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Posted on 25 October 2007  - 12:00

A late onslaught not unlike the recent 125 match against Villa couldn't prevent the second European home defeat in our history against Getafe on Thursday night.

A late onslaught not unlike the recent 125 match against Villa couldn't prevent the second European home defeat in our history against Getafe on Thursday night.

More than comfortable in possession, the Spanish side cut us open in the 70th minute - Braulio flicking home Cortes' cross - to inflict a 2-1 loss in this first match in the group stages of the UEFA Cup.

Michael Dawson's header struck the crossbar as we threw all-bar the kitchen sink at the Spaniards but on this occasion, it wasn't to be.

Getafe mustered a couple of attacking sorties early that resulted in Radek Cerny getting a feel of the ball and another flashing just wide, our first move of real note came on 16 minutes when Tom Huddlestone threaded through to Defoe and the striker attempted to round Ustari, but the visiting keeper did well to keep a strong arm and denied a likely goal.

Just two minutes later the lead was secured when a deep cross from Pascal Chimbonda was nodded back into the danger area by Dimitar Berbatov and this time Defoe was able to pounce and nod home.

Sadly the lead only lasted a further two minutes as a flighted free-kick from Granero deceived everyone and flew into the back of the net. The referee could have thought De La Red got something on the ball, but replays were pretty inconclusive.

Berbatov then had a goal chalked off for offside when he was clearly a yard on before, six minutes ahead of the interval, a Cortes cross led to a smart volley from Albin flying just wide of Cerny's left upright.

There followed a blow when the restored Anthony Gardner was taken off on a stretcher with what looked like a nasty ankle injury. Michael Dawson was drafted in as a replacement for the unlucky Anthony.

A great chance was almost fashioned via an excellent combination between Huddlestone and Defoe in first half stoppage time, but on this occasion the Defoe radar was a little askew.

The lead was nearly re-taken in the 53rd minute when Berbatov teed up Steed Malbranque for a piledriver that was foiled by Ustari before the Bulgarian headed wide with the goal gaping. Defoe then flashed over a shot as marginal authority in the second half was being assumed. Signorino attempted a similar effort to Defoe at the other end with a similar outcome.

The two teams continued to cancel each other out as the half progressed until the 69th minute when a low cross from Cortes was clever guided into the net by the in-step of Braulio.

Promising build-up play was being let down by an innaccurate final ball from both teams until that point, so it was time for the entry of Robbie Keane in place of Malbranque for the final 20 minutes. He was followed by the introduction of Teemu Tainio for Didier Zokora.

Huddlestone did well to drag the ball out of the sky and drill in a shot as we entered the last 15 minutes with another defeat looking on the cards. Defoe then hunted down a Huddlestone flick and got the ball around Ustari before being diverted by the defender.

The pressure was being piled on - as described earlier, just like the Villa game - but this time half-chances just wouldn't fall the right way. Shots were blocked, headers went wide, defenders seemed to get into the way of everything and when Dawson's header struck the woodwork, you just felt it wasn't our night.

Anderlecht beat Hapoel Tel Aviv in the other group match tonight and we travel to Israel next time out on November 8.