Sheriff Tirapol 0-2 Tottenham Post Match Review

The Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas heaped praise on Jermain Defoe after the striker equalled Martin Chivers’ club record of 22 European goals. A deflected effort helped to secure his team’s hard-fought win at Sheriff Tiraspol, and put Spurs on the threshold of qualification for the Europa League knockout stages.

It was Defoe’s sixth goal in the competition this season and Chivers, who was part of Tottenham’s Uefa Cup-winning side of 1972, had said in the buildup that Defoe deserves to break his record. And Villas-Boas was full of praise after he equalled it.

“It is some achievement,” the Portuguese said. “It will be another great achievement for him. I am sure he will achieve it. Let’s not celebrate it before it happens, but it will be a great record for him and the club. It was another great performance by Jermain.”

Defoe had also scored in Spurs’ earlier wins at Tbilisi and Moscow, which had been relative cakewalks in comparison to the 2,742-mile round trip to face Sheriff in the communist state of Transnistria. Despite having its own currency, police, army and border guards, the region remains unrecognised by any sovereign nations and to all intents and purposes is considered part of Moldova, whose league they have won 11 times since 2000.

Defoe’s goal came just at the right time for Spurs, as the home side were seriously threatening to level the scores. Jan Vertonghen had given them the lead after 12 minutes, but his fellow defender Vlad Chiriches was forced to make a fine block at full stretch to prevent Henrique equalising moments later. Cadu then had a goal disallowed and both Ismail Isa and Richardinho came close as Sheriff pushed for a leveller only for Defoe to score shortly after Aaron Lennon had struck a post.

“They had some great opportunities on the counterattack,” Villas-Boas added. “I think in the counterattack, you have to recognise that they were excellent. The game could have easily gone to 1-1 as after we scored they had so many chances to level the score. They looked good on the counter-attack, had some great moments and we have to recognise that.

“A draw would be a fair result, but the second goal is always important in games like this, as both teams were creating. We were fortunate to get the second goal to kill the game, but it could have gone the other way.”

The victory leaves Spurs top of Group K with maximum points and five clean sheets from as many games in the Europa League. They could even have secured a place in the last 32 but Anzhi’s 1-0 defeat of Tromso means Spurs will have to wait for Sheriff’s visit on 7 November.

“It was not easy,” Villas-Boas added. “I think we deserved to take the lead but they counterattacked extremely dangerously. In general we did enough to win the game and get to nine points, which was the objective so we can achieve qualification at the next game.”


  1. jon64 says:

    do you have a twitter that i can follow

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