Tottenham Hotspur supporters have a lot to be proud of based on their team’s performance Tuesday night against AC Milan after their crucial 1-0 victory at San Siro. But despite playing AC Milan off the park in the first half, and winning the psychological warfare in the second half as well as keeping Milan at bay, Tottenham’s qualification into the Champions League round of eight is far from certain.
Tottenham sits in the driving seat for the second leg of their match at White Hart Lane on March 9. While Spurs have the all-important away goal and may be bolstered by the return to fitness of Gareth Bale, AC Milan will be desperate to beat Tottenham in North London. The advantage that Milan has is experience. With veteran players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Clarence Seedorf and Alessandro Nesta, they’ve been in similar situations before and they know the tie is still wide open.
For Tottenham and Harry Redknapp, this will be a huge test in the second leg. It’ll be a much different Milan side, I’m sure, in terms of how difficult they will be to beat. And having Gattuso banned from the match for an accumulation of yellow cards will probably help Milan more than it’ll hurt them. Gone will be the thug element and in will come a player who has more pace and composure.
Hats off to Redknapp, though, for playing Peter Crouch. At times Tuesday, it was like little and large on the San Siro pitch with Crouch towering over Gattuso. It was definitely a masterclass decision by Redknapp that made a tremendous difference in this game.
With the supporters at White Hart Lane behind them, and hopefully Bale back from injury, Tottenham’s best bet against Milan in the second leg will be to attack, attack and attack. With Bale on the left wing and Aaron Lennon on the right, their pace should open up the wings and cause havoc in the box when their crosses come in, which will open Milan up and definitely put the pressure on the Italian side.
But if Milan can get a goal against Spurs and manage to stop Tottenham from scoring, then the game will be wide open. No matter what happens, I for one am looking forward to the second leg.
What do you think? Is Tottenham’s qualification into the Champions League quarter-finals in the bag or not? And if they get that far, do you think they can get into the semi-finals or final based on how they’ve beaten tough opponents in the Champions League thus far? Share your opinion in the comments section below.