Tottenham 0-1 Real Madrid

Spurs target second season in UCL

April 14, 2011

Harry Redknapp watched Tottenham's epic Champions League adventure come to an end on Wednesday night before challenging his players to do it all over again by pipping Manchester City to fourth place in the Premier League.

Heurelho Gomes has to endure the taunts of the fans after bundling the ball into his own net.
PA PhotosHeurelho Gomes has to endure the taunts of the fans after bundling the ball into his own net.

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Manager Redknapp admitted Spurs faced an "impossible task" to overturn last week's 4-0 first leg deficit and, despite his side's best efforts, there was no miracle comeback at White Hart Lane.

Indeed, Heurelho Gomes' howler gifted Madrid a 1-0 victory that saw them cruise into the semi-finals, where they will play arch-rivals Barcelona in a mouthwatering tie.

Tottenham were left to reflect on an unforgettable first season in the competition, which saw them beat both Milan giants before coming up short against the nine-time European champions.

Redknapp said: "We've seen some great football in the Champions League this year, home and away.

First season in the Champions League, to come as far as we have and to play the way we have played throughout the run has been great for everybody. It's been a great experience for the players and myself. We've all enjoyed it very much."

He added: "It's very difficult to retain that top-four spot but that's something we've got to aim to do at Tottenham. We've got to be up there every year. We should be.

"If we can make the top four again, it would be a great achievement. It will be even harder this year than it was last year because of the improvement Man City have made.

"I still think we've got a big chance. We've got tough games. We've got Arsenal here next week, then we've got Chelsea, we've got to go to Man City.

"But they're great games to look forward to and it's good to be in there playing these games and having something to play for still. It's better than sitting 12th in the league.

"It's got the makings of a good end of season again."

Redknapp claimed before the second leg that his side needed a miracle to progress.

"Going down to 10 men away from home made it an impossible task for us," he said after Wednesday night's game, refusing to criticise Gomes' blunder, which compounded his mistake for the opening goal at the Bernabeu.

"The goal was disappointing but the goalkeeper's been great for us and he's made saves that he's had no right to make in the past. He's made a rare mistake but that's how it goes."

Spurs did their best to ensure the game was not a dead rubber and saw three penalty appeals turned down in the first half, with Xabi Alonso's challenge on Luka Modric looking a certain spot-kick.

"I thought that it was a foul on Modric for sure," said Redknapp. "But sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't. I sometimes wonder what the guy behind the goal is doing there. He must be there for some reason but I still haven't worked out why."