Lazio 0 Tottenham 0: Anti-Semitic chants overshadow stalemate… as Spurs left facing Greek showdown for Europa progress
21:07 GMT, 22 November 2012
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Paul Gascoigne was given a hero's welcome in Rome's Olympic Stadium as the former Tottenham and Lazio midfielder was guest of honour for the two sides' Europa League clash.
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Tottenham could not deliver their battered and bruised fans victory over Lazio, but their Hugo Lloris-inspired draw at the Stadio Olimpico means they are one step closer to the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Their draw against the Rome-based club did not come without controversy, however, as Lazio fans chanted 'Juden Tottenham' at the away fans in an apparent anti-Semitic jibe at the end of a troubled 24 hours for the visiting fans.
One Tottenham fan was in hospital tonight after being stabbed in the skull and thigh during an attack on a bar in the city centre in the early hours of this morning.
Too quick: Gareth Bale (centre) rounds goalkeeper Federico Marchetti (left) and Luis Pedro Cavanda (right)…
… before the Tottenham winger taps into an empty net in the fifth minute…
… but replays showed Bale was clearly ONSIDE as the pass was played through by Tom Carroll
Lazio: Marchetti, Cavanda, Biava, Ciani, Radu, Mauri, Gonzalez, Ledesma, Hernanes (Ederson 69), Lulic (Candreva 78), Kozak (Floccari 78).
Subs not used: Bizzarri, Scaloni, Onazi, Rozzi, Floccari.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton, Sigurdsson (Lennon 63), Sandro, Carroll (Dembele 76), Bale, Dempsey (Defoe 63), Adebayor.
Subs not used: Cudicini, Huddlestone, Dawson, Livermore.
Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (Spain).
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Lazio, and their icon Paul Gascoigne –
who was guest of honour here in the Italian capital – would have hoped
for the football to do the talking, but the apparent anti-Semitic
chanting will disappoint UEFA, who fined the club for monkey-chanting
during the reverse fixture in September.
Gascoigne's appearance on the pitch
had rekindled memories of a glorious era for Lazio and Spurs, but
tonight's tie proved to be anything but a classic.
Libor Kozak, making a rare start,
missed a hatful of chances for the hosts, but Lloris was equally
important in keeping Lazio at bay.
The Frenchman, chosen ahead of Brad
Friedel, denied Kozak twice in the first half and was a steady and
assuring presence throughout.
Tottenham rarely threatened – although Gareth Bale's early strike should not have been ruled out for offside.
But Panathinaikos' victory over
Maribor means Tottenham only have to draw their final game at home to
the Greeks next month to qualify.
Message: Lazio fans hold a banner reading 'Free Palestine' at the Stadio Olimpico
Not his day: Lazio's Libor Kozak holds his head in his hands after missing yet another chance
Denied: Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (left) rushes out to save at Kozak's feet
Gascoigne's emotional lap of honour
had whipped up the feelings of both sets of fans, and the game started
off with a bang for the away side.
Spurs should have been 1-0 up after
just four minutes when Bale latched on to Tom Carroll's through-ball and
rounded Federico Marchetti, but the linesman incorrectly ruled the goal
Tottenham continued to dominate and
went close when Bale picked out Gylfi Sigurdsson, but Stefan Radu
intervened to prevent the forward from scoring.
The home crowd inside the half-empty
Stadio Olimpico were surprisingly quiet in the opening quarter, but they
were brought to the edge of their seats in the 18th minute.
Heads up: Michael Ciani (centre) and Ederson jump for the ball with Jan Vertonghen (left) and Bale
Lloris, who was partly responsible for
a howler against Maribor two weeks ago, mis-judged Cristian Ledesma's
30-yard shot, which he palmed on to the bar. The former Lyon man quickly
made amends by getting to his feet and forcing Alvaro Gonzalez wide
with the follow-up.
Other than a dipping shot from Bale,
Spurs were struggling to get in to the game and they had Lloris to thank
for stopping them from going behind again moments later.
Kyle Walker's slip allowed Kozak to break through, but Lloris saved the striker's shot with his out-stretched leg.
Kozak missed a sitter on the half hour, nodding wide a Stefano Mauri cross from eight yards after losing his marker.
Clean sheet: Spurs keeper Lloris (centre) sees another home effort on goal miss its target
Lazio split the Spurs defence again
just before half-time to send Kozak through, but Lloris came to the
rescue again, storming off his line to clear.
Both sets of supporters sang
Gascoigne's name at half-time, but the football both sides produced
after the break was nowhere near the great man's standards.
Spurs were sloppy in possession and had Kozak to thank for his awful finishing.
No way past: Lazio's Cristian Ledesma (third left) hits his free-kick into the Spurs defensive wall
The 23-year-old latched on to a through-ball but he dragged his shot wide, much to the annoyance of the home fans.
It only took five more minutes for the
striker to miss his next chance. This time the Czech straight at Lloris
after being played in by a deft touch from Amauri.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas brought Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon off the bench to give them the cutting edge they lacked.
Ledesma bent a free-kick over the wall and just wide of Lloris' goal as Lazio continued to threaten.
What a player: Gascoigne (right) and Lazio president Claudio Lotito greet the fans before the match
Hero's welcome: Lazio fans wave a flag featuring former star Paul Gascoigne at the Stadio Olimpico
Villas-Boas then brought on Mousa Dembele for his first match in over a month as Tottenham looked to hold on for the point.
Lloris clattered in to a post as he
challenged for a cross with Mauri and then cleared off the line with six
minutes to go from Michael Ciani's header.