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Turkish delight for Spurs
19 Oct 2006 - 20:54:15
Tottenham started their UEFA Cup Group B campaign in style with a 2-0 win against a poor Besiktas side in Istanbul.
A rather fortunate Hossam Ghaly goal gave Spurs an interval lead, before Dimitar Berbatov's wonderful solo strike midway through the second half made certain of the points.
However, the victory was built on the midfield industry of Danny Murphy and Jermaine Jenas, who produced a display that reminded fans exactly why he remains a regular member of the England squad.
A low key opening period saw little goalmouth action, but as the first half progressed the visitors started to take control of midfield.
A rare Besiktas attack on the half-hour mark finished with Mehmet Sedef dragging a shot wide after Ibrahim Toraman got round the back of the Spurs defence and pulled the ball back.
Spurs took full advantage of the let off and grabbed the lead a minute later.
The home defence opened up to allow Ghaly to run through the middle. The Egyptian midfielder's shot was blocked by goalkeeper Vedran Runje, but rebounded against the Spurs man and rolled into the unguarded goal.
Paul Robinson created a major problem for himself five minutes later when he parried Burak Yilmaz's powerfully struck free-kick straight up in the air, but the England shot-stopper just managed to recover and claw the ball to safety.
Murphy could have doubled Tottenham's lead shortly before the break, after a clever lay-off from Berbatov presented him with a shooting chance from an acute angle. The midfielder's effort beat the goalkeeper but also rolled just beyond the far post.
The visitors continued to dominate after the break and got a deserved second in the 63rd minute through the outstanding Berbatov. The Bulgarian ran on to a throughball, before stepping inside his marker and round the goalkeeper and slotting the ball home.
Robbie Keane then had a trio of golden chances to extend the Premiership club's lead, but only managed to hit the bar, fire into the crowd and straight at the goalkeeper.
The hosts pressed late on but never looked like finding a way back into the game.
Substitute Jermain Defoe should have made it three in the last minute, but somehow contrived to miss the target from two yards out.