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MATCH REPORT: ANDERLECHT 1, SPURS 1

Posted on 6 December 2007  - 12:00

Dimitar Berbatov provided the cool head needed to book our place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup with the penalty to secure a 1-1 draw at Anderlecht on Thursday night.

Dimitar Berbatov provided the cool head needed to book our place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup with the penalty to secure a 1-1 draw at Anderlecht on Thursday night.

On as a second half substitute, Berba calmy slotted home the spot kick won by Jermaine Jenas as keeper Daniel Zitka dived the other way in the 71st minute. The point means we'll finish second place at worst in Group H with the final round of matches to follow on December 19.

It was just what the doctor ordered on a rain-soaked night in Belgium as the home side took the lead two minutes earlier, Bart Goor slotting home from 16 yards.

There were a couple of changes to the starting line-up from the team that took on Birmingham on Sunday, with Lee Young-Pyo drafted in for the injured Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone taking the place of Younes Kaboul. It was naturally not a straight swap as it was Didier Zokora who took up position at centre half.

Darren Bent retained his place in the side, this time in a two-pronged attack alongside Robbie Keane - featuring in his final game before serving a three-match suspension.

There was not a huge amount of meaningful activity in the opening 15 minutes as the teams sized each other up, as well as attempting to get used to the new UEFA ball - which seemed to fly around a bit.

Mbo Mpenza nearly stole a march on Lee midway through the half, but his touch was heavy and Paul Robinson was able to advance and collect before Jermaine Jenas issued Daniel Zitka with his first assignment of the game with a low drive that the goalkeeper foiled.

Robinson denied Roland Jahasz with a similar smother at the other end ten minutes before the break as Anderlecht increased the intensity slightly, although it was Jermaine Jenas who received the first caution of the evening after 41 minutes.

The home side did manage to rouse their supporters just ahead of half-time when Martin Wasilewski forced Robinson into action and Nicolas Frutos looked set to profit from the rebound but failed to capitalise and shot wide.

In truth, it was a poor half in which both sides displayed little creativity or, apart from late on, looked like altering the scoreboard.

Keane did test Zitka in the opening moments of the second half and Pascal Chimbonda seized on the loose ball but could not break the deadlock. Robinson then ensured parity remained with a smart block to deny the rampaging threat of Frutos, who made a powerful run into the area. An Mpenza surge followed and this time it was an excellent challenge from Zokora that quelled the potential danger.

Berbatov entered the stage in the 58th minute, taking the place of Keane, and it was the Bulgarian who stepped up to take charge of a free-kick 66 minutes in after the felling of Steed Malbranque. Zitko, however, was equal to the challenge.

Just two minutes later though, Anderlecht snatched the lead when an Mpenza cross from the right was not dealt with by Michael Dawson or Jenas and Bart Goor was able to steer past Robinson.

A quick response was called for and we didn't have to wait too long - just a couple of minutes. Jenas was bought down in the area and the referee pointed spot-wards to the despair of the home support and Berbatov, cool as you like, slotted his penalty past Zitka.

Jermain Defoe came on for Bent but it was Robinson who made the next significant contribution with a superb stop to deny the substitute Cyril Thereau.

Typically sharp off the bench, JD then tested Zitka twice, the home keeper producing a smart save to tip the second effort over.

That was just about that - our last moment of concern as a corner bobbled around - and the whistle signalled further progress in the competition. The only worrying note Young-Pyo Lee's departure on a stretcher after a clash of heads.