Emmanuel Adebayor scored two of Tottenham’s three second half goals after 10-man Dnipro had increased their advantage with a goal immediately after the restart.
Tottenham Hotspur 3 FC Dnipro 1
Scores: Adebayor (2), Eriksen Zozulya
Team: Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Fryers; Dembele, Eriksen, Sandro (Bentaleb), Townsend (Lennon);Adebayor, Soldado (Kane) Subs: Friedel, Veljkovic, Chadli, Paulinho
Tim Sherwood fielded a strong team against FC Dnipro as Tottenham looked to recover from the single goal defeat in last week’s away match. Facing a tricky game against former Spurs manager Juande Ramos, Sherwood’s hand was forced in defence with injuries – Zeke Fryers replacing the injured Danny Rose from the side which lost to Norwich last weekend and Kyle Naughton retaining his place at right back. In midfield Sandro and Christian Eriksen returned along with Andros Townsend. In acknowledgement of Spurs need for goals Sherwood went with Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado in a 4-4-2 formation.
It was a first half of few chances – Spurs started with good early tempo but never caused the well-organised Dnipro defence any problems. Tottenham played the more controlled, passing football while Dnipro were, again, very quick on the break.
The game went from end to end with Townsend lively in the early stages. After 7 minutes, a long cross to Adebayor was headed down to Eriksen and his shot was deflected over. Three minutes later, a Dnipro free-kick went straight into the arms of Lloris.
In response an Eriksen shot was blocked after a diagonal cross from Dawson. A shot on the turn went wide from Dnipro.
Play went from end to end and on 26 minutes Vertonghen was brought down as he carried the ball forward. Eriksen took the free-kick and the goalkeeper saved low at his post. Dnipro attacked on the break but Naughton cleared the dangerous situation.
In another break, Matheus went down dramatically in the area as Dawson challenged, but play was waved on.
Spurs were finding it more difficult to get forward with Tim Sherwood urging the players to get the ball forward quicker and out to the wings.
Scoreless at half-time, Spurs still had it all to do in the second half.
In the 47th minute it became a great deal worse for Spurs when Dnipro scored through Zozulya with a great header from a free-kick on their left. With Spurs now needing to score three the mountain had become a great deal higher.
Spurs responded and a Dembele effort bounced over from a corner in the 51st minute. A minute later, Soldado had the ball in the net after a pass from Eriksen but was off-side.
On 55 minutes Adebayor was brought down on the edge of the area and Eriksen curled the free-kick around the wall and into the net.
The goal breathed life into the crowd and the team as the atmosphere inside White Hart Lane grew more intense. Another free-kick saw Dnipro reduced to ten men as Vertonghen went down in the area as the players waited for the kick to be taken. Zozulya turned from hero to villain and to make matters worse the free-kick was headed over by Dawson but immediately after a cross by Eriksen was placed into the net by Adebayor.
Spurs had a new found belief and four minutes on, Adebayor chested down a cross by Fryers to put Spurs ahead on aggregate.
This forced Dnipro to come out and attack but Spurs held on – Dawson cleared and Lloris came to the rescue. Spurs started to slow the game down and play keep-ball with ten minutes to play and even with 5 added minutes, Spurs held on to reach the last 16 of the Europa League for the second successive season.