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Page last updated at 20:59 GMT, Thursday, 18 September 2008 21:59 UK

Tottenham 2-1 Wisla Krakow

By Phil Dawkes

Darren Bent powers over two defenders for the winning goal
Bent eased Tottenham's nerves with a well-taken second-half header

Darren Bent's second-half header gave Tottenham their first victory of the season, over Polish team Wisla Krakow in the Uefa Cup.

Spurs took the lead when Aaron Lennon's cross was finished by David Bentley on 33 minutes, only for Tomas Jirsak to hit back 67 seconds later with a chip.

Bent had a second-half goal disallowed for offside after a fine build up.

But substitute Fraizer Campbell's cross found Bent, who hit the net from six yards for a confidence-boosting win.

But the home side were made to work hard for their victory against a disciplined Wisla side, who created a number of problems for Juande Ramos' side.

Still searching for his best starting 11, the Spaniard could have done without the enforced absences of new signings Luka Modric, out with a knee injury, and Vedran Corluka and Roman Pavlyuchenko, both cup-tied.

However, he recalled captain Ledley King, rested for the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa, while restoring Bentley, Giovani Dos Santos, Chris Gunter and Jermaine Jenas to form a side with a clear attacking intent.

Spurs sought to stamp their authority on the game from the off, harassing the visitors at every opportunity and adding some weight to their tag as second favourites for the tournament.

But despite dominating possession, Tottenham failed to create the final delivery for strikers Bent and Giovani.

It was not until a Jonathan Woodgate header from a corner in the 23rd minute, saved comfortably by Krakow keeper Mariusz Pawelek, that either side offered an attempt on target.


But the game sprang into life in the space of 67 seconds just after the half hour. First Aaron Lennon ran at the Krakow defence from the left before placing the game's first decent cross for Bentley to slot left-footed into the far post.

It was the England midfielder's first goal for his new club since his 15m move from Blackburn Rovers in July.

But Spurs' season to date was typified when, in their next foray forward, Krakow equalised. Brozek neatly fed the unmarked Jirsak, who calmly chipped over the advancing Heurelho Gomes.

The visitors took advantage of Spurs' fragility at the back and could have had a second but for Gomes saving a 25-yard Roberto Cantoro drive.

Spurs began the second half as they did the first, their endeavour almost rewarded when Bentley forced Pawelek to tip over his rasping 20-yard drive before Giovani poked wide when through on goal.

Jenas and Lennon combined brilliantly before feeding Bent, who slotted home, but the striker had strayed into an offside position and the goal was ruled out, although replays suggested he had been onside.

This prompted changes from Ramos, with debutant on-loan striker Campbell and Jamie O'Hara replacing Lennon and Gunter.

After a 20-minute period of graft with little end product, it was the fresh Campbell-Bent partnership which provided the breakthrough for Spurs.

The former Hull striker worked himself into space on the right before serving up a hanging cross to the back post, where Bent was waiting to head home.

Confidence now flowing, Spurs crafted two good chances in succession three minutes later, Pawelek firstly diving low to save from Gareth Bale and King heading just wide from the resulting corner.

Spurs almost sacrificed their lead with four minutes to go, a King mistake gifting Andrzej Niedzielan an opening, but the substitute was denied by a last-ditch tackle by Woodgate.

Tottenham manager Juande Ramos:
"Bent has played every minute this season and one day we will have to give him a rest otherwise it will be too much for him.

"I wanted to get more than a one-goal advantage because now the tie is very evenly balanced.

"We were in a bad run of results and we needed a win to give confidence and calmness to the team.

"Let's hope this starts a positive run leading to better results."

Tottenham: Gomes, Gunter (O'Hara 57), Woodgate, King, Bale, Bentley, Jenas, Zokora, Lennon (Campbell 57), Giovani (Assou-Ekotto 70), Bent.
Subs Not Used: Cesar, Huddlestone, Gilberto, Dawson.

Booked: O'Hara.

Goals: Bentley 33, Bent 73.

Wisla Krakow: Pawelek, Singlar, Baszczynski, Cleber, Diaz, Boguski (Malecki 72), Sobolewski, Cantoro, Zienczuk, Pawel Brozek (Niedzielan 79), Jirsak (Lobodzinski 61).
Subs Not Used: Juszczyk, Guedes Filho, Glowacki, Barreto.

Booked: Sobolewski, Malecki.

Goals: Jirsak 34.

Att: 35,751

Ref: Lucilio Cardoso Cortez Batista (Portugal).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Tottenham's Fraizer Campbell 7.55 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

see also
Uefa Cup as it happened
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Uefa Cup photos
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Player Rater
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