Tottenham Hotspur advance in Champions League play

Spurs win 1-0 aggregate against Italian power AC Milan to move into quarterfinals

Tottenham Hotspur advances to Champions League quarterfinal

Photo Credit: 
Jamie McDonald / Getty

A goalless draw against AC Milan sent the Lane into raptures and the team into the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Peter Crouch's golden goal and that wonderful performance in the first leg at the San Siro proved enough to topple the Italian giants and Serie A leaders.

Who would have thought it? After all the goals in the group stages and pre-match thoughts of another cavalier display, it was a gritty performance full of defensive endeavour that took us into the final eight of Europe's elite competition.

Of course there were scares, but not too many.

Indeed, the tension etched all over the faces of the White Hart Lane faithful as time ticked away was more to do with Milan's possession than chances created.

Milan needed a goal at least, but for all that possession, Gomes was only seriously tested three times throughout and only made one save of note in the second half.

A lot of the play took place in front of our back four as Milan probed for a way through, but thanks to another magnificent performance from Michael Dawson and William Gallas centrally, backed-up by the rest of the lads with Sandro particularly outstanding, there was simply no way through.

Harry Redknapp made four changes from Sunday's draw at Wolves.

Rafa van der Vaart joined Peter Crouch up front, Vedran Corluka recovered from the ankle injury sustained at the San Siro and Aaron Lennon was back on the right of midfield.

Alan Hutton, Jermaine Jenas, Jermain Defoe and Roman Pavlyuchenko were all back on the bench. They were joined by Ledley King, stripped for action for the first time since Fulham away in October.

As expected, it was an electric start. Van der Vaart poked just wide, Dawson denied Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Van der Vaart almost got onto Crouch's knockdown and Pato's cross zipped along the six-yard line - all inside the first eight minutes.

The teams continued to trade punches. Gomes palmed away Ibrahimovic's 30-yard free-kick, Crouch looped a header just wide and Dawson blocked Pato's piledriver, still only 22 minutes on the clock.

But the visitors started to get a grip on possession and we were on the back foot for long periods for the remainder of the half.

The biggest scare came when Gallas had to race back to volley Robinho's looping effort off the line on 26 minutes. Gomes also got down well to deny Pato low to his left.

At the other end, Van der Vaart curled a free-kick onto the roof of the net, the final action of note of the half.

Our best chance arrived in the opening seconds of the second half. Lennon hit a lovely, flat cross from the left and found Crouch completely free, but the striker opted to try and nod back across goal.

Mathieu Flamini angled a shot just wide after another Dawson block fell his way and we were almost the architects of our own downfall on 65 minutes when Gomes' throw to van der Vaart was intercepted and the keeper was eventually forced to save down to his right from Robinho.

Gareth Bale entered the action for van der Vaart on 67 minutes, but there were few charges down the left for the Welshman. Jenas followed him on for Pienaar.

As time ticked away, Milan refused to panic and tried to open us up with short-sharp passes, but there was always a white shirt in the way.

Pato drove a half-chance into the side-netting on 77 minutes and the manager made his final change soon after, Pavlyuchenko on for Crouch.

Pato lashed high and wide with a minute remaining and the final scare saw Robinho's shot deflected just over. The referee blew for a foul from the corner and the rest of three three minutes added time was spent in the Milan half - perfect.

So the Champions League dream continues - the next date of note, the draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals on March 18.

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Sandro, Modric, Pienaar (Jenas, 70); Van der Vaart (Bale, 67); Crouch (Pavlyuchenko, 83). Unused subs: Cudicini, King, Hutton, Defoe.

AC Milan (4-3-2-1): Abbiati; Jankulovski (Antonini, 70), Thiago Silva, Nesta, Abate; Flamini (Strasser, 87), Boateng (Merkel, 76), Seedorf; Pato, Robinho; Ibrahimovic. Unused subs: Amelia, Papastathopulos, Oddo, Yepes.

Attendance: 34,320.

Referee: Mr F De Bleeckere.