Tottenham Hotspur 3 Dinamo Bucharest 1: Double from Defoe sees Spurs finish at summit

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The club that was once the footballing face of the Romanian secret service needs to brush up its intelligence. Dinamo Bucharest were out-thought and outplayed at White Hart Lane last night, the final scoreline doing scant justice to Tottenham's dominance. Two strikes from Jermain Defoe and another from Dimitar Berbatov meant Spurs qualified as group winners, with a 100 per cent record, for the knockout stages of the Uefa Cup.

Although Spurs had already reached the last 32 before last night, they needed to avoid defeat to ensure winning their group. Crucially, that means they will avoid a team dropping down from the Champions' League when the draw is made in Switzerland this afternoon. Martin Jol could face his fellow Dutchmen Feyenoord in mid-February. "That would be a nice draw," Jol said.

To give his side the best possible chance of the best possible draw, Jol picked a full-strength side and his two strikers duly made hay. The Romanians were also obliging in the extreme. With 16 minutes gone of an engaging game played at high speed by both teams, Berbatov tried a tame shot that was gathered up by Uladzimir Hayeu. Then, inexplicably, the goalkeeper threw the ball back to the centre-forward who took one look and dispatched his shot into the top corner for his fifth strike in as many games.

Although Berbatov's goal was easy, Defoe's first was anything but. With six minutes to go until the interval, the England international was 40 yards out, but he beat one player and out-sprinted two others to slot his shot past Hayeu.

Five minutes after the interval, Spurs made sure of victory, not that it had ever been in much doubt. A swift counter-attack led by Didier Zokora cut through the core of the Dinamo midfield and after Hossam Ghaly and Aaron Lennon had seen their shots blocked, Defoe tidied up for the hosts' third.

Jean-Philippe Mendy converted a tap-in for Bucharest in injury time - a just reward for persistence by the substitute as most of his team-mates had long since given up.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Robinson; Chimbonda (Stalteri, 76), Dawson, King (Davenport, 68), Assou-Ekotto; Ghaly, Zokora, Huddlestone (Malbranque, 68), Lennon; Berbatov, Defoe. Substitutes not used: Cerny (gk), Lee, Mido, Murphy.

Dinamo Bucharest (4-4-2): Hayeu; Mihut, Moti, Radu, Pulhac; Cristea, Margaritescu (Blay, 65), Ropotan, Munteanu (Goian, 57); Ganea, Danciulescu (Mendy, 78). Substitutes not used: Matache (gk), Pascovici, Codreanu, Predescu.

Referee: B Brugger (Austria).