Mixed night for van der Vaart as Spurs brush Twente aside

Tottenham Hotspur 4 FC Twente 1

Tottenham's Champions League rollercoaster rattled on tonight as a Jekyll-and-Hyde performance from both Rafael van der Vaart and the match officials saw them beat FC Twente.

On a night of torrential rain and high drama at White Hart Lane, Van der Vaart missed a dubious penalty, broke the deadlock and then picked up a needless red card as Spurs threatened to blow a 2-0 lead for the second successive Group A game.

But referee Terje Hauge's assistants came to the rescue with a mixture of correct and contentious spot-kick decisions, helping Harry Redknapp's men join European champions Inter Milan on four points at the top of the table.

Van der Vaart's 47th-minute opener was quickly followed by the second penalty of the night, dispatched by Roman Pavyluchenko.

Nacer Chadli then pulled a goal back before Van der Vaart saw red but another highly controversial Pavyluchenko penalty and Gareth Bale's late fourth got the 10 men out of trouble.

As promised, Redknapp fielded a bold formation for what was the club's first home match in the European Cup proper for 48 years, including all four of Peter Crouch, Pavyluchenko, Van der Vaart and Luka Modric, while captain Ledley King was also fit enough to start.

All-out attack had worked against Young Boys in the play-off round home leg but if the Spurs boss reckoned the more streetwise Dutch champions would fold in the same fashion, he was in for a shock.

Indeed, Twente repeatedly exposed the holes in their opponents' game plan early on.

Bryan Ruiz might even have had a quickfire hat-trick and should have scored in the 12th minute after exposing a gaping hole in the Spurs defence and racing clear.

But his attempted lob was low enough to be clawed away by the fit-again Heurelho Gomes, who was making his first start for a month.

At the other end, several crosses and free-kicks from Bale and Van der Vaart were also agonisingly close to finding their target.

Twente lost the recalled Emir Bajrami to a hamstring injury, Chadli coming on in the 28th minute.

Van der Vaart and then Pavyluchenko also tested Nikolay Mihailov moments before Tottenham were awarded a highly controversial penalty.

Peter Wisgerhof was adjudged by the assistant referee behind the goal to have hauled down Crouch when the foul could potentially have gone the other way.

Mihailov was booked for delaying the spot-kick but his gamesmanship worked as he clawed Van der Vaart's effort against the post and behind to safety.

A frustrated Van der Vaart picked up his first yellow card for a late tackle on Nicky Kuiper before channelling his ire in the right fashion by racing onto Benoit Assou-Ekotto's brilliant defensive clearance and lashing in a volley Mihailov acrobatically turned behind.

And he finally made amends just over a minute after the restart, Crouch climbing above his marker for the umpteenth time to nod Tom Huddlestone's ball back across goal for the Holland midfielder to control on his chest and volley expertly into the net.

It got better for Spurs two minutes later when the flying Bale went over Roberto Rosales' challenge after bursting into the box, the penalty again awarded by the assistant behind the goal.

Van der Vaart left the spot-kick to Pavyluchenko, who sent Mihailov the wrong way.

But as in their Group A opener at Werder Bremen, Spurs were unable to sit on their lead and after Ruiz and Marc Janko both went close, Twente halved the deficit when their opponents failed miserably to deal with Theo Janssen's free-kick and Chadli poked home.

Van der Vaart's topsy-turvy night then came to an end when he was shown a second yellow card for an over-eager shoulder charge on Rosales.

Spurs were rocking but the 10 men were gifted back their two-goal lead when the assistant referee cruelly adjudged Kuiper had deliberately handled Pavyluchenko's blockbuster in the box.

The Russia striker took full advantage of the gift, chipping the penalty straight down the middle.

Redknapp immediately withdrew Crouch for Jermaine Jenas and both sides made full use of their substitutes.

One of Twente's, Luuk de Jong, wasted three good chances to set up a grandstand finish, while Modric passed up one to kill the game when he was tackled by Douglas.

Bale showed him the way five minutes from time by coolly slotting the ball past Mihailov to start the party at White Hart Lane.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus updates from Everton vs Palace
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Sport
Heskey's aim has improved since the end of his English football career

Long after his career in English football has ended, Emile Heskey's impotency in front of goal remains an object of ridicule.

News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
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.

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam