Gascoigne hero's return marred by fans' abuse

Lazio 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0

The Stadio Olimpico

Thanks more to good luck than good judgement, Tottenham secured the draw that leaves them in a strong position to progress to the next round of the Europa League on a night when their supporters were the target of reported anti-Semitic abuse.

ANSA, the principal Italian news agency, wrote that a group of Lazio fans had chanted “Juden Tottenham”, which means “Jewish Tottenham” in German, during the first half. A banner that read “Free Palestine” was also displayed in the Curva Nord, the area that houses Lazio’s hard-core support. Uefa will await its match delegate’s report before determining its next move.

The build-up to the match was overshadowed completely by the violent incidents on Wednesday night, which left Tottenham fan Ashley Mills in a serious condition in hospital after a knife attack.

“It is an extremely difficult moment for them,” said Spurs’ manager, Andre Villas-Boas. “There is a police investigation and I’m not in control of all facts but there is massive disappointment and the fear they have gone through is hard.

“To point a finger at this point would be incorrect, but we give them a message of support. As a club, we will try to help them overcome this.”

Under such difficult circumstances, Spurs will be glad to leave Rome with this result, achieved largely because of the goalkeeping of Hugo Lloris and the poor finishing of Libor Kozak, Lazio’s reserve centre-forward. Kozak missed five acceptable chances to put his team ahead, and his profligacy means Spurs will advance to the knock-out stages if they avoid defeat against Panathinaikos on 6 December.

Lazio were fined £32,000 by Uefa for the racist chants aimed at Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend during the 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane in September, and if European football’s governing body decides to act on these reports the club  might suffer more severe punishment in the weeks to come.

On last night’s chants, Villas-Boas added: “It will take another investigation. It happened last time and it was acted upon quickly by Uefa. We will have to wait and see if there is anything to act upon. If there is, Uefa will have to act.”

There was, at least, a happier moment for supporters at the Stadio Olimpico when Paul Gascoigne, who played for both clubs, was presented to the fans before kick-off. The Lazio supporters unfurled banners that  read “Lionhearted. Headstrong. Pure Talent. Real Man” and “Still Our Hero”.

Gascoigne was given a fine reception from both sets of fans and he  will have enjoyed the fifth-minute pass from the Tottenham youngster Tom Carroll, which was worthy of Gazza at his best.

Gareth Bale, the Spurs captain for the night, ran on to the perfectly weighted ball and slipped it into the net after evading the goalkeeper Federico Marchetti, but the Welshman was wrongly ruled offside. Tottenham had two goals incorrectly chalked off in the 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane in September, and they had reason to feel annoyed again here.

The move was consistent with Spurs’ assertive start but the home side, who are fifth in Serie A, soon eased their way into the match. Lloris was surprised by Cristian Ledesma’s 30-yard strike but he managed to tip the ball on to the crossbar and push the loose ball clear.

At the other end, Bale’s cross-shot was pushed over by Marchetti but Lazio were starting to impose their will. Miroslav Klose was not included in the squad and, luckily for Spurs, his replacement, Kozak, was less accurate in front of goal than the Germany striker.

Lloris sprawled to deny Kozak with his feet after Kyle Walker had missed a simple interception in the 27th minute. Four minutes later, Kozak ran away from Steven Caulker but headed Stefano Mauri’s cross wide at the near post.

Kozak’s movement and speed off the mark make him an exciting forward, but he would be substantially more dangerous if he worked on his finishing. In the space of five minutes in the second half, the Czech deceived Lloris but slid the ball wide of an inviting goal, then, having eluded Steven Caulker to run on to Mauri’s subtle touch, his shot was too weak to beat Lloris.

Lazio pushed and probed, but could not score, and Lloris excelled himself again to keep out Michael Ciani’s point-blank header.

Man of the match Lloris.

Match rating 7/10.

Referee F Teixeira (Sp).

Attendance 20,000.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on