( AFP ) - Tottenham won 2-0 at Hapoel Tel Aviv in UEFA Cup action on Thursday night in a defensive display which impressed Spurs skipper Robbie Keane.
Both clubs have been having difficulty in their own national leagues and were hoping to divert themselves from that with a good result on the European stage.
Keane scored the first goal at the Bloomfield Stadium with Dimitar Berbatov, who insisted earlier on Thursday he was happy at the London club, heading a second.
The 26-year-old Berbatov admitted the reports linking him with a move had affected his performances but he showed glimpses of last season's form as Spurs got back on track in Group G after losing to Getafe.
The hosts had Gal Shish dismissed in the second half, with the empty seats reflecting a lack of confidence and the fact the city derby against Maccabi on Sunday is considered a more important match.
Spurs manager Juande Ramos has won the UEFA Cup in the last two seasons with Sevilla but will surely face sterner tests if he is going to make it a hat-trick.
Keane told British radio: "We had a few good chances and we finished the job off in the first half. We are very pleased with the win but the most important thing was the the clean sheet.
"We needed to get a good win but we've been conceding goals of late so that was the most important factor."