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Match Analysis: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Lazio

Match Analysis: Spurs 0-0 Lazio
© PA Photos
Sports Mole breaks down the action from Tottenham Hotspur's 0-0 draw with Lazio in the Europa League this evening.

Tottenham Hotspur began their Europa League Group J campaign with a goalless draw against Lazio this evening.

Spurs found the back of the net three times during the game at White Hart Lane.

However, Clint Dempsey and Jermain Defoe were denied by the linesman's offside flag, while Steven Caulker had his late headed goal harshly ruled out for an apparent foul on Stefano Mauri.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the action.

Match Statistics:

Shots: 6
On target: 4
Possession: 57.7%
Corners: 6
Fouls: 7
Bookings (red/yellow): 0/0

Shots: 3
On target: 0
Possession: 42.3%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 22
Bookings (red/yellow): 0/4

Was the result fair?

Spurs were certainly the better side over 90 minutes and will feel that they had two legitimate goals ruled out. So, no, probably not.

Spurs performance:

Assured in possession from one to 11, Andre Villas-Boas's men caused Lazio's defenders frequent problems. All four of the visitors' bookings were for cynical fouls, as the Italian side failed to deal with the pace of North Londoners' attack.

Lazio performance:

Rigid and well organised and, despite not managing to register a single shot on target, they looked dangerous on the break. Alvaro Gonzalez's superb long-range volley, which rattled the crossbar late in the first half, was as close as the Italians came to beating debut-making goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Jan Vertonghen. The Belgian defender kept Miroslav Klose quiet all evening. He was dominant on the floor and in the air.

Biggest gaffe

The game was delayed for 90 seconds during the second half while a UEFA official was sent down the tunnel on a frantic mission to find a replacement match ball, after the original had been lost in the crowd.

Referee's performance

Aside from the controversy surrounding the disallowed goals, Ovidiu Alin Hategan kept control of the game reasonably well - flashing the cards when they needed to be flashed. However, his sloppy timekeeping will not have gone down well with the assessors. He blew for half-time before 45 minutes had been completed.

What next?

Spurs: Tottenham host London rivals Queens Park Rangers on Sunday. Their next Europa League challenge is a trip to Greece to play Panathinaikos on Thursday, October 4.

Lazio: After failing to maintain their perfect start to the season, Lazio face Genoa in Serie A action at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.

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Result: Spurs 0-0 Lazio

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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
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· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

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