This evening, Harry Redknapp became the first English manager to take an English side to the quarter finals of the Champions League as his Tottenham Hotspur side held AC Milan to a 0-0 in the second leg of their last 16 meeting.
Tottenham Hotspur came into their second leg at White Hart Lane with a 1-0 lead thanks to a late winner from Peter Crouch at the San Siro. This evening, there was a lot of last ditch defending in the first half that included William Gallas clearing Robinho’s deflected shot off the line. Gomes was forced into a few key saves in the first half and from Robinho in particular in the second half when the Brazilian’s initial shot was parried and follow up scrambled behind.
Sandro was a key player in front of their back four, making a number of interceptions around his own box and in Tottenham’s half. Calm on the ball, he played simple passes not to put his team into danger, except for the occasional run into Milan’s half, which thankfully didn’t prove costly.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was kept quiet throughout the match while Pato was limited to long range efforts – one notable shot hitting the side netting that the Milan fans thought had given their side the lead as the temporarily celebrated (along with Luca Antonini on the pitch throwing his hands in the air).
Tottenham are joined in the quarter finals with German side Schalke 04, who eliminated Valencia this evening. Last night Shakhtar Donetsk eliminated AS Roma, leaving Inter Milan as Italy’s only remaining side left in European competition this season. They face a tough test against Bayern Munich next week; a rematch of last year’s final.
In some controversial style, Barcelona eliminated Arsenal last night. The Gunners cruelly reduced to 10 men with over half hour to go in Camp Nou following two soft yellow cards to Robin van Persie, whom few expected to play the whole 90 minutes anyway 😉 Arsenal lead on aggregate for 47 minutes of the 55 that the game was 11 versus 11. Barcelona once again helped out by a favourable red card decision, thinking back to the days of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea versus Frank Rijkaard’s Barca.
The four remaining Champions League second round matches take place next week. Barcelona are 11/8 favourites.