Having conceded six goals against Blackpool and Wolves and facing Pato, Robinho and Ibrahimovic, only a brave man would have bet on Spurs keeping a clean sheet in the second leg of the Champions League round of sixteen. That is, of course, exactly what transpired and Spurs now find themselves in the hat for the quarter-final draw. There has already been a lot of talk about avoiding Barcelona in the last eight but by the same token, none of the teams remaining in the competition will relish the prospect of a visit to White Hart Lane.
To not let in a goal in either game against the Serie A leaders - who had won three on the bounce following the first leg - is a notable achievement, and two players deserve special credit for it. William Gallas had, by his standards, a poor game at Molineux but all of his know-how was to the fore against AC Milan, exemplified not least in his goal-line clearance from Robinho's deflected effort. Over the two legs, however, the outstanding performer was Sandro. He lined up alongside Wilson Palacios at the San Siro and his more experienced colleague was given credit - no doubt deservedly so - for settling the young Brazilian's nerves. Back at the Lane, however, Sandro was left on his own in the holding role and produced a courageous display that belied his 21 years. He was undoubtedly Spurs' man of the match and, had it not been for the presence of Seedorf, would have been the best player on the pitch.
After the game Harry Redknapp said that "Sandro was immense in midfield, for a young lad with limited experience of the Champions League", something of an understatement given that Sandro has had a grand total of two games in the competition. No doubt Harry’s words will have particular resonance for another player who has always seemed to be one of the manager's favourites. It will be very interesting to see where Tom Huddlestone fits into Redknapp’s plans - and into a midfield that arguably now selects itself - when he returns from injury. Huddlestone can certainly pick a pass but also has something of a tendency to go missing when Spurs are up against it. He possesses a powerful shot but 14 goals in 170 appearances for the club is hardly a statistic to set the pulses racing. Where he really suffers in comparison with Sandro is his reluctance to mix-it with the opposition, despite his considerable - and perhaps occasionally too considerable - physical presence. There is plenty of room for debate, especially when players are fit, about who should line-up for the team at the front and at the back. Spurs certainly have an embarrassment of riches in the middle of the field. Yet when van der Vaart plays off a lone striker, it is now hard to see past a first-choice four behind him of Sandro, Modric, Bale and Lennon.
Harry reflected on passage to the next round in typical avuncular style, "looking forward to getting home and having a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich" and describing Spurs' success to date in the competition as "an impossible dream". Whatever the draw on March 18, who's to say that the Champions League dream will not continue?
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