Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 2 FC Basel

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Updated: April 5, 2013

On a night where Tottenham seemed to be a very lucky team considering that they managed to get a draw, and very unlucky considering that they firstly when Lennon injured his hamstring after 24 minutes, Gallas came off after 80 minutes when all the subsitutes were used so they went down to ten men and Bale taking a very nasty twist to his ankle at the very end that could probably end his season.

The first half was one where you couldn’t blink otherwise you’d miss something, Basel starting off by shooting three times in the first ten minutes which didn’t struggle Brad Friedal. Bale and Holtby tried being too inteligent with their dribbling which didn’t pull off. Tottenham didn’t play a high tempo game, like usually, they tried keeping the ball in midfield between Parker, Dembele and Holtby, but failed to really go from midfield to attack, which higlighted how Tottenham miss Sandro. One of Tottenham’s best and creative chance of the game came when Assou-Ekotto lobbed the ball to Adebayor to lay it off to Holtby then to pass it to Bale but for him to only put it wide. In the 24th minute Lennon received the ball out wide but only to cross it to no one which sums up his whole night which didn’t last long due to a hamstring injury, he was replaced by Sigurdsson. Tottenham still created good chances, but seemed to lack a bit of energy for them to really attack Basel. Naughton often came up and shot from distance when corners were cleared by Basel, only for the Sommer to save them or going over the bar. From the 27th minute Stocker started to show what he could be doing in the soon future, terrorise English defenders. Tottenham started becoming uneasy when Gallas picked up a yellow card. In the 31st minute Stocker picked up the ball near the middle of the pitch and dribbled passed three Tottenham players, with a bit of luck, and Tottenham defenders threw themselves which made it easier for Stocker, Salah picked up the ball and put a low cross into Streller, Streller turned around and shot only for it to hit the post, but Stocker was quick enough to the rebound and to put it into an empty net. A few minutes later Stocker put in a cross from a corner which was headed by a Tottenham player, loosing his marker, Frei managed to head in the ball. Tottenham resorted to making long balls up field which Adebayor couldn’t hold up. Eventually Parker started bringing the ball up field and pressuring the Basel back four, which led to Tottenham’s first goal, which was scrappy, with Adebayor having put it away after having scuffed the shot then Parker shooting onto a Basel defender then the ball falling in front of Adebayor. Parker also got another chance not long after, when Holtby was taken down by Sommer and left parker to put the ball in the net without a goalkeeper in his goal but his “pass into the goal” was blocked by the foot of Holtby.

In the second half Tottenham tried too hard to get any sort of shot away, but they were just wasted chances. Basel got men behind the ball which stopped Tottenham from moving forward, they still kept possesion which left them exposed at the back, Stocker and Salah enjoyed running in behind the Tottenham defenders and causing them all sorts of difficulties. A reoccuring action that took place in the second half was Basel shooting from outside Tottenham’s box with Tottenham defenders blocking them. Adebayor became more frustrated with Basel playing too tight and stopping him from even letting him hold the ball up. Salah started to liven up in the 55th minute and caused Vertoghen and Assou-Ekotto a lot of problems by running down the right flank and constantly trying to put in crosses. Sigurdsson managed to get a lucky deflected goal in the 58th minute when Vertoghen ran up field, in typical Vertoghen fashion, and Sigurdsson took a shot near the corner of the box which was deflected of Schar that left Sommer with no chance of saving it. Later on Stocker moved from his role on the left and became a “No 10” putting through balls in infront of the defenders and dribbling the centre-backs when he could and pressuring the midfielders and centre-backs in their own half. Bale and Holby were ineffective because they weren’t getting the ball, the ball was in midfield for most of the time, between Parker and Dembele. Stocker had a great chance to top off his night when one of his free kicks was heading for the top corner but Brad Friedal was equal to it. Since the 70th minute, Tottenham could hardly keep the ball and Basel became the dominant team, possesion wise. Gallas was lucky that he didn’t get sent off considering he pulled down a player running in on goal and also on a yellow card. From the 83rd minute Basel kept the ball until the end of the match except for poor clearances by Tottenham. In the 88th minute Tottenham went down to ten men when Gallas came off inured and all the substitutes had been used, then in the 93rd minute Tottenham went down to nine men when Bale’s foot twisted awkwardly and worryingly which might put him out until the rest of the season.

Tottenham will be disappointed with the performance and having conceded two goals at home. They are less worried about the second leg as much as they are about Gareth Bale’s injury which could be essentiel to the Champions League qualification. Basel played tonight without their two main full-backs and didn’t start the game with Degen due

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to a mild injury, so they will be hoping that they can put out a stronger team than tonight at home, and with the Swiss league almost certainly going to Basel, they can rest players for the game next week.

Tottenham 2-2 Basel

Adebayor (40) Stocker (30)
Sigurdsson (58) F Frei (35)

Stats :

Possesion :

Tottenham 49%-51% Basel

Att : 32 136

Tottenham :

24 Friedel
16 Naughton
05 Vertonghen
13 Gallas
32 Assou-Ekotto (Dawson, 57′)
08 Parker (C)
19 Dembele
07 Lennon (Sigurdsson, 24′)
11 Bale
14 Holtby (Dempsey, 63′)
10 Adebayor

Bookings : Gallas, Parker

Basel :

01 Sommer
27 Steinhofer
06 Dragovic
16 Schar
15 Voser
22 Salah (Degen, 84′)
08 Geoffroy (Cabral, 66′)
33 El-Nenny
20 F Frei
14 Stocker
09 Streller (Zoua, 71′)

Bookings : F Frei

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Match report by Sebastian True

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