to three league points.
It’s got to be done because if Spurs lose out on the title due to goal difference this will be the game that did it. Could have been, should have been Wigan ’09 revisited, except without them getting a consolation.
Anyway back in the real world – title 😀 – Bolton were ripe for the picking here, even before the ref made his presence felt, but it could have been oh so different if Spurs hadn’t got the early opener. Seven minutes in and a Modric corner to the near post is met by Bale who flicks it in with his left. He then shows his tribute to his late international boss Gary Speed.
After that though followed the kind of thing seen at The Lane quite a bit over the seasons. A complete all out assault on the opponents goal that repeatedly ended with weak finishing and a ‘keeper looking to be having one of the days. Though it has to be said Jaaskelainen didn’t have to do anything outstanding to keep the score at one nil. It was more the lack of clinical finishing. At times it really resembled last seasons efforts.
The turning point came 17 minutes in – up until then the attempts on goal stats were equally matched – with the ref’s decision to send Gary Cahill off. Adebayor had another extremely profligate day in front of goal but yet again he made up for a number of those misses with an all-round we could never have hoped for. Parker harassed Knight who played the ball wide to Cahill, Adebayor followed up this harassing making the defender to drag the ball inside right into the path of Parker who he promptly took out. A certain foul and a certain booking. Certainly not a red. The ref says it’s a clear goal scoring opportunity that has been stopped and that means a sending off. He was wrong. As shown later in proceedings when Parker has the ball in space in the area it’s not a clear goal scoring opportunity never mind wide left ten yards in Bolton’s half. Attwell doesn’t seem to like Cahill.
With Bolton on a bad trot – pun intended – already a goal down, heads dropped and Spurs playing with a swagger the rest of the game was a cruise but a typical Spurs’ cruise, in that it took far too long for the game to be really and truly killed off.
At the end of some great balls – one from Bale to Adebayor was Hoddlesque – great play, pace and precision – a lovely triangle between Lennon and Modric that we should see more of involving the winger, it is the very best way to utilise his talents – there was more and more weak finishes and Jaaskelainen saves – he was even helped out one time when Defoe got in the way of a goal bound shot to make the save. They couldn’t bugger this up could they? After all there’d be that post break 10 to 15 minutes when they’ve let teams back into it.
Well thankfully no as 5 minutes into that dodgy post half-time period a Bolton corner is headed out of the box, Parker plays a nice ball forward – one of the few forward passes that padded his stats – to Walker who played a nicer ball to Adebayor – he’s doing that all-round work again – nice run by Defoe who gets the ball and straight away plays in the advancing Lennon on the left. Bit of jinking bit of stuttering/dithering and it’s game over.
All of a sudden from being a piece of tactical ineptness switching the wingers to the opposite flanks has been working wonders.
Second half was just all Spurs so much that the little box that comes up stating what the possession stats have been over the last 5 minutes showed 100% to 0%. Give you three guesses which way.
The ref was obviously feeling either sorry for Bolton or trying to make amends for the red card wrongly decided Assou-Ekotto hadn’t been fouled in the area by Kevin Davies. It was a pen all day long, clumsy clip of the flying fullback’s leg – here’s me thinking we’re a
Sky Sport Top 4 Side with the Cahill decision. The chances to make the goal difference better were again being fluffed. Until ten minutes after the second another Modric near post corner for Bale to flick on, this time with his head for Defoe to tap it in. With 6 to his name the striker now has two more league goals in eleven appearances than he got in twice as many games last time. He’s only one short of last seasons total in all competitions.
Not only that but two Spurs’ goals from set pieces. As I Tweeted at the time they normally have to go a couple of seasons for that to happen. And in the end a win and clean sheet without Ledley at the back, that didn’t install much confidence when announced but in the end Kaboul and Gallas had very little to do.
So up to second before ManUre squeaked a win against Villa later on Saturday, still got that game in hand, a swagger and a confidence at the club a nice upcoming fixture list but that goal difference should be greater than 13, should be a lot closer to Citeh’s 35.