Before we go any further, about the headline: Besiktas is a very good side, so to say drawing them at home is a stumble is more based on the lofty goals set by Spurs administration than anything about the Turkish side.
And when the manager of that Turkish side says he’s disappointed not to have pulled all three points from a game at White Hart Lane, you can honestly say Tottenham did not have the performance they wanted from their second group game of Europa League play.
Harry Kane scored in the 27th minute, but a Vlad Chiriches handball in the final minutes allowed Demba Ba to draw Besiktas level and share the points with an 89th minute penalty kick.
Besiktas took 15 more shots than the hosts and had a 53-47 edge in possession. Spurs had plenty of talent on the bench, with regulars Younes Kaboul, Erik Lamela and Aaron Lennon not starting the contest.
The draw brings Spurs out of Group C’s basement and level with Besiktas for the second spot. Asteras Tripolis is first with four points through two matches.
Celtic got an early goal from Kris Commons then held on despite extreme duress provided by visiting Dinamo Zagreb. The 1-0 win moves moves them level FC Red Bull Salzburg, who beat Astra Giurgiu 2-1.
Late thrills were on display in the game’s highest-profile match, as Bundesliga powers Wolfsburg came back to draw Lille 1-1. Divock Origi, on loan from Liverpool, netted in the 77th minute before Kevin De Bruyne canceled it out five minutes later.
The scoreline doesn’t indicate the great resolve showed by Sevilla after a 52nd minute red card helped turn the 1-0 lead provided by Iago Aspas into a 2-1 deficit at HNK Rijeka. Stephane Mbia scored a dramatic stoppage time winner to lift Los Nervionenses.
Borussia Monchengladbach took 30 shots to FC Zurich’s nine, only to see themselves splitting the points with their Swiss hosts 1-1.
It was a good day for Italy, as Inter, Torino and Napoli all won, with Fiorentina unloading a 3-0 decision on Dinamo Minsk.
Villarreal 4-0 Apollon Limassol
Aalborg BK 1-0 Rio Ave
Dynamo Kiev 3-1 Steaua Bucharest
Dinamo Minsk 0-3 Fiorentina
Guingamp 2-0 PAOK Salonika
KSC Lokeren 1-0 Metalist Kharkiv
Trabzonspor 0-1 Legia Warsaw
HJK Helsinki 0-3 Club Brugge
Dinamo Moscow 1-0 PSV Eindhoven Krasnodar 1-1 Everton
Torino 1-0 FC Copenhagen
Estroil Praia 2-0 Panathinaikos
Inter Milan 2-0 FK Qarabag
St Etienne 0-0 Dnipro Dnipropretrovsk
Feyenoord 2-1 Standard Liege
Wolfsburg 1-1 Lille
Slovan Bratislava 0-2 Napoli
Sparta Prague 3-1 BSC Young Boys
The move not only bought Vancouver a second-round pick in 2015 and a conditional pick in 2016, but cleared up Rochat’s $190,000-per-week salary and opened up a roster spot.
Rochat, a natural left-back, had lost his spot to Jonathan Harvey. Vancouver has experimented with him in the midfield and at central defense a few months before being moved.
“(Alain) has been a great guy, a great player,” said Harvey. “We battled for a position — all year last year and the year before. I can only say good things about him. I’m going to miss him.”
Head coach Martin Rennie says the move is a chance to look elsewhere. “It gives us the opportunity to consider other options. We’ve got quite a number of players who can play a similar role in midfield, so when we got the opportunity to make a move, that was why we did it.”
The experienced 30-year-old has 65 appearances to his name during his two and a half year stint with Vancouver. Before that, the Canadian played for a number of years in Europe, with Swiss sides BSC Young Boys and FC Zurich, as well as French side Stade Rennais. He played in the Champions League in 2009 for Zurich against clubs such as AC Milan and Real Madrid.
Rochat was also capped once by his national side Switzerland in 2005.
Despite a reputation of being both composed and fluid, Rochat’s play the last year or so has diminished and he’s slowed a little. However, Rennie has also used him out of position a lot recently despite still being quite adept at his left-back position.
D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper looks forward to having that kind of experience in his squad.
“Alain will provide us with immediate help with his experience and leadership. He is a highly technical and intelligent player who can play on the backline or in the midfield. We are very pleased to welcome Alain to D.C. United.”