Redknapp eyes bigger prizes after Europa blow

Tottenham Hotspur 1 PAOK Salonika 2

White Hart Lane

Harry Redknapp did not give the impression of a man whose sleep
would be haunted by Spurs' likely elimination from the Europa League. After his side's defeat to PAOK last night, the Tottenham manager did insist that he was "disappointed because we are not going to be in the last 32". He was clear, though, where he laid
his priorities. "You can't have it all ways," he said. "The important thing is that we have the players fresh for the Premier League at the weekend."

 

Tottenham, as it happens, do have a slim chance of progress: they need to beat Shamrock Rovers heavily in their last game, and for the now-qualified PAOK to do the same to Rubin Kazan. But, having taken 28 from their last available 30 league points, their domestic focus is understandable.

Despite that, last night's starting XI was stronger than expected, including Luka Modric, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe. Experience is not the same thing as application, though, as Spurs' defending demonstrated. First, William Gallas carelessly discarded possession near the half-way line. Giorgos Georgiadis bolted forward and crossed to Dimitris Salpingidis who, with a polite nod of his head, directed the ball past goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Soon after, Vedran Corluka, not a man to break into a sweat where he can possibly avoid it, stood admiringly as Georgiadis ran beyond him and received Pablo Garcia's pass. Again, Georgiadis crossed precisely, and this time it was Stefanos Athanasiadis who tapped in. "Two terrible goals," as Redknapp described them.

Spurs, ponderous but also imprecise, struck back six minutes before the interval. Harry Kane's net-bound shot appeared to hit Kostas Stafylidis on the arm, referee Hendrikus Nijhuis deemed it deliberate and sent off Stafylidis: replays suggested it was tough on the defender. Modric scored the penalty, and Spurs went into the break one goal behind.

Having been reminded of what was expected of them, Spurs started the second half much improved, winning the ball back quickly and dominating possession. Kane and Steven Pienaar missed good chances, and when Gareth Bale and Kyle Walker came on, an equaliser felt certain.

Defoe had a goal disallowed with Pablo Contreras lying prone on the line with an apparent head injury. The referee further endeared himself to White Hart Lane by denying a penalty after Lennon was brought down in the box.

The chances, the scrambles and the appeals were so many and so varied it is hard to understand how Spurs failed to score. But PAOK kept them out, ensuring they will progress in the new year.

Tottenham (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Gallas, Bassong, Rose (Bale, 62); Lennon, Livermore, Modric, Pienaar (Walker, 67); Defoe, Kane (Falque, 71).

PAOK Salonika (4-2-3-1): Chalkias; Etto, Malezas, Contreras (Cirillo, 81), Stafylidis; Lazar (Arias, 83), Pablo Garcia; Salpingidis, Fotakis, Georgiadis (Sznaucner, 62); Athanasiadis

Referee Bas Nijhuis (Netherlands).

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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 difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003