Tottenham v Real Madrid match preview

Rajvir Rai
Sunday 23 October 2011 06:37
Mourinho has been linked with the Manchester City hot seat
Mourinho has been linked with the Manchester City hot seat

Four goals down and facing one of the most expensively assembled squads in Europe, Tottenham's chances of progressing to the Champions League semi-finals tonight look slim.

Harry Redknapp's side will have to do something they have only done three times this season at White Hart Lane: score four goals. Two of these occasions, however, have come in this seasons Champions League though, which will provided them with a faint glimmer of hope.

Those victories came against Young Boys and FC Twente, but tomorrow they will be facing a much higher calibre of opposition in Real Madrid.

Jose Mourinho's side have not lost on their European travels this season and have only conceded two goals away from the Bernabeu. They are also Europe's joint top scorers with 23 goals and in Mezut Ozil they have Europe's most creative player - the German international has six Champions League assists to his name so far.

All the stats suggest that this quarter-final tie is as good as over, but in knockout football nothing is guaranteed. Just ask Real Madrid.

In the 2004 quarter-finals they beat Monaco 4-2 in the Bernabeu and went 5-2 up on aggregate in the 36th minute of the second leg through Raul. Their passage to the semi-finals looked secured. However, two goals from Ludovic Giuly on either side of half time and one from former Madrid-man Fernando Morientes saw the French side level the tie at 5-5 and go through on away goals.

11 years earlier the Spanish giants also suffered a shock defeat at the hands of another French club. Leading 3-1 after the first leg of their Uefa Cup quarter-final against Paris St.Germain, Madrid succumbed to their heaviest defeat in European competition for 12 years in the second leg, losing 4-1 to a David Ginola inspired side and 5-4 overall.

Tottenham are no strangers to European comebacks either. In 1961 - the last time they competed in Europe's elite competition - they lost their first round, first leg tie 4-2 to Poland's Gornik Zabrze but won the tie 10-5 overall after a 8-1 win, in which Cliff Jones netted a hat-trick, in the second leg at White Hart Lane.

It is this great European comeback by Bill Nicholson's legendary side that still has many Tottenham fans believing that their team can stage one of the greatest European comebacks tomorrow night.

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