Spurs win at AC Milan, Schalke draw in Spain

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BERLIN - Tottenham Hotspur Tuesday stunned AC Milan 1-0 in a Champions League first leg match in the round of the last 16, while Schalke 04 secured a good 1-1 draw at Valencia.

England forward Peter Crouch scored in Milan for the Premier League side, while Roberto Soldado scored for Valenica against Schalke, for whom Raul equalised - thereby establishing a record for the number of goals scored in European competition.

In Valencia, striker Jan Klaas Huntelaar nearly gave the visitors the lead early on when he found himself in space after just five minutes but from just five metres the Dutch international missed the ball completely.

The Bundesliga side was punished for the miss in the 17th minute when Aritz Aduriz intercepted a Schalke ball and layed-off to Jeremy Mathieu, whose cross into the middle was easily converted by Soldado.

Peer Kluge came agonizingly close to equalizing for Schalke with a powerful header that goalkeeper Vicente Guaita did well to palm against the cross-bar.

Raul crowned his return to Spain for the first time since leaving Real Madrid with an equalizer in the 64th minute after being fed the ball by compatriot Jurado.

It was the 71st goal in European competition for the former Spanish international, surpassing Filippo Inzaghi’s total by one.

Schalke were reduced to ten men in injury time when Lukas Schmitz was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Soldado said that they still believed they had a chance to advance: “You cannot afford to give Raul one single metre. We expected a better result, but we are ambitious and we have come too far to give up now.”

Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer complimented his team-mates. “We did not play an outstanding game, but we got a good result.”

In the other game in Milan, AC Milan dominated proceedings in the first half in the pouring rain, however, without creating any real chances.

Mario Yepes nearly broke the deadlock shortly after the restart but Gomes was equal to the task and saved.

On the hour the Colombian international again came close in a near carbon-book copy of the earlier chance, but again the Brazilian goalkeeper prevented the home side from going ahead.

AC Milan continued going forward in search of a goal, but left space at the back which Tottenham used to their advantage with ten minutes to go as Aaron Lennon managed a quick break-away before playing to Crouch in the middle and the striker made no mistake.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic thought he had equalized for the Devils in injury time, but his overhead-kick effort was ruled offside.

Crouch said that they had limited Milan to only a few chances. “I know they were flinging balls in at the end, but I thought we were the better side and defended magnificently. The job’s not finished. They are a fantastic side and can score goals away from home.”

Two further matches in the round of the last 16 will be played Wednesday, with AS Roma taking on Shakhtar Donetsk, while Barcelona travel to Arsenal.

The four remaining games will be played next week.

Filed under: Soccer

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