Tottenham Hotspur-PSV Eindhoven: Penalty Shootdown

David JacobsCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2008

Penalties are the worst rule ever to be introduced to football. This point of mine stands forevermore as Spurs get muscled out of another UEFA Cup tie by nothing more than a badly-taken penalty from Pascal Chimbonda.

If this appears as a short article, it’s because there’s not much that I can really say, apart from how unhappy I was about this loss.

Tottenham fought hard and so did PSV. It looked and felt as if goalkeepers Robinson and Gomes were both men of the match and having the game of their lives.  Almost every scoring chance was affected by their initiative, even if Gomes did have a few bumbles with Salcido which could've cost PSV dearly.

I can’t understand why Spurs didn’t use these mistakes to their full advantage. Those missed chances were pivotal during the game. A chance to win the game came ever nearer as Berbatov latched onto a cross which went past everyone else in the penalty box. He struck the ball on the volley without a bounce. The speed of the ball was enough to defeat Gomes and fly into the bottom corner of the goal.

Darren Bent and Jermain Jenas could have scored easily as well. Bent made a good run towards the six-yard box only to be too generous with ball and pass to Keane, who was nowhere near ready for it and expecting Bent to shoot. Jermain Jenas showed his mettle by running down the other side of the pitch with no defender making much of an effort to mark him. He carried on running too much when he could have had a shot by then.

He kicked the ball across the goal. It was either a silly pass to Keane AGAIN, or a half-hearted shot at goal. Neither purpose proved or even looked successful. Malbranque nearly broke the tie with an accurate shot, but Gomes popped up yet again to tip it over the bar and effectively save the match.After extra time had passed without a goal, penalties were on the agenda.

Some spurs players who took a penalty wouldn’t have been my first choice for a shootout such as this. Malbranque should have taken one seeing as he was a prolific penalty taker at his former club Fulham. At least Jenas and Chimbonda had the steel to step up and ‘take one for the team,’ regardless of their failure to score. Gomes is a classy goalkeeper and nobody was going to take that status away from him last night.

Berbatov took the first penalty for Spurs coolly as always. Robinson also saved a penalty kick from late substitute, Danko Lazovic. But Gomes dived the correct way to obstruct Jermain Jenas’ penalty and Chimbonda, unintentionally of course, did the rest. He ended the UEFA Cup campaign for Spurs by shooting just wide at the left post.

The best team won and I couldn’t really speak highly enough of Gomes for his performance in that game throughout.However, one thing’s for sure. Ramos’ hungry campaign for more silverware and a fifth or maybe even fourth place finish in the league is alive and well.