Tottenham won their first Champions League game in an action-packed Group A clash against FC Twente.

Rafael Van der Vaart had a penalty saved for Spurs before he powered in a shot on the turn to put his side ahead.

A Roman Pavlyuchenko spot-kick added to Spurs’s lead before Van der Vaart was sent-off for a second booking.

Nacer Chadli’s poked shot gave Twente hope but a dubious penalty allowed Pavlyuchenko to add a Spurs third and Gareth Bale’s late goal sealed victory.

While Spurs received the more favourable decisions in terms of the penalties, they made the most of their fortune as to win a compelling and enthralling game which certainly lived up to a landmark in their history.

There was a sense of occasion as Tottenham ended a wait dating back to the era of their famous manager Bill Nicholson by playing a home match in the proper stages of Europe’s elite competition for the first time since April 1962.

So we had our luck and rode it


However, Twente appeared set to spoil the White Hart Lane party.

The closing down and physicality from the Dutch champions did not to let an offensive-orientated Spurs side settle and the visitors were almost rewarded for their hard work early on.

Twente striker Bryan Ruiz robbed Sebastien Bassong of possession and, after racing clean though on goal, tried to chip a shot over keeper Heurelho Gomes, who stuck out a vital hand to excellently save.

Bale’s crosses from the left were proving the home side’s main threat before Spurs playmaker Van der Vaart imposed his presence on the game.

The Dutch international had a snapshot smartly pushed away by keeper Nikolay Mihaylov while, at the other end, Marc Janko, who had earlier been caught by a flailing Tom Huddlestone arm, had a first-time shot skid wide.

Van der Vaart showed his elegant technique as he chested down a ball, swivelled and sent in a shot which was saved before he had the chance to put Spurs ahead from the spot.

Peter Crouch got the benefit of the doubt as he tussled and went to ground with Peter Wisgerhof but Van der Vaart had his penalty turned round the post by Mihaylov after some delaying antics from the visitors.
Roman Pavlyuchenko (second left) is congratulated by team-mates after scoring for Spurs against FC Twente
Pavlyuchenko (second left) scored twice from the spot

Van der Vaart atoned for his miss two minutes after the restart when he latched controlled a Crouch knockdown on his chest and powered in a left-foot shot on the turn.

It quickly got even better for Spurs as Roberto Rosales was rightly punished fro bringing down Bale and, this time, Pavlyuchenko stepped up to take the spot-kick and send the keeper the wrong way.

Spurs had let a 2-0 lead slip in their opening Champions League group game at Werder Bremen and allowed Twente hope of a comeback as Chadli poked in a shot after the home side failed to clear a free-kick.

There was no let up in the drama as Van der Vaart was sent-off for a second yellow card after catching Rosales late as the pair went up for a header.

But Spurs earned the benefit of another dubious penalty decision as Nicky Kuiper was punished for handball as he blocked a Pavlyuchenko shot.

It was a harsh decision and the nonchalant way Pavlyuchenko stroked in the spot-kick will not have improved the Twente mood.

The deflated visitors struggled to make the most of their numerical advantage and, when Twente defender Douglas failed to get the necessary purchase on a headed back-pass, Bale stole in to stroke home and complete a memorable win.