Tag: Benjamin Stambouli

Europa League: Spurs 1-0 Partizan Belgrade

Tottenham secured their place in the Europa League knockout stage with victory over Partizan Belgrade, but their achievement was overshadowed by three first-half pitch intruders.

The match was suspended by the referee for 10 minutes just before the break following the third incident.

Benjamin Stambouli scored a second-half winner when he followed up a Roberto Soldado shot that hit the post.

Soldado also had a close-range shot blocked by goalkeeper Milan Lukac.

It proved another frustrating night in front of goal for Tottenham’s Spanish striker. Aside from those two efforts, he also failed to connect with Erik Lamela’s teasing ball across the six-yard area.

The 29-year-old’s failure to score means it is only two goals in 13 appearances this season, and 13 in total since he signed at the start of last season for ¬£26m.

However, the home crowd recognised that he was one of better Spurs performers on the night by applauding when he came off in the second half – and he played an integral part in the goal.

The 49th-minute breakthrough resulted from the best move of the match. Soldado played a deft one-two with Stambouli before firing a shot against the upright. The French midfielder followed up with a crashing finish past Lukac – his first goal for the club.

Soldado was more accurate when he managed to get hold of one of the three intruders who invaded the White Hart Lane pitch.

The separate incidents happened in the first half, with referee Yevhen Arnovskiy bringing the players off after the third occurrence. Following a brief conference, the players re-emerged to play what remained of the first half.

After the break, Mauricio Pochettino’s men were much improved. The early goal lifted them, and Paulinho and Lamela went close with shots from distance, while top scorer Harry Kane, who replaced Soldado, had a free-kick pushed away by Lukac.

Group C’s bottom side Partizan troubled their opponents in the first half with efforts from Danko Lazovic and Nikola Ninkovic, although the closest they came was in the closing stages when France keeper Hugo Lloris clawed away Vladimir Volkov’s header.

Read more at BBC Sport