FC Copenhagen’s Martin Vingaard hit an injury-time goal to force a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester City in the UEFA Cup on Thursday and inflict another blow after coach Stale Solbakken accused the English side of “destroying football.”
Substitute Vingaard scuppered the plans of City manager Mark Hughes in Denmark to score on his debut to set up an intriguing second leg at Eastlands on Thursday. Stephen Ireland’s goal on the hour looked enough for Robinho and company to grab the victory, but Vingaard had none of it.
City’s Nedum Onuoha had opened the scoring, before Ailton Almeida equalized at the Parken Stadium. Solbakken had been outspoken before the match, saying the riches being spent by City, backed by the wealth of Sheikh Mansour and his group, were not healthy for soccer.
On a bitter-sweet night for English soccer, a second-string Tottenham Hotspur lost 2-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk in their last 32 match, with manager Harry Redknapp only fielding two players — Jermaine Jenas and Michael Dawson — from the team that drew against Arsenal in their last match.
Redknapp had put together a makeshift side at the RSC Olympiyskiy Stadium, resting Luka Modric, Jonathan Woodgate, Wilson Palacios and Aaron Lennon, plus leaving out a host of other players for injury and administrative reasons, though 17-year-old Dean Parrett made his debut.
Goals late on from Yevgen Seleznov and Jadson mean Tottenham will have work to do to go through from the second leg at White Hart Lane on Thursday, when players such as Oscar Jansson, Adam Smith, John Bostock, Ryan Mason and Jonathan Obika could be called up.
Dawson told Channel Five: “I thought we did well in the first half and for the first half-hour of the second half — but what happened at the end has cost us.”
“We knew coming to a place like this they would have a lot of the ball, but we’re disappointed. It’s going to be an uphill task — but we still believe we can do it,” he said. “Look at the players who’ve come in, we had a great team out there and believed we could come here and win. But we know how good we are at home and we’ll have to take the game to them.”
Seleznov, who came on for Olexandr Gladkiy up front, added some spice to an uneventful match when he rose highest to find the net from Jadson’s free-kick in the first move he was involved in on 79 minutes. Jadson then put Shakhtar two goals to the good in the 88th minute with a precise finish.
It was Tottenham’s first of six games in 17 days, including a League Cup final at Wembley against Manchester United, a schedule Redknapp describes as “crazy.”
In other matches, Steve McClaren’s Dutch side FC Twente thanked Marko Arnautovic’s first-half goal for a 1-0 victory at Marseille. Former England manager McClaren said the victory meant his team had come of age in Europe.
“We deserved this result, which proves we have grown up in European terms,” McClaren said.
Ajax won by the same score on their travels against Fiorentina, with Swedish forward Kennedy Bakircioglu getting the goal.
Lech Poznan of Poland drew 2-2 with Italy’s Udinese.