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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 21:37 GMT
Tottenham 3-2 Aalborg
By Mandeep Sanghera

Spurs celebrate Darren Bent's winner against Aalborg in the Uefa Cup
Spurs top their group with one match remaining
A storming second half from Tottenham overwhelmed Aalborg as Spurs put themselves on the brink of qualifying for the next stage of the Uefa Cup.

Thomas Enevoldsen's 22-yard strike put the visitors ahead before Kasper Risgard bundled in from close range.

But a tactical reshuffle by Spurs boss Juande Ramos saw Dimitar Berbatov poke home and Steed Malbranque power in an angled far-post shot to level.

Darren Bent grabbed the winner when he tapped in a cross from Aaron Lennon.

Spurs have one game left and are now top of Group G with six points, while Anderlecht, on four points, and Getafe, on three, have a match in hand.

Hapoel Tel-Aviv are in fourth on three points having played the same number of games as a Spurs side who should now qualify after Ramos engineered the win over the group's bottom club Aalborg.


It was Ramos' switch of formation and personnel, as well as his half-time team talk, which reinvigorated the hosts after they had been given an early shock as Aalborg went ahead with just two minutes gone.

A throw-in led to Enevoldsen running in from the right before unleashing a sweetly-struck shot into the top corner past the despairing dive of keeper Paul Robinson.

Spurs then had an offside decision go against striker Robbie Keane which would have put him clean through on goal if the linesman's flag had not wrongly been raised.

But Aalborg looked like the more accomplished outfit and were denied a penalty when Rade Prica, who was offside when latching on to a through ball, looked to have been hauled down by Young-Pyo Lee.

Spurs huffed and puffed as Aalborg looked the more threatening and it got worse for the home side after 38 minutes.

The Danish side scythed though the Spurs backline as Risgard dummied a Mattias Lindstrom pass before carrying on his run to bundle in Prica's low cross.

Steed Malbranque (left0 and Didier Zokora celebrate Spurs' equaliser in the 3-2 draw with Aalborg
Malbranque (left) got the equaliser for Spurs at White Hart Lane

A Pascal Chimbonda far post header from a corner went over the crossbar and Keane volleyed over for Spurs before they went off at halt-time to a chorus of boos.

But Ramos showed his tactical nous as he took off right-back Lee and midfielder Jenas at half-time with striker Bent and midfielder Tom Huddlestone coming on as Spurs went 3-5-2.

The move had an immediate impact as Huddlestone played Berbatov through on goal and he poked the ball past advancing keeper Karim Zaza.

Spurs were now dominating and grabbed an equaliser when Berbatov's cross from the right was guided on by Keane to Malbranque, who thundered in a shot.

Risgard shot wide at the other end, but Spurs were now in rampant mood and added a third.

Gareth Bale's free-kick was parried and Lennon's cross-cum-shot from the rebound was tapped in by Bent.

  • Tottenham boss Juande Ramos:
    "It is an area we need to work on. The most important thing in a team is balance.

    "Our defence is conceding too many and we have to find a solution because we won't score three goals in every game.

    "A lot of the injured players are in the same position - defence."

    Tottenham: Robinson, Lee (Bent 45), Chimbonda, Dawson, Bale, Lennon, Jenas (Huddlestone 45), Zokora, Malbranque, Keane, Berbatov (Boateng 74).
    Subs Not Used: Cerny, Tainio, Stalteri, Taarabt.

    Booked: Boateng.

    Goals: Berbatov 46, Malbranque 51, Bent 66.

    Aalborg: Zaza, Olesen, Califf, Jakobsen, Pedersen, Risgaard, Augustinussen, Nomvethe (Lindstrom 61), Johansson, Enevoldsen (Curth 74), Prica.
    Subs Not Used: Jensen, Jacobsen, Olfers, Mota, Vilakazi.

    Booked: Augustinussen.

    Goals: Enevoldsen 2, Risgaard 37.

    Att: 29,758

    Ref: Pedro Proenca (Portugal).

    Thursday's football photos
    29 Nov 07 |  Europe


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