Waiting until the very last


Spurs waited pretty much as long as they could throughout the two legs of their Europa League tie against Lyon to go through to face Inter Milan.

Last minute of the first half of the first leg to go ahead. Last minute of the second half of the first leg to get a lead into the return fixture. And last minute of that away game to get the goal needed to advance.

Another away draw in this competition. Another pretty lifeless permanences, especially in the first half. But enough in the end when you thought it was all done and dusted, Lyon’s away goal to go with some slack play in the first half to concede the equaliser on aggregate and some insipid attacking would see a limp end to this campaign.

Never do like it when they just have to not lose.

Walker dozy in giving Lisandro a chance to fall over to “win” a free kick. From the resulting free kick god only knows what Gareth Bale was flinching away from. It certainly wasn’t the ball as they defend the situation pretty uselessly. Friedel no hope and the home side have all they want.

All they were interested in and so like the first game they sit back and stifle. Perfect for Spurs who don’t half struggle in such circumstances. And so it proved.

With little movement, little guile, little pace and a lot of imprecision they were going no where, not very fast.

Only player with any life about his was Holtby in the first half. But everything he did was hindered by those around him. Bale shackled and missing. Adebayor inept. Lennon anonymous. Dembele slow and crowded. Parker just worse than useless. The little German almost capped it off just before the break pulling a great save out of the Lyon ‘keeper.

They’d all come to see Bale but he didn’t show and Lyon weren’t that daft in giving away free-kicks within 40 yards of their goal. In that regard they were helped by a ref that was giving Spurs very little. He did once and Bale did what he did last time round. This time though the Lyon ‘keeper hedged his bets and was more central, expecting the ball to be to his right he didn’t take that fateful movement to his left and then just got anything he could behind the shot. As he did with another Bale shot from open play.

Bale had the best chance when he missed a pretty open goal in the second half. What made matters worse was the fact he also wasted a forward ball from Parker that actually found a Spurs’ player and an actual decent ball from Adebayor in a moment when he really looked bothered.

Things were better in the second half. The fullbacks were playing as wingers which meant Lyon then had space on the break but they never really looked that interested and when they did Spurs caught a break. Friedel quick off his line to sweep up he fluffed the clearance in the following panic stuck out a leg at the advancing Lacazette. Luckily the ref saw Friedel quickly withdraw that leg and the resulting tumble by Lacazette was a dive. Though didn’t book him.

It was all petering out into a pretty dismal, limp exit. Until just before the fourth official put the board up to say how much added time there would be when Dembele shuffled to his left, for the umpteenth time, this time though he didn’t shuffle into trouble but open space from where he bangs it into the bottom far corner of the net.

Spurs go mental all celebrating except one slightly dejected looking figure. That of Adebayor. Funny that.

With the fourth official showing 3 minutes the ref decided that was the minimum and added another one on but Lyon were done.

Inter are going to be a tougher proposition and Spurs are going to have to play better than they’ve done in this whole competition so far to get through.

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