Werder Bremen 2-2 Tottenham

Redknapp bristles at suggestions of Spurs naivety

September 14, 2010

Harry Redknapp reacted angrily to suggestions his Tottenham side had been taught another Champions League lesson after they threw away a two-goal lead to draw their Group A opener at Werder Bremen.

Peter Crouch heads home Tottenham's second goal
GettyImagesPeter Crouch: Has scored four European goals for Tottenham this season.

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Spurs threatened to romp to victory at the Weserstadion after a Petri Pasanen own goal and a Peter Crouch header put them in control before two more good chances went begging.

But a crazy four-minute spell either side of half-time saw Hugo Almeida and Marko Marin draw Bremen level before both sides each wasted glorious opportunities to win the game.

The performance was almost a mirror image of Spurs' play-off round first leg at Young Boys, which saw them fall 3-0 down before scoring two vital away goals. Both the club and Redknapp are rookies at this level but he bristled at talk he or his players may need to learn something from tonight's game.

"What lessons can I learn because they score? What can I do?'' Redknapp said. "How can they learn lessons? We're always talking about lessons - 'Did you learn a lesson? Was it a lesson in Champions League football?'

"No, it's a game of football. We're 2-0 up; they've got a goal out of nothing - it happens. It could happen at Hackney Marshes on Saturday afternoon.

"We went away to play Young Boys of Bern, we went 3-0 down. We came back and got two goals back that won the tie for us. It happens in football. If we play like that every game, we won't go too far wrong.''

Indeed, Redknapp insisted his side could not have played better than they did for the opening 43 minutes. "It was a perfect 43 minutes,'' he said. "If we'd have been three or four goals up, it would have been a fair reflection of the play.

"From never having a shot or bothering the goalkeeper, they suddenly found themselves 2-1 and they had something to go for. They got that goal when, really, they were struggling to live with us and it gave them a lift.''

"What can you do? I can't be angry. Yes, frustration. We came here for an away game in a very difficult place to come and play. That first half was as good as you could wish to see from us. Barcelona might be better than that, but that was as good as Tottenham can do.''

Spurs' decision to field a 4-5-1 formation paid dividends early on but the formation relied heavily on Rafael van der Vaart, who began to struggle with an injury and was withdrawn shortly after half-time.

Redknapp revealed the Netherlands midfielder had injured his calf and will be monitored ahead of Saturday's Premier League game at Wolves. "We got him off before he actually got a tear,'' Redknapp said.

Bremen boss Thomas Schaaf was at a loss to explain his side's dismal first-half display, which followed Saturday's impressive goalless Bundesliga draw at Bayern Munich.

"I constantly ask myself how can something like this happen after such a great game in Munich last weekend,'' he said. "We just have to look at the first half of what happened today. How can something like this happen?

"Then you have to remember that we have a great team, a team that has great qualities and that never gives up. So I'm like the result tonight; I'm 'drawn' in my opinion.''