Tottenham Hotspur vs. Milan  0 - 0

Article

Redknapp hails ´great night´

10 March 2011 02:20

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp sang the praises of his players after they qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

In their first ever season competing in Europe's most prestigious club competition, Spurs reached the last eight after a 0-0 draw against Milan at White Hart Lane was enough to give them a 1-0 aggregate victory over the Italians.

Milan had the better of Spurs on the night but couldn't find the vital goal to send the match into extra time, Tottenham's defence holding on much to the delight of their manager.

"It's a great night for the players and fans," Redknapp said.

"It's a great achievement for this club to be in the last eight of the Champions League. It's amazing what the players have done."

Redknapp admitted the away goal from the first leg at the San Siro put Tottenham in a tricky situation as they abandoned their normally aggressive brand of football in order to protect their lead.

"We worked our socks off and stayed with them. It's a difficult situation because when you come home and you've got that one-goal lead you try to protect it, but at the same time, it's not like you go for broke," Redknapp said.

"You're always aware that you want to hang on to that lead and it was very difficult."

The Spurs boss also admitted he would like to avoid Barcelona in the quarter-finals and praised Milan for their impressive performance.

Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri also thought his side played well, but admitted mistakes in the first leg had cost his side, as had the absence of poacher Filippo Inzaghi, who is sidelined with a knee injury.

"My players all did well but unfortunately we are out," Allegri said.

"We made mistakes in the first leg on their counterattack with just a few minutes to go. Today my players did all the things they had to do. We played a good game with a high tempo and good passing, but unfortunately the goal never came."

"We missed a forward like Filippo Inzaghi. There were many balls passed into the box and he would have taken advantage of them."

Article

Champions League: Tottenham 0 AC Milan 0

9 March 2011 22:57

Tottenham booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after holding AC Milan to a goalless draw at White Hart Lane.

Peter Crouch's late goal at the San Siro in the first leg proved enough for the north London club to reach the last eight of the competition.

After beating the holders Inter Milan earlier in the season, Harry Redknapp's side made it another memorable night in north London by beating their arch rivals.

Milan will count themselves unlucky to have lost the tie after creating the best chances in the second leg, but Tottenham showed all their fighting spirit to keep alive their chances of winning the Champions League in their first ever season in the competition.

Milan were determined to force their way back into the game and came close to opening the scoring on 15 minutes when Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw his free-kick beaten away by Heurelho Gomes.

Tottenham were still lucky to be on level terms on 25 minutes when Michael Dawson made a crucial mistake which resulted in Gomes racing out of his goal.

Pato took the ball around the Tottenham keeper and crossed in for Robinho whose shot hit Benoit Assou-Ekotto and the ball was cleared off the line by William Gallas.

Tottenham finally started to wake up and created their first major chance on the half hour mark when Rafael van der Vaart saw his free-kick go just over the bar.

But Milan kept putting pressure on the Tottenham goal and Pato saw his fierce shot produce a fine save from Gomes.

Tottenham were certainly living on the edge and must have thought it was going to be their night after Milan wasted another golden chance on 65 minutes.

Pato's pass picked out Robinho whose low shot produced another excellent save from Gomes. The rebound fell to the former Manchester City forward but he fired his shot wide of the post.

Redknapp knew it was time for a change and brought on Gareth Bale to try to give his side a much needed boost.

But it was Milan fans who thought the deadlock was finally broken on 77 minutes when Pato's low drive from the edge of the box beat Gomes in the Tottenham goal, but his effort went into the side-netting, much to the relief of the home supporters.

Pato again tested Gomes in th first minute of stoppage time with a stinging volley that went just over the crossbar, but Tottenham held on will now be eagerly awaiting the draw for the quarter-final stage of the competition as they look to reach the final at Wembley at the end of May.

Article

Seedorf not worried about Bale comeback

9 March 2011 02:18

AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf has dismissed fears the return of Gareth Bale will spell the end of Milan's European campaign.

The dangerous Tottenham winger could make his first start in nearly two months on Wednesday when Spurs host the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Milan.

The Wales international was absent during Tottenham's stunning 1-0 win in Milan in the opening leg due to a back injury, but marked his return to competition by appearing as a late substitute in Spurs' 3-3 draw at Wolverhampton on Sunday.

But Seedorf is unconcerned by reports Bale will be lining up for the opening whistle at White Hart Lane, saying no one player will decide which team makes it through to the quarter-finals.

"We lost the first match without Bale (playing) so I don't think that it's the one player that will make the difference," Seedorf said.

"As I said before, I think it's a team effort and even if he has great individual qualities, it will still be the team that makes the difference. That's what we have to worry about."

"We respect Tottenham. They have shown that they are a good team, so we know what we have to do tomorrow."

Milan have a danger man of their own in the form of prolific striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has scored 14 times in the Serie A this season.

But Seedorf, who is the only player to have won the Champions League with three different clubs, was quick to point out that Ibrahimovic alone cannot be held responsible for securing Milan's safe passage to the last eight and said it is up to his team-mates to ensure the Swede has the support he needs.

