UEFA Champions League Group A: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Werder Bremen (Live Blog)
Good evening and welcome to my live blog for tonight's match, arguably Tottenham Hotspur's biggest in their 128-year footballing history.
A win sees them qualify from and possibly top Group A—no easy feat considering that they have had to face the European Champions and the Dutch title holders.
A loss or draw will see them travel to Holland to face FC Twente needing at least a draw just to progress.
Tonight, Tottenham host Werder Bremen at White Hart Lane for a 19:45 kickoff (GMT).
In the reverse match on 14 September, the London club's first ever Champions League match, Spurs raced into an early two-goal lead thanks to an own goal and a header from Peter Crouch (pictured). However, the team wilted under pressure after the interval and goals from Marko Marin and Hugo Almeida either side of the break meant Spurs had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Since then, the clubs have taken different directions: Spurs have won two in a row in the league and sit seventh, while Bremen have leaked goals at an alarming rate and have lost five of their last six league matches.
The bookies have made the home team overwhelming favourites, despite their uninspiring home form in the league. But beware a German team which boasts the quality of midfield playmaker Marko Marin, the best player on the pitch when the two sides last met.
22:15: 'It was difficult. They filled up the midfield and we got it into tight areas rather than get the ball wide early...we've enjoyed it so far and to try to finish top would be a big advantage'', Redknapp is in positive mood after seeing his side brush aside Werder Bremen tonight.
21:41: Thanks for following the blog. I hope you enjoyed the coverage. A good result for Spurs on a cold night in London. Another strong performance from Bale and Modric was too wily for a young, visiting midfield.
Spurs - Gomes 6; Hutton 7, Kaboul 8, Gallas 8, Assou-Ekotto 6; Lennon 8, Modric 7, Jenas 5 (Palacios 6), Bale 8 (Kranjcar n/a); Pavlyuchenko 5 (Defoe 7), Crouch 7
Bremen - Wiese 7; Fritz 5, Prodl 5, Mertesacker 6, Schmidt 4; Hunt 5 (Lennart Thy n/a), Jensen 5 (Pasanen n/a), Bargfrede 4, Kroos 4 (Ayik 5); Marin 7; Wagner 5
Possession: TH 67-33 WB
Shots: TH 18-7 WB
Corners: TH 6-1 WB
Fouls: TH 11-24 WB
FT: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Werder Bremen. 10 points from 5 games, Spurs are through! Bremen will finish bottom of Group A.
21:33: Deep into injury-time and this has been a solid performance from Spurs, but the visitors only asked a couple of questions of their defence early on and have largely been off-the-pace and disinterested.
21:32: Spurs fans now very vocal and enjoying this historic moment.
21:31: It sometimes seems like Bremen are after a record: committing the most fouls ever in a football match. Two in a minute now, with the second central and just outside the area. Kranjcar clips the roof of the net with the set-piece.
21:29: Valencia have a sixth at home to Turks Bursaspor, Barcelona have a third and Man Utd. have a penalty in Scotland, which WAYNE ROONEY slots home to mixed reactions.
21:24: Spurs nearing only their third clean sheet in all competitions this season - what can go wrong? In any case, the fans and players can start to look forward to playing in the knockout stages of the worlds biggest club competition. The team has come a long way in a short time!
Bremen substitution: Lennart Thy replaces Aaron Hunt.
Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Werder Bremen (Crouch '78)
Bale again gets away down the left, mis-hits a cross onto the top of the crossbar but the ball stays in play. Lennon picks it up, nutmegs Prodl and then passes back to PETER CROUCH, who slots the ball into an empty net.
We've certainly seen him score from there! Mertesacker gives Modric the ball in midfield, the Croat feeds Defoe down the middle and Bale then skids the ball inches wide of the far post. He can't play like he did in Milan every match!
21:15: Surely it is a perfect time to give either Niko Kranjcar or Robbie Keane, both on the fringes of the first team at Spurs since the start of the season, a chance to show some energy and work their way either back into the manager's plans or towards a January transfer exit...
21:12: Inter Milan have taken the lead against Twente, Messi has added another goal for Barcelona in Greece and Bursaspor have finally found the net...they now trail only 5-1!
21:08: GREAT DEFENDING!
Assou-Ekotto's skied cross-field ball to Hutton is chested back to Gallas but falls short and Marin surges towards goal but the Spurs captain follows him all of the way and shields the ball back to Gomes.
Jermain Defoe pounces on a fortunate ricochet which clears his path to goal. The sub takes the ball wide of Prodl and fires towards the far corner but his effort is tipped away from danger by Wiese.
20:59: Tottenham substitution: Jermain Defoe replaces Roman Pavlyuchenko.
20:57: Bremen substitution: Onur Ayik replaces Felix Kroos
20:55: Missed penalty! Bale fires straight at Tim Wiese...will Tottenham regret that miss? This was after Modric was felled cynically by Felix Kroos.
20:54: PENALTY FOR SPURS!
Bale again manages to cross past the outstretched leg of Fritz and Crouch does not expect the ball to beat Mertesacker and shins the ball wide.
Bale curls a great free-kick over Bremen's wall and onto the top of the bar from 20 yards out on the right edge of the box. Nearly his tenth goal already this season...
20:49: Special prize for anyone who can tell me what the red strings are which Bale wears underneath his shorts...
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