Spurs do it the hard way
Tottenham come from two goals behind to claim victory
By James Dall. Last Updated: 30/11/07 10:04am
Didier Zokora celebrates with Malbranque
Juande Ramos' unbeaten record as Tottenham Hotspur manager was given a scare as his side came from two goals behind to claim a 3-2 win against Aalborg in the Uefa Cup.
White Hart Lane was stunned after seeing Tottenham go in 2-0 down at half-time, but an inspired second-half display secured the turnaround - meaning Spurs now top Group G.
It took the away side just two minutes to take the lead when some sleepy Spurs defending allowed Tomas Enevoldsen to rifle home a thunderbolt past Paul Robinson.
Spurs responded with some high tempo football; however Aalborg doubled their lead just before half-time courtesy of Kasper Risgaard's simple finish.
Ramos rung the changes for the second half, bringing on Darren Bent and Tom Huddlestone, and it took the home side just 40 seconds to ignite their comeback when Dimitar Berbatov poked home.
Steed Malbranque then restored parity, before Bent put Spurs ahead to send White Hart Lane delirious.
It took Aalborg less than two minutes to show why they are level on points at the top of the Danish league. Only 113 seconds were on the clock when Enevoldsen stroked the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area, after receiving a throw from Martin Pedersen and getting time to turn and run at Spurs' defence.
The visitors had plenty more chances to embarrass the hosts.
Rade Prica was fortunate to be ruled onside when Andreas Johansson slipped him through on goal, but Lee Young-Pyo put in a late challenge to deny the striker.
Siyabonga Nomvethe was given time to set his sights from long range but fired wide, while Prica would have had a run straight at Robinson if he had controlled a through-ball.
Jermaine Jenas was back just in time when South African striker Nomvethe was about to shoot from the edge of the area again, while Danny Califf was unmarked from a corner but headed over.
The second goal came eight minutes from the break when Michael Dawson failed to clear and the ball slipped through him. Prica crossed from the left flank and Risgard stabbed in at the second attempt.
Ramos may have read the riot act during the interval but it was his bold substitutions that turned the game, bringing on Bent and Huddlestone.
Huddlestone held up kick-off by being late out of the dressing room - but his introduction was worth the wait.
The England Under 21 midfielder, who replaced injured Jenas, sliced the Aalborg defence open with a through-ball and Berbatov toe-poked in for his fourth of the season.
Berbatov set up the equaliser with his work on the right six minutes later, out-muscling Pedersen then crossing. Robbie Keane worked the ball to Malbranque whose finish went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Spurs pushed for the winner but Aalborg showed they were still a threat on the break, Enevoldsen firing just wide from a similar position to his opener.
But Bent grabbed the winner in the 66th minute, tapping in from Aaron Lennon's cross after Gareth Bale's free-kick had been parried.
Dawson had an effort cleared off the line in the final moments, while Lennon and Malbranque also missed straightforward chances to extend the lead.
|Tottenham Hotspur||Team Statistics||Aalborg BK|
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|6||Shots on Target||2|
|9||Shots off Target||10|
Thu 29th Nov - Group A
Zenit2 - 2Nurnberg
AZ Alkmaar1 - 0Larissa
Thu 29th Nov - Group C
Elfsborg1 - 3Mlada Boleslav
AEK Athens1 - 1Fiorentina
Thu 29th Nov - Group E
Sp Prague0 - 0Spartak Mos
FC Zurich2 - 0Toulouse
Thu 29th Nov - Group B
Lokomotiv0 - 1FC Cop'hagen
A Madrid2 - 0Aberdeen
Thu 29th Nov - Group D
Hamburg3 - 0Rennes
Brann2 - 1Din Zagreb
Thu 29th Nov - Group H
Panionios0 - 3Galatasaray
Helsingborgs3 - 0Austria Vienna
Thu 29th Nov - Group G
Tottenham3 - 2Aalborg
Getafe1 - 2Hap Tel-Aviv
Thu 29th Nov - Group F
Bolton1 - 1Aris Salonika
Braga1 - 1Bay Munich
Europa League Group A
Europa League Group B
Europa League Group C
|1||Red Bull Salzburg||6||18|
Europa League Group D
Europa League Group E
Europa League Group F
|2||Maccabi Tel Aviv||6||11|
Europa League Group G
Europa League Group H
Europa League Group I
|3||Vitoria de Guimaraes||6||5|
Europa League Group J
Europa League Group K
|3||Sheriff Tiraspol (Mol)||6||6|
Europa League Group L
|3||Maccabi Haifa (Isr)||6||5|