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Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 16:32 UK

Wisla Krakow 1-1 Tottenham (2-3)

By Sam Lyon

Fraizer Campbell, right, celebrates Spurs's vital goal with his team-mates
Fraizer Campbell, right, celebrates Spurs's vital goal with his team-mates

Tottenham edged into the Uefa Cup group stages with a narrow 3-2 aggregate win at Wisla Krakow that will do little to ease the pressure on boss Juande Ramos.

Despite holding a first-leg lead, Spurs were totally bereft of confidence, and Radoslaw Sobolewski and Pawel Brozek threatened early on for the hosts.

Spurs nerves were calmed when Arkadiusz Glowacki deflected Gareth Bale's cross into his own net to put them 1-0 up.

But Brozek's lob levelled the leg and Spurs just held on in a frantic finale.

Heurelho Gomes was their main hero in a grandstand finish, the Brazilian keeper brilliantly keeping a Brozek header and a Cleber volley at bay as Tottenham's fragile nerves almost reached breaking point.

As it was, the visitors just about clung on to an unconvincing draw that will see them through to the group stages - but Ramos will know a lot of work still needs to be done to rebuild what looks a pale shadow of the side that beat Chelsea in last season's Carling Cup final.

Since that win in February, Spurs have won just six matches in all competitions and, mindful of the need to stay in Europe's second Cup competition, Ramos recalled the likes of Ledley King, Bale and Luka Modric to a side enduring their worst start to a league campaign in 53 years.

606: DEBATE
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It was around this time last season that a Uefa Cup defeat to Getafe cost Martin Jol his position as Spurs manager, and Ramos sent out his troops with victory in mind, with Fraizer Campbell and Aaron Lennon supporting Darren Bent from wide at every opportunity.

However, for all their possession, Tottenham were every inch a side lacking in belief, their total lack of flair or inspiration in the final third ensuring Wisla keeper Mariusz Pawelek barely had a save to make in a dour first half.

Conversely, Polish champions Wisla visibly grew in confidence as the half went on and it was they who enjoyed by far the better chances.

Argentine midfielder Mauro Cantoro sounded the first warning when he broke through a static Spurs backline only to finish tamely with only Gomes to beat on 20 minutes, while Brozek's 20-yard strike at least forced the Brazilian to save sharply on the half hour.

If those chances were good, though, Sobolewski's opportunity at the end of the half was positively gift-wrapped, Marcin Baszczynski and Wojciech Lobodzinski combining well to put the midfielder through on goal, only for his scuffed 12-yard shot to be easily saved.

It was a timely warning of the delicacy of Tottenham's lead, and they responded at the start of the second half with their first meaningful effort on goal, full debutant Campbell cutting in from the left and having a fierce 20-yard drive deflected wide.

The Manchester United loanee's shot seemed to spark Spurs into life and minutes after Modric's stinging drive had brought Pawelek into action again, they were ahead.

Bale was the creator, his left-wing cross flicked into his own net by Glowacki, but the credit was also Campbell's, the striker pressing the defender into the mistake eight yards out.

Although Sobolewski immediately stung Gomes's palms at the other end, the goal settled Spurs and they should have been two goals up when Didier Zokora broke through only to fire wide when a square pass would have presented Campbell with an open goal.

Suddenly, with Wisla needing two goals to stay in the tie, the match was stretched and the visitors were finally looking a threat in attack again.

However, though Lennon and Bent both drove efforts narrowly wide of the upright, Spurs were unable to find the second that would have put the tie to bed.

And moments after Gomes had brilliantly maintained Tottenham's lead with a stunning save from Brozek's bullet header, the striker set up a grandstand finish when he expertly lobbed the Brazilian from 20 yards from Junior Diaz's long through-ball.

Spurs's frail confidence was again exposed and Wisla suddenly looked capable of springing a major shock, with Brozek and Cleber threatening late in the piece.

But, thanks to Gomes, Spurs hung onto their aggregate lead and secured a much needed aggregate win that they will hope can prove a springboard to success - starting with Sunday's Premier League match against Hull.


Tottenham manager Juande Ramos:
"At this moment, the important thing is qualification. There was no euphoria at the end of the match, it was just a sense of getting the job done.

"In the last moments Wisla were losing and put four or five players in our penalty area. We needed to defend well, but I think we had control of the match.

"I think the team is playing OK. The victory is very good for the team and match-to-match we need to improve.

"Two or three victories and I'm sure the mentality of players will change. It is difficult at the moment. We need to play each match like the last. Sunday is a new competition, we play Hull and we need to win."


Wisla Krakow: Pawelek, Baszczynski, Glowacki, Cleber, Brozek, Boguski (Guedes Filho 82), Cantoro (Zienczuk 66), Sobolewski, Diaz, Jirsak (Lobodzinski 32), Brozek.
Subs not used: Juszczyk, Singlar, Niedzielan, Barreto.

Booked: Lobodzinski, Cleber.

Goals: Brozek 83.

Tottenham: Gomes, Gunter, King, Woodgate, Bale, Lennon (Dawson 88), Zokora, Jenas, Modric (Huddlestone 77), Campbell (O'Hara 68), Bent.
Subs not used: Cesar, Bentley, Giovani, Assou-Ekotto.

Booked: Woodgate, Modric, Bale, Lennon, Zokora.

Goals: Glowacki og 58.

Att: 15,000

Ref: Alexandru Dan Tudor.


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Wisla's Pawel Brozek 6.50 (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.



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see also
Uefa Cup as it happened
02 Oct 08 |  Europe
Uefa Cup photos
02 Oct 08 |  Football
Stick with Ramos, advises Scales
01 Oct 08 |  Tottenham
Ramos on the ropes
30 Sep 08 |  Tottenham
Ramos stays calm over job future
29 Sep 08 |  Tottenham
Spurs manager pleads for patience
17 Sep 08 |  Tottenham
Tottenham 2-1 Wisla Krakow
18 Sep 08 |  Europe


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