Spurs make history as easy victory earns last 16 place


TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp urged his side to go on and clinch top spot in Group A after securing a historic place in the knockout stages with a comfortable victory over Werder Bremen.

Goals from Younes Kaboul, Luka Modric and Peter Crouch helped Spurs sweep the Germans aside, despite the otherwise impressive Gareth Bale seeing his second-half penalty saved.

The triumph at White Hart Lane means Redknapp’s team will go into their final group fixture at FC Twente ahead of reigning European champions Inter Milan on goal difference.

Although delighted merely to have reached the last 16 for the first time, the Tottenham boss ordered his charges to take advantage of their strong position by going through as group winners.

“It is fantastic for us to get through,” he said. “That was a difficult group when it was drawn although it didn’t look it tonight. I think they lost a little bit of heart.

“Overall I think we’ve done very well. We want to win it [the group], you want that top spot if you can get it. It looks as though most big teams will finish top of their group so it’s important if you can finish top.”

The win continues Spurs’ superb first season in the Champions League and caps a fine few days, following Saturday’s dramatic 3-2 triumph at bitter local rivals Arsenal.

Kaboul, the hero in that unlikely comeback victory over the Gunners, picked up last night where he left off in the north London derby. The France defender opened the scoring after just six minutes when Aaron Lennon jinked to the byline and crossed to the near post, where Kaboul directed a volley into the ground and past Tim Wiese.

Already without the injured Rafael van der Vaart, Spurs lost another midfielder when Jermaine Jenas limped off, but that did not prevent Modric doubling their advantage in first-half stoppage time with a languid, prodded volley from a Crouch knock-down.

Bale, who sent shockwaves throughout the continent with his destruction of Inter Milan earlier this month, dazzled again and hit the bar but will likely better remember the match for his 54th-minute penalty, for a foul on Modric, which was saved by Wiese.

There was still ample time for a third goal, however, and Crouch poached it in the 79th-minute when Lennon bamboozled a defender with a nutmeg and pulled back to the edge of the six-yard area, where the rangy forward tucked home.