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Krak-ed it!

Posted on 18 September 2008  - 12:00

Darren Bent's winner proved to be the difference in a closely-fought UEFA Cup first round first leg tie against Wisla Krakow at White Hart Lane.

Krak-ed it!

Darren Bent's winner proved to be the difference in a closely-fought UEFA Cup first round first leg tie against Wisla Krakow at White Hart Lane.

Debutant Fraizer Campbell's cross set up the striker for his third goal of the season, which gives us a vital lead going into the return leg in Poland in a fortnight's time.

David Bentley had given us a first half lead before Tomas Jirsak instantly hit back for the visitors - but the most important thing is a first victory of the 2008/09 campaign for Juande Ramos' side.

From the very first minute, Bentley seemed the man most likely to make something happen for us when he put in a teasing cross from the right that was cut out by goalkeeper Mariusz Pawelek.

The England midfielder was then the provider of two Spurs openings. On 24 minutes, he found Jonathan Woodgate at the back post with an in-swinging corner, but the defender's towering header was saved.

Bentley then released Bent one-on-one with the keeper on 31 minutes, but Pawelek was brave to come off his line and cut out the danger.

However, it seemed only a matter of time before Bentley himself did the damage, and he broke the deadlock two minutes later, sweeping home-left footed from 12 yards having been found by Aaron Lennon.

Prior to this, Wisla had created very little, with only Radoslaw Sobolewski and Rafal Boguski having attempts at goal, neither of which troubled Heurelho Gomes.

So it certainly came as somewhat of a shock when the visitors responded almost instantly to our opener.

Boguski beat Gareth Bale on the right-hand side and crossed for Pawel Brozek, who delicately touched into the path of the on-running Jirsak to finish.

However, it was us who took the momentum into the second half and both Bentley and Giovani Dos Santos went close before Bent had a goal wrongly disallowed.

Bale played in Jermaine Jenas down the left-hand side, and his ball across the face of goal was easily tapped in by the striker.

But the flag had already been raised for offside against JJ, even though replays clearly showed he had timed his run to perfection.

We needed fresh impetus, and Juande Ramos found it in the form of new boy Campbell, who he introduced from the bench on 57 minutes.

Straight away the young striker showed his determination, charging down goal-kicks and tracking back to win possession.

Then, on 73 minutes, he beautifully controlled a long ball, beat his marker and put in an inch perfect cross for strike partner Bent to head home.

On loan from Manchester United for the season, he certainly had the desired impact on this encounter, and could have even had one himself on 77 minutes when Bale's shot was so nearly parried back out to him.

Nonetheless, it was job done for the night, although it will undoubtedly be a tough challenge in Krakow in a fortnight's time as we look to seal our places in the group stages of the competition.

But there can be no doubting the confidence boost a first win of the season could provide going into Sunday's Premier League clash with Wigan Athletic at The Lane.

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Gomes; Gunter (O'Hara, 57), Woodgate, King, Bale; Bentley, Zokora, Jenas, Lennon (Campbell, 57); Giovani (Assou-Ekotto, 70); Bent
Subs not used: Cesar, Huddlestone, Gilberto, Dawson

Wisla (4-4-1-1): Pawelek; Singlar, Baszczynski, Cleber, Diaz; Boguski (Malecki, 73), Sobolewski, Cantoro, Zienczuk; Jirsak (Lobodzinski, 61); Brozek (Niedzielan, 79)
Subs not used: Juszczyk, Marcelo, Glowacki, Barreto