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Benji on special strike

Posted on 28 November 2014  - 09:00

Benji Stambouli was all smiles after his first goal for the club sealed a 1-0 victory against Partizan Belgrade and booked our place in the last 32 of the Europa League.

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The French midfielder started and finished the move in the 49th minute, initially releasing Roberto Soldado on goal and following in to fire home when Roberto’s shot came back off the post.

Benji might well have doubled his tally as we dominated the second half and Partizan goalkeeper Milan Lukac denied Roberto from point-blank range, Harry Kane and Erik Lamela as we racked up 19 efforts at goal.

“It was special feeling to score my first goal and at White Hart Lane it was even more special as I could celebrate the goal with the fans,” reflected the man from Montpellier.

“I gave the ball to Robbie and followed the action. That’s what the coach has told us, to follow the action. Robbie shot, I followed in and I just had to finish.

“It’s never easy to play against a team who can’t progress and Partizan played freely. It was difficult but we defended well and attacked well, especially in the second half.”

Victory moved us to the top of Group C with Besiktas held by Asteras Tripolis and we will now travel to Istanbul on December 11 for a straight shoot-out for top spot - a draw would now do it for us.

However, Benji insisted: “We will go to Besiktas to win. It’s our mentality to win and we go to win.”

First up though it’s a return to the Lane and a return to Premier League action against Everton on Sunday.

The Toffees beat Wolfsburg - high-flying in the Bundesliga - in Germany last night to clinch top spot in Europa League Group H.

“It’s another big game,” added Benji. “They also played in Europe and it’s a tough game against a good side - the kind of game where we have to show our quality.”