Club Focus – Tottenham Hotspur – Lennon denies Redknapp claims over Champions League withdrawal

The fallout following Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-0 defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday night has well and truly started and focused on Peter Crouch’s red card and Aaron Lennon’s non-appearance. Thousands of Spurs fans had made the trip to Madrid for what was probably the club’s biggest European game for nearly 50 years, only for their team to completely collapse at the hands of the most successful club in the world.

Spurs were reduced to 10 men after just 15 minutes when Crouch was shown two yellows after two rash challenges. When Spurs went down to 10 men, they were already 1-0 down, and the sending off effectively put an end to the contest with Spurs unable to compete with their numerical disadvantage. Spurs rarely threatened for the rest of the tie and Jose Mourinho’s players were almost constantly piling the pressure on Harry Redknapp’s men.

Despite the convincing manner in which his team despatched the Londoners, Real boss Mourinho said his side’s quarter-final tie was “not over.” He added: “I feel complete sympathy of course. I have good experience of playing with 10 men in Champions League and I know how difficult it is. I feel sorry because with 11 against 11 the match would be much better.” Ex-Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice in the game, before Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo added a goal each in the 4-0 mauling.

Most of the talk post-game has been concerning Lennon. Redknapp included the England winger in his starting XI for the game at the Bernabeu after recovering from a hamstring strain, but was replaced by Jermaine Jenas minutes before the game got under way.

The Spurs manager told the Tottenham official website after the game that they had lost the midfielder to a last-minute sickness. “We lost Aaron just as the teams were walking on the pitch. He hadn’t been feeling great all day. I said ‘Are you OK?’ and he said ‘I don’t feel like I have any strength or energy to run’, so I had to pull him out.

He went out to warm-up, came in and just said he didn’t feel well and wasn’t fit enough to play. There is nothing you can do.

Yesterday afternoon Lennon spoke out on his Twitter account denying his manager’s claims, saying that he had actually been ill for several days before the game, and the Spurs medical staff had even been treating him for it since the weekend.

Saying i fell ill be4 the game is bull**** i fell ill on sunday morning where the med team put me on anti botics, but only got worse b4 tues,” he tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. A few minutes later he added: “Believe me this is 1 game i did no wnt to miss and still devo now!!!! but will not be made a scapegoat saying they only knew jus b4 K O.

These controversial tweets are sure to anger his manager and may even call Lennon’s future at the club into question.

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