Villas-Boas: Tottenham Europa League opponents 'very difficult to break down'

Andre Villas-Boas guided Zenit to victory against AEL Limassol - but admits it was not easy.

Today Tottenham Hotspur learned who they will be facing in the play-off round of UEFA Europa League qualifying - after being paired with Cypriot outfit AEL Limassol.

Obviously Tottenham will be licking their lips at the prospect of taking on the side, and will feel thepressure is all on them to succeed in the two legged tie.

And interestingly the side from Cyprus have something of a Tottenham connection via their route to the Europa League.

Originally AEL were in Champions League qualifying, but lost to Russian outfit Zenit Saint-Petersburg 3-1 on aggregate after a 3-0 defeat in Russia - however they lost the first leg 1-0 in Larnaca thanks to a goal from Lukasz Gikiewicz.

And of course Zenit are now managed by former Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, so what did he have to say about his former club's upcoming European competition.

After the 3-0 win yesterday, the former Spurs boss said:

"It was similar to the game in Cyprus. Where Zenit dominate most of the game and create many chances but it was very difficult because Limassol defend well, they defended well over there they defended well here and we could not break them down. Not even when [Limassol had] ten men because they close in two lines of four which made it very difficult to find space. Still we created a lot of chances, but their goalkeeper did well and defence did well for them..."

"I am very happy. Very happy with the effort. It is very difficult to break a team down that defends so well so extremely happy with the result and performance."

So AVB at least appears to be one man who realises that Tottenham will need to be in top form to best this plucky outfit and Spurs should heed his pre-emptive words of warning.

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