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Mission accomplished!

Posted on 7 December 2010  - 12:00

It's mission accomplished in the Champions League - we go into the knockout stages as group winners after Tuesday night's 3-3 draw at FC Twente.

Mission accomplished!

It's mission accomplished in the Champions League - we go into the knockout stages as group winners after Tuesday night's 3-3 draw at FC Twente.

Six goals, a penalty, a bizarre own goal - it was another memorable night in Europe's elite competition at a freezing Grolsch Veste Stadium in Enschede.

And while all that was going on, Werder Bremen put the issue of who would top the group beyond doubt by beating Inter Milan 3-0 in Germany.

We can now look forward to the draw for the last 16 on Friday, December 17.

We certainly take our position at the top of the group on merit with one defeat in six group matches and three wins out of three at home.

We looked on the way to an away victory on Tuesday night after taking the lead no less than three times, Jermain Defoe looking back to his best with a double strike.

But the Dutch champions hit back on every occasion - including at spell of four goals in 17 minutes a the start of the second half.

Harry Redknapp made four changes to the team that drew at Birmingham on Saturday.

Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar, Jermaine Jenas and Roman Pavlyuchenko all came back in for Alan Hutton, Aaron Lennon, Luka Modric and Peter Crouch respectively. Hutton, Lennon and Crouch were on the bench, Modric sat it out after illness this week.

Heurelho Gomes was forced into two early saves, the first to his left to palm away Wout Brama's dipper, the second sharp reflexes to grasp the ball as Roberto Rosales' attempted cross came through a crowd of players.

Peter Wisgerhof and goalkeeper Sander Boschker then combined for one of those bizarre goals that is bound feature in future dvd compilations.

Wisgerhof slid the ball back to his keeper, who lined up his clearance only for the ball to bobble over his foot and trickle agonisingly home, 12 minutes on the clock.

Twente responded well and were awarded a penalty 10 minutes later.

At first sight it looked a little harsh on Assou-Ekotto, who was penalised for handling Rosales' shot, but the spot-kick was awarded and Landzaat slotted at the second attempt, the referee calling for a retake after he scored the first as well.

Boschker redeemed himself somewhat with two saves from Roman Pavlyuchenko in the space of a minute and Niko Kranjcar ended a fine move with a rasper just wide.

We then suffered an injury blow as Jenas limped off, replaced by Lennon.

Janko fired wide from a good position just before the break and Defoe turned the final chance of the half just over after Bale's run down the left.

The second half started with a flurry of goals.

It took just two minutes to take the lead again as Aaron Lennon picked out a reverse pass to Defoe, who finished in style from 10 yards.

That lead lasted nine minutes as full-back Rosario found himself in the box to power home Nacer Chadli's cross.

We hit back again just three minutes later. This was all down to Wilson Palacios' persistence, winning possession from Theo Janssen and then holding him off and charging into the box. His shot was saved, but Defoe was on hand to bury the rebound.

Five minutes later though and it was 3-3, Chadli finding the top corner with a sweet free-kick from 20 yards, Gomes no chance diving at full stretch.

Gomes made the most telling save of the final quarter, just managing to get his fingertips to Brama's curler.

We looked capable of winning it on the break as Bale and Lennon tore away in the final minutes, but the final pass just didn't go our way.

A draw was about right on the night though and thanks to Werder Bremen, the job was more than done!

FC Twente (4-3-3): Boschker; Rosales, Wisgerhof, Douglas, Tiendalli; Brama, Landzaat, Janssen; de Jong, Janko (Vujicevic, 73), Chadli. Subs: Mihaylov, Bengtsson, Parker, Buysse, Leugers, John.

Spurs (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Bassong, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Kranjcar (Crouch, 87), Palacios, Jenas (Lennon, 34), Bale; Defoe, Pavlyuchenko (Keane, 73). Subs: Cudicini, Hutton, Dawson, Giovani.

Goals: FC Twente - Landzaat 22 pen, Rosales 56, Chadli 64. Spurs - Wisgerhof 12 og, Defoe 47, 60.

Attendance: 24,000.

Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain).