Vertonghen reveals half-time team talk

England expects and so Tottenham delivered.

Tim Sherwood celebrates
Tim Sherwood celebrates a Spurs fightback

Arsene Wenger has said on Wednesday that despite the poor set of results he believed it was too early to judge whether English clubs were in decline in European competition. It is doubtful that he will be pleased that bitter rivals Tottenham backed up his point.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City have all failed to win in European competition over the last couple of weeks and you can add English Premier League side Swansea to that list. It was left to Spurs to put that statistic right.

A sensational 3-1 win after going behind and a rousing reception for the departing Jermain Defoe made it a night to remember, a typical Tottenham European night, always so special at White Hart Lane.

Spurs now face Benfica in the last 16, the Portuguese side Spurs last played in the European Cup semi-final in 1962.

Related Post: A Typical Tottenham Night

Manager Quotes

Adebayor and Sherwood salute
Adebayor and Sherwood salute
Tim Sherwood had called for character and Spurs had to show it, he was delighted afterwards.

"I was delighted with the character.

"I have got a liberty to question their character when they play like they did tonight.

"After conceding so early in the second half it was a real blow for us but it was all based on character and desire.

"I always felt we needed to score three goals to go through tonight.

"It was a bit of a nothing game in the first half but we opened them up time and again in the second half.

"You can only learn from experiences," he said.

"This will be a good example of that, many of you probably thought we were dead and buried but the lads really showed belief.

"It was electric out there after and it was only us who were going to keep scoring.

"It is a good platform, a good learning curve and something we can point to in the future.

"I was saying to Jermain 'have you been out on the pitch yet?' He told me he had but I told him to get out there again to whip up a frenzy.

"He deserves it, he is a legend, a credit to the football club and the English game.

"Did he? I haven't seen it," Sherwood said when asked about Soldado's indiscretion.

"I think the guy (Zozulya) sticks his nut in his (Vertonghen's) nose so you have got no chance of staying on the pitch when you do that have you?

"I didn't see any decisions which were too out of the way, I thought he refereed the game well. I think Dnipro played a good game and are a good side, they may go on and win that division.

Dnipro boss and former Spurs manager Juande Ramos felt the red card was harsh and changed the game in Spurs favour.

"It was a pity that such a beautiful game was affected by the controversial decisions from the referee.

"We played a good game and controlled the ball with confidence. We scored and then I believe the referee was strict with the red card and that inspired the Tottenham side."

Player Quotes

Emmanuel Adebayor took the plaudits for his two goals, he has now scored 11 goals in 15 games, and said in interview afterwards:

Adebayor 2 goal hero
Adebayor 2 goal hero celebrates his winner
"I'm very glad at being on the pitch, scoring goals, playing very well for my team, helping my team and I just have to keep the focus, keep going, keep playing well," he told ITV Sport.

"I want to say big thanks for the new gaffer, who came in and gave me my confidence back, gave me the stage to play on.

"Everything's going well for me, for him and for the club.

"We just have to keep focused and keep going to the end of the season."

Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembélé is not afraid of the Benfica clash Spurs have next and has his sights set on lifting the trophy.

"Of course you want to win something and if we can take this trophy then we will with both hands. In the first half we were OK. We did not start the second half great, then I think we woke up and did well. As a team right now we have confidence, we're playing much better and everyone is happy.

Benfica will be the best team we'll have faced in the Europa League, but we have a good team too and if we play like we did at the end we don't have to be scared. We have a lot of respect for them, but I think they'll respect us too. I prefer to play away first, but that is no excuse. We have to perform at home and make it easier away."

Tottenham captain Michael Dawson also looked forward to the next round and felt Adebayor deserved his goals.

"Ade thoroughly deserved those two goals tonight – he's certainly a man on fire. Benfica's going to be a great tie, it's a massive game and one we're really looking forward to. We've taken this competition seriously from day one and played lots of games to get where we are. We look forward to Benfica coming here – hopefully we'll have another full house, another entertaining night and we'll come out on top again."

Dawson's centre-back partner Jan Vertonghen revealed Tim Sherwood's half-time team talk and felt Spurs won without playing their typical game.

"Dnipro have a very good team. Our first half wasn't good enough and their goal forced us to push everything to 100%, then our first goal got us back in the game. At half-time we were told to put them under more pressure, get more crosses in and be a bit more secure in possession. We played quicker from the back and tried to look for Ade and Soldado earlier. Overall, we wanted to play better, create more pressure and dominate like we can; this wasn't a typical display from us."

The Spurs Game Stats

Spurs 66% possession, 13 attempts on goal, 4 on target, 3 goals, 3 off target, 6 blocked, 3 corners, 2 offside decisions (one stopping a Soldado goal), 3 yellow cards, 17 fouls committed, 10 received, 581 passes, 487 completed.

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