency was to defend.

"We defended great, it was backs to the wall.

"We gave away a late goal at Wolves (in Sunday's 3-3 draw), and I was dreading that last night - you've got to kill the game.

"It's not about trying to still bomb forward and then getting caught on the break, it's about seeing it out in a winning position.

"We hung in and coped and got the result over the two legs, I thought we did great away and last night we defended for our lives - it was a great night for Spurs fans."



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