"I can just tell that we have one of the best strikers in the world in our team and that it's up to the team to also make sure that he can perform well," the Dutchman said.

"In most of the occasions, especially in the past - as far as I know - a lot of things depended on him, and you cannot play in the Champions League with just one player making the difference."

"That doesn't work, so I think that AC Milan tomorrow will have to - more than on other occasions - make sure that we support Zlatan during the game in his actions and hopefully help him make the difference for us."

Article

´Touch and go´ with Bale, says Redknapp

8 March 2011 17:46

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has described Gareth Bale's chances of playing against Milan on Wednesday as 'touch and go'.

Redknapp's side will take a 1-0 lead into the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie against the Serie A giants at White Hart Lane.

But Spurs could be missing potentially their most influential midfielder, with Bale - who tore Milan's city rivals Inter apart in the competition's group stages in November - only rated a 50-50 chance of playing by his manager.

Bale came off the bench against Wolves in the English Premier League on Sunday, making a 20-minute cameo as he shrugged off concerns about a back injury.

But a lack of fitness could cost him a spot on Wednesday.

"His back's fine but he was stiff in the legs," Redknapp told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's touch and go. We'd love to start with him but if he's not quite right I wouldn't want to take a chance."

"When Gareth came on (against Wolves) and started to run with the ball, it was exciting. We've missed that for the last five or six weeks."

"That was his first real exertion for six weeks. He started straight away to run with the ball and when he does that he scares people to death. He carries the game at the opposition and that makes a massive difference."

But if Redknapp is to lose his Welsh wizard for the clash, he will be bolstered by the likely return of midfield playmaker Rafael Van der Vaart, who has been racing against the clock to recover from a calf problem.

"Van der Vaart has a good chance for Wednesday. I hope he'll be fit," Redknapp said.

Tottenham could call on Younes Kaboul to make his first appearance since December after he trained on Tuesday, but fellow defender Jonathan Woodgate took no part in the session.

Article

Allegri preaches calm ahead trip to Spurs

8 March 2011 17:38

AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri has called for his men to relax ahead of their Champions League second-leg match against Spurs.

Milan will have to overturn a 1-0 deficit at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, after a highly charged first leg at the San Siro that saw several heavy challenges and an ugly confrontation between the Serie A club's skipper Gennaro Gattuso and Spurs assistant coach Joe Jordan.

Allegri wants his men to go into the round-of-16 clash relaxed, claiming that worrying about the scoreline will be detrimental to their chances of progression to the quarter-finals.

"I'm quite calm, it also could be harmful if we go into a match feeling too tense," Allegri said.

"We need to remain as calm as possible, but being aware of the importance of every match that we play from now right up until the end of the season."

"We also need to be aware that Wednesday's match is decisive in terms of remaining in the competition. We will think about Sunday's match (a Serie A clash with Bari) from Thursday morning onwards."

"Of course we are aware of the fact they're strong and have 25 excellent players. They're doing very well in the (English) Premier League."

Allegri said he would not spend too much time worrying about Welsh winger Gareth Bale - who is only rated a 50-50 chance of starting the match as he recovers from a back injury - claiming Spurs have plenty of talent across the whole pitch.

"We know Bale is an important player, a player with both physical and technical qualities. He has improved a lot this season," he said.

"But I believe there is more to Tottenham than Gareth Bale. They're a team made up of many excellent players with excellent technical skills, in the midfield and up front in particular."

Article

Key duo set for Spurs return

7 March 2011 19:08

Harry Redknapp confirmed Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart as likely starters for Tottenham's Champions League clash with AC Milan.

Bale returned from a back injury in his side's 3-3 draw with Wolverhampton in the English Premier League on Sunday, putting in some typical barnstorming runs that will give the Welshman plenty of confident ahead of Tottenham's last-16, second-leg match against the Serie A giants on Wednesday at White Hart Lane.

Spurs took the first leg 1-0 at the San Siro on February 15, with a strike from Peter Crouch handing Tottenham a crucial lead going into the second leg.

Redknapp said Bale pulled up well from the 20-minute substitute stint, and added that van der Vaart is also a chance to return from a calf injury.

"Yes, there's every chance (of Bale starting). He came on and made a big difference. He seems okay. We'll keep our fingers crossed," Redknapp said.

"When he came on and started with the ball it was exciting and we've missed that in the last five or six weeks."

Van der Vaart missed Spurs' league matches with Blackpool and Wolves but Redknapp said he had his fingers crossed the playmaking Dutchman would be ready to go.

"Yes, I'm hoping he will be fit. We'll be positive. We'll play an attacking team. If Lennon's okay we'll play with Lennon and probably Bale and Crouchy's had a fantastic European campaign as well," he said.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
16 0 +0 0
17 0 +0 0
18 0 +0 0
19 0 +0 0
20 0 +0 0

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
6 38 +12 58
7 38 +10 57
8 38 +8 57
9 38 +0 56
10 38 -6 54