Spurs shatter brave Shamrock

Tottenham recovered from a goal down to sink Shamrock Rovers 3-1 in the Europa League at White Hart Lane on Thursday.

Last Updated: 29/09/11 at 22:09 Post Comment

Defoe and Dos Santos: Both on the scoresheet

Defoe and Dos Santos: Both on the scoresheet

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Tottenham looked in danger of succumbing to a European giant-killing act when Stephen Rice put the Irish champions ahead after 50 minutes of average work by the Premier League side.

But Roman Pavlyuchenko's towering header opened the way for goals from Jermain Defoe and Giovani dos Santos in five frantic minutes as Tottenham made their superior class pay to eventually run out comfortable winners.

With the London derby against Arsenal on Sunday in mind Tottenham made 10 changes from the side which beat Wigan on Saturday.

Yet while Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp included youngsters such as Kyle Walker, Jake Livermore and Thomas Carroll in the starting line-up he still paid Rovers due respect with Defoe back from illness, Aaron Lennon returning from injury and experienced campaigners such as Sebastien Bassong, Vedran Corluka and Pavlyuchenko in the side.

As for Rovers they had not met an English team in a competitive European game since they became the first Irish side to feature in the European Cup in 1957-58 when they lost 6-0 at home against Manchester United and 3-2 in the return leg at Old Trafford, just months before the Munich air crash.

That was the history. The present Rovers side were determined to prove they could live with Premier League opposition and they made a pretty good fist of it in the first half with Rice and Stephen O'Donnell pressing and harrying in midfield and Gary Twigg working tirelessly up front.

Even so Tottenham should have taken the lead in the 17th minute when Defoe was put clear by an astute pass from Dos Santos, only for Rovers goalkeeper Richard Brush to touch the England striker's right-foot shot on to the crossbar.

Brush was in action again three minutes later, this time producing a smart, instinctive save when he blocked a close-range effort from Pavlyuchenko.

There was plenty of huff and puff from Tottenham, just a lack of accuracy with the final pass.

And while the travelling Irish fans cheered their side's every pass it was Tottenham who rattled the woodwork again just after the half hour when the lively Dos Santos played in Danny Rose whose shot cannoned off the crossbar.

Luck of the Irish, perhaps but there is more to Rovers' European journey than fortune. It had taken grit and resolve and no little skill to become the first Irish side to reach the group stages of either of the top two European competitions, including beating Partizan Belgrade in the play-off round last month.

Even so it was still a shock when in the 50th minute Rovers took the lead. A brilliant free-kick from Gary McCabe was palmed away by Tottenham goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini but Patrick Sullivan fired in the rebound and in the penalty melee which ensued Rice prodded the ball into the net.

Rovers 1-0 up and one of the great European shocks was on the cards.

Or at least it was until Tottenham woke up as the clock clicked on to the hour mark.

The impressive Dos Santos supplied the delivery and Pavlyuchenko rose high above the Irish defenders to head home. It was the Russian's first goal of the season and the relief was palpable around White Hart lane.

Cue a Tottenham surge with Defoe heading home a cross from substitute Andros Townsend two minutes later and Dos Santos making it five minutes of misery for Rovers when he smashed home his first goal for Tottenham since February 2009 with a powerful left-foot drive.

The Irish dream was over although you would hardly have known it such was the enduring and raucous support from their fans.

All that was left was for former Tottenham star Rohan Ricketts to come off the Rovers bench with 19 minutes remaining to savour a taste once more of life at the Lane and rue a night of what-might-have-beens.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Thursday, 27 November 2014
17:00
Krasnodar 1-1 Lille  
16:00
D Moscow 2-1 Panathinaikos  
Thursday, 06 November 2014
20:05
Dynamo Kiev 2-0 Aalborg  
Everton 3-0 Lille Report
Feyenoord 2-0 Rijeka  
Fiorentina 1-1 PAOK S'nika  
Guingamp 2-0 Dinamo Minsk  
Leg Warsaw 2-1 Metalist  
Lokeren 1-1 Trabzonspor  
Napoli 3-0 Young Boys  

Footer 365

Premier League: Gus Poyet challenges Sunderland to be the first team to beat Chelsea

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has challenged his players to become the first team to beat Chelsea this season.

Brandao jailed over headbutt on Motta

Brazilian striker Brandao jailed and fined 20,000 euros (£15,850) for headbutting Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Motta.

Premier League: Arsenal's Jack Wilshere has ankle surgery and will be out for around three months

Arsenal will be without Jack Wilshere for around three months after the midfielder underwent ankle surgery.

Mail Box

Arsenal Fans Are Full Of Hope Again...

Arsenal fans have been sucked back into believing Wenger can bring the glory years back after beating Borussia Dortmund. Plus, more on Liverpool's worrying decline...

Makes Sense To Make Gerrard Liverpool Manager

That's the thoughts of one Mailboxer, who wants Jamie Carragher as defensive coach. Plus views on Arsenal, Malmo v Juventus, Alexis Sanchez & tremendous improvement...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property