ER BREMEN (2) vs TOTTENHAM (2)
HARRY REDKNAPP last night lashed out at suggestions his Tottenham side had been taught a Champions League lesson despite throwing away a two-goal lead in their Group A opener with Werder Bremen.
Spurs threatened to rack up a convincing victory after a Petri Pasanen own goal and a Peter Crouch header had put them in control.
But they were made to pay for a loss of concentration when Hugo Almeida halved the arrears two minutes before half-time before Marko Marin levelled a minute into the re-start.
Both Tottenham and Redknapp are novices at this level, but the Spurs boss snapped angrily to reporters’ suggestions that his side could learn something from the game despite clinching a first Champions League point. “What lessons can I learn because they score? What can I do?” Redknapp raged.
“How can they learn lessons? We’re always talking about lessons. Did you learn a lesson? Was it a lesson in Champions League football? No, it’s a game of football. We’re 2-0 up; they’ve got a goal out of nothing – it happens. It could happen at Hackney Marshes on Saturday afternoon.
“We went away to play Young Boys, we went 3-0 down. We came back and got two goals back that won the tie for us. It happens in football. If we play like that every game, we won’t go too far wrong.”
Redknapp had vowed to be more cautious away from home after their qualifying scare by Young Boys, but you wouldn’t have known it as his side took the game to their hosts from the off. Just 12 minutes in, Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s brilliant ball released Gareth Bale down the left and his low cross was turned in by Petri Pasanen under pressure from Crouch.
Six minutes later, Spurs were in dreamland when surprise starter Jermaine Jenas fed Rafael van der Vaart with a fine volleyed pass on the left and the Dutchman picked out Crouch to head past Tim Wiese.
Bale twice could have then made it 3-0 as Spurs piled forward – and it proved costly when Almeida headed home to make it 2-1.
Marin’s low skidding drive restored parity, but Spurs might have nicked it near the end when Bale’s tantalising cross just eluded Crouch.