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).

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice