Spurs vs. Lazio: Spurs denied in 0-0 thriller
Tottenham fans across the country will be waking up today wondering how their team failed to secure victory last night at White Hart Lane.
This game followed on from the Young Boys vs. Liverpool match, but had little in common with the far from watertight display in Bern.
Twice they had the ball in the back of the net legitimately through Caulker and Dempsey, only to have one crossed off for a foul that wasn’t, and the other ruled out for being offside when Dempsey was level with the line.
It was not a one-sided show, nor was it ever likely to be with the international class Lazio has in its team, and when Alvaro Gonzalez slammed a volley into the bar, Spurs knew they had their work cut out for them.
But young talents Steven Caulker and Andros Townsend performed superbly, showcasing their abilities in an attempt to gain promotion in to the first team on a more regular basis.
Moussa Dembélé also shows traits that, if shown regularly, will see him draw comparisons with Yaya Touré and Abou Diaby due to his powerful runs in the middle of the park and his excellent ball retention.
Hugo Lloris made his first Tottenham start and will have done both his reputation and his place in the squad no harm at all after keeping a strong clean-sheet.
Aaron Lennon, however, did not look comfortable for most of the night, twice neglecting to shoot when it would have been the better option, and the winger looks to be somewhat lacking in confidence.
This confidence will not have been boosted by the growing whispers of racist abuse that was supposedly dished out by the Lazio fans.
If indeed true, then it is another case of their fans living up to their disgraceful reputation and it will be interesting to see how UEFA deal with them in the long-run.
On a brighter note for the Italians, midfielder Mauri looked in inspired form and one feels if more of his team-mates had been on the same wave-length, then a different result could well have been on the cards.
I think it’s fair to say that Villas Boas will be quietly pleased with this first Europa outing, as it is abundantly clear that he is still trying to find his best starting XI and the best formation to play them in.
Adam Appleton, football correspondent