Friday 27 April 2018

Defoe settles Spurs nerves to secure their place in last 32

Tottenham 3 Panathinaikos 1
Europa League Group J

Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe. Photo: Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe. Photo: Reuters

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Winning is a habit and Tottenham now have it. Spurs progressed to the last 32 thanks to late goals from Clint Dempsey – later credited as an own goal to Orestis Kernezis – and Jermain Defoe.

Andres Villas-Boas started Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor together for just the third time this seasons. However, with Gareth Bale injured and Mousa Dembele on the bench, Spurs missed the rhythm that their two pace-setters bring in the early sparring.

It took Dempsey to change the game in the 29th minute. The American darted in from the left where he received a pass from Kyle Walker. Dempsey turned and put the ball through to Adebayor who slipped it to the back of the net.

However, nine minutes into the second half the Greeks were level. Nikos Spyropoulos swung in a delightful cross and Zeca escaped from Kyle Naughton to head past Brad Friedel.

Spurs regained the lead with their first action after Moussa Dembele's arrival off the bench on 75 minutes, when Walker's free-kick was headed in by Dempsey, via the bar and Karnezis' back.

Spurs went for control, replacing Dempsey with Gylfi Sigurdsson, but scored a third anyway. Lennon charged in from the right and tapped to Defoe, who chipped Karnezis for the clincher. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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