My Soccer World

Football: Copenhagen’s Vingaard Delivers New City Blow

Posted on: February 20, 2009

PARIS: FC Copenhagen’s Martin Vingaard hit an injury-time goal to force a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester City in the UEFA Cup on Thursday to inflict another blow after coach Stale Solbakken accused the English side of “destroying football.”

On a bitter-sweet night for English football, a second-string Tottenham lost 2-0 at Shakthar Donetsk in their last 32 match, with manager Harry Redknapp only fielding two players – Jermaine Jenas and Michael Dawson – which drew against Arsenal in their last match.

Substitute Vingaard scuppered the plans of City manager Mark Hughes in Denmark to score on his debut to set up an intriguing Eastlands second leg in a week’s time.

Stephen Ireland’s goal on the hour looked enough for Robinho and company to grab the victory but Vingaard had none of it. City’s Nedum Onuoha had opened the scoring for City before Ailton Almeida equalised at the Parken stadium.

Solbakken had been outspoken before the match, saying the riches being spent by City, backed by the wealth of Sheikh Mansour and his group, were not healthy for football.

Redknapp had put together a makeshift side at the RSC Olympiyskiy stadium, resting Luka Modric, Jonathan Woodgate, Wilson Palacios and Aaron Lennon, plus leaving out a host of other players for injury and administrative reasons, though 17-year-old Dean Parrett made his debut.

Goals late on from Yevgen Seleznov and Jadson mean Tottenham will have work to do to go through from their February 26, White Hart Lane second leg when players such as Oscar Jansson, Adam Smith, John Bostock, Ryan Mason and Jonathan Obika could be called up.

Dawson told Channel Five: “I thought we did well in the first half and for the first half-hour of the second half – but what happened at the end has cost us.

“We knew coming to a place like this they would have a lot of the ball but we’re disappointed. It’s going to be an uphill task – but we still believe we can do it.

“Look at the players who’ve come in, we had a great team out there and believed we could come here and win. But we know how good we are at home and we’ll have to take the game to them.”

Seleznov, who came on for Olexandr Gladkiy up front, added some spice to an uneventful match when he rose highest to find the net from Jadson’s free-kick in the first move he was involved in on 79 minutes.

Jadson then put them two goals to the good in the 88th minute with a precise finish following a move including Willian.

It was Tottenham’s first of six games in 17 days, including a League Cup final at Wembley against Manchester United, a schedule Redknapp describes as “crazy.”

In other matches, Steve McClaren’s Dutch side FC Twente thanked Marko Arnautovic’s first half goal for a 1-0 victory at Marseille, Ajax won by the same score on their travels against Fiorentina, Swedish forward Kennedy Bakircioglu getting the goal, and Lech Poznan of Poland drew 2-2 with Italy’s Udinese.

Former England manager McClaren said the victory meant his team had come of age in Europe.

“We deserved this result, which proves we have grown up in European terms,” McClaren said. “We played with a lot of confidence, controlling the game against one of the best teams in France.

“We showed a great deal of maturity which is necessary in Europe. I am proud of my players and this performance, even if we are only at half way and Marseille will have nothing to lose in the return match.”

Round of 32, first leg results:

Lech Poznan (POL) 2 Udinese (ITA) 2

Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) 2 Tottenham (ENG) 0

FC Copenhagen (DEN) 2 Manchester City (ENG) 2

Marseille (FRA) 0 FC Twente (NED) 1

Fiorentina (ITA) 0 Ajax (NED) 1

– AFP/de

Channel News Asia


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