Panathinaikos 1 – 1 Tottenham: Dawson goes from hero to zero as Spurs drop more points
Tottenham would have been hoping the momentum from their scintillating win at Old Trafford at the weekend would carry them through this long trip to Greece.
All seemed to be set fair when Michael Dawson’s glancing header put them ahead after 35 minutes.
Hugo Lloris had little to do in the first half, as Tottenham carved out a few openings against a weak looking Panathinaikos side.
But with just over ten minutes left on the clock, a loss of concentration from Dawson allowed Toche a free run between the two centre-halves, and he applied a cool finish to level the game and steal a point.
Spurs should have had a very early penalty when Steven Caulker’s header from a Bale corner struck Andre Pinto on the arm after a seemingly purposeful movement towards the ball.
But the referee did give a free kick when Vertonghen was taken out by Christodoulopoulos, and Huddlestone delivered a fantastic ball to find Dawson’s head for the opener.
At full time, manager Andre Villas-Boas commented: “We could have put the game to bed. We were looking for a second goal and the whole team are disappointed because he had some good chances.”
Indeed the equaliser almost propelled the result towards the hosts; a Sandro clearance was required in the dying moments to stop a certain winner for Mavrias.
The result will teach Villas-Boas that, even at the group stages, the Europa league is no pushover and his team will have to improve its performance in order to progress in the competition and achieve the glories that Villas-Boas had at former club Porto.
Adam Appleton, football correspondent