Connections - Germany 5
This time we turn our attention to our meetings with Bayer Leverkusen and 1FC Kaiserslautern in European competition. Starting with Leverkusen who we have met twice, our first clash being in the UEFA Cup 2006/7. At that time you only met other sides once during the group stage and our game fell away in the November, the third of our four games.
Once again Spurs found themselves playing in sub-zero temperatures in Germany and did not play at their best. Having won their first two games the Spurs win did secure our progress into the knock out stage of the competition and our hosts would fail to proceed. The only goal of the game came from Dimitar Berbatov who had received a warm welcome from the home fans having left them that summer after five and half years which brought nearly seventy goals. His strike coming just after the half hour, Lennon had had his shot saved and the loose ball was an easy finish for the Bulgarian who declined to celebrate against his old club.
The German side forced some good saves from Paul Robinson and they hit the woodwork. Berbatov could have had another but chose to set up the better placed Lennon who just strayed offside.
The other meeting came ten years later, just last season when we met in the Champion’s League group. Match day three saw us go to their ground in October. Tottenham had started the group badly but had the better of the early exchanges in this game. Janssen hit the bar and had one chance disallowed.
After the break the Germans regrouped and posed more of a threat and Lloris was much busier as the game ended 0-0.
The return in the next game saw Spurs lose at Wembley Stadium by the only goal in front of a then record crowd (85,512).
That defeat meant they overtook us in the group and would proceed whilst we would fail to qualify.
We have met 1FC Kaiserslautern once in competition during the 1999/00 season in the first contest since Germany reunified. It came in the second round of the UEFA Cup which saw us at home in the first leg. David Ginola was the man of the match as he passed or ran through their defence.
It took a penalty when he was brought down and converted by Steffan Iverson just after the half hour. The second leg saw Ginola left out of the side by George Graham (he came on in the 81st minute) amongst other tactical changes as Spurs set out to hold what they had.
When Spurs handed their team sheet in early it gave the Germans time when they saw it to adjust their own side. Both sides had chances but Spurs were forced to defend having left their main strike threat on the bench. Walker was the busier keeper and saw his bar rattled. Just when it looked like Spurs had their draw and progress to the next round when the home side snatched the lead on the night. Extra time seemed certain but the last German attack just ninety seconds later saw confusion in the box and the ball went in off Steve Carr. Graham’s unwillingness to attack had failed and Spurs were out.
Top - The Bayer Leverkusen game at Wembley.
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