After the worst possible start to their Champions League campaign, when Tottenham Hotspur went 3-0 down inside 30 minutes in their qualifying first leg in Bern, Harry Redknapp’s side turned it around in style over the remaining two hours to book their place in the Champions League.
The substitution of Tom Huddlestone for Benoit Assou-Ekotto shortly after Spurs conceded their third goal in Switzerland turned the tie around, with the two-time England international bringing composure into their midfield and taking up the space in the centre of midfield that had gifted Young Boys two of their three goals.
In that first leg, Sebastien Bassong scored a valuable goal before halftime, with the Cameroonian defender having been at fault for a goal earlier in the game. Spurs were dominant for periods of that second half, with Roman Pavlyuchenko blasting home a second. At that point, Spurs always looked like they were progressing. They were thankful for Young Boys spurning good opportunities in that second leg.
Wasteful Young Boys
Young Boys also wasted chances at White Hart Lane this evening, but ultimately the London side were of a much better standard than their opposition. This was the performance and result we had been expecting when the draw had been made.
Their odds were 1/8 to qualify entering the tie. They were still only 1.5 to qualify at 0-3 in the first leg. The Swiss side were never going to oust the fourth English qualifiers in this season’s Champions League.
However, Harry Redknapp and Tottenham Hotspur have been warned about the quality of the Champions League. Tottenham allowed Young Boys too many good opportunities over the two legs—opportunities that Spurs cannot allow to a number of teams in tomorrow’s draw without being punished.
Harry Redknapp has done a fantastic job in turning Spurs around since joining less than two years ago, when they had two points in their opening eight Premier League games. Finishing fourth last season and qualifying for the Champions League this evening not only assures a big income boost this season, but also the ability to attract more stars to their club.
An Exciting Time Ahead
Regardless of the draw, the manager and majority of players will be playing in the Champions League for the first time. This could be a steep learning curve for all participants, but an exciting one for the fans nonetheless, who will be keeping their fingers crossed for some of Europe’s bigger-known venues including Camp Nou, the Bernabeu, and Allianz Arena.