Tottenham beats AC Milan 1-0

Tottenham Hotspur headed home from Italy with a valuable away goal, putting Spurs in decent position to reach the European Champions League quarterfinals.

Peter Crouch scored in the 80th minute after Aaron Lennon dashed through the defense on a counterattack for a 1-0 first leg win at AC Milan in the second round on Tuesday night.

"When I beat the first defender and saw Crouchy was free, I was always going to put it across to him," Lennon said.

Crouch's goal was his sixth in eight European games this season.

"I thought we limited them to not many chances and I think we were the better side," Crouch said. "It's a fantastic achievement."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic thought he scored to tie it in injury time, but his overhead kick was ruled out for a two-handed push into the back of Spurs captain Michael Dawson.

A heated second half ended at San Siro with Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso charging toward the Tottenham bench and headbutting assistant coach Joe Jordan. Gattuso was involved in an earlier altercation.

"They lost their heads a bit at the end," Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said, also referring to a diving tackle by Mathieu Flamini on Vedran Corluka that led to the Tottenham player being stretchered off.

"How has he not got a red card for that?" Redknapp said of Flamini. "It's an absolute disgrace."

Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati had a busy first 15 minutes, then was taken off on a stretcher on the 18th after colliding with Crouch. Abbiati was replaced by Marco Amelia.

"He banged his head and went off with dizziness," Milan coach Massimo Allegri said. "We need him to be checked by the doctors, but he should be OK."

In the day's other game, Raul Gonzalez's record 71st goal in European competition gave Schalke a 1-1 tie at Valencia.

Returning to Spain for the first time since his summer move from Real Madrid, Raul held off David Navarro in the 64th minute and slotted past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita. He broke a tie for European goals with Milan's Filippo Inzaghi.

Roberto Soldado had put Valencia ahead in the 17th when he redirected Jeremy Mathieu's cross past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The second leg of the total-goals series will be played on March 9.

Barcelona is at Arsenal on Wednesday in the round's most-anticipated matchup, and Shakhtar Donetsk is at AS Roma.

First-leg matches next week have Chelsea at Copenhagen, and Real Madrid at Lyon on Tuesday, and Bayern Munich at defending champion Inter Milan and Manchester United at Marseille on Wednesday.


THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Aris held Manchester City to a 0-0 draw in the second round of the second-tier Europa League, allowing the Greek team to maintain a 40-year unbeaten European home record.

Man City fielded Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and David Silva, an attacking lineup that combined to cost more than $150 million.

City, which hasn't won a major title since the 1976 League Cup, hosts Aris in the second leg on Feb. 24. The other 15 first-leg matches are on Thursday.


BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Newcastle won for the first time in six matches, with Peter Lovenkrands scoring in the second minute and Leon Best added a goal in the 50th for a 2-0 victory at Birmingham in the Premier League.

Jonas Gutierrez setup both goals in rainswept conditions as Newcastle won for the first time since star forward Andy Carroll joined Liverpool last month for 35 million pounds (then $56 million).

Newcastle (9-8-10) is ninth with 35 points. Birmingham (6-8-12) is 14th, three points above the relegation zone.