Slightly closer to


That’s about all you can say about Spurs’ one nil victory over Sheffield United in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final.

A completely nothing game, all the magic of the League Cup, with the usual patronising guff about the plucky underdogs doing themselves proud.

Can you really be proud of having a third of the ball and no shots on target?

A standard Spurs chameleon performance, playing to the level of the opposition. That’s how they beat Chelsea then lose to Palace and struggle against Sunderland and now third division Sheffield United.

Of course with the way things went before kick-off what more could we expect. With Kaboul on the bench and Lloris not in the squad it meant that with Adebayor starting he would also be wearing the armband.

That went well then.

The first half generally saw some inept first touches from the home side. Was this deliberately done on Pochettino’s orders to make the captain feel part of the squad? The only first touch he had that made serious contact was when he flapped his hand into one of the face of a United player. Not a red but gave the ref the opportunity to show it.

But everyone was at it, Kane not much better and Walker almost gifting the visitors one on a plate. Kane wasn’t helped by nominally being on the left, with Adebayor up front, which in turn didn’t help Davies at left-back who had no cover all night. No coincidence that United’s dangerous stuff came down that flank.

Adebayor topped his night of when again his first touch failed to control Eriksen’s chip over the top. Yes he got the ball down but it was so far to his left he had to stretch and thus smacked over the bar. Could have should have, well shouldn’t cause he shouldn’t have been on.

Within 10 minutes of replacing the loping dolt Soldado – Adebayor going off to boos, Soldado arriving to cheers – had done more than Adebayor in his 65. If this was late night shopping and Adebayor was in the window I don’t think even looters would take him. But then if Levy can get £5 million out of Swansea for Naughton anything is possible.

So from a Vertonghen chip over the top Soldado controls the ball over his shoulder and the Blades players palms it into touch. Robbie is dancing and the United player isn’t even bothering to argue his case. You know it’s a penalty when that happens.

Townsend, again the penalty taker and again he scores. All honesty he shouldn’t have still been on the park. Typical gormless performance of cul-de-sac running, missing opportunities to play others in and losing the ball. Two free-kicks found Dier’s head who made them into decent chances but other than that surely even the watching Roy Hodgson couldn’t have been impressed.

United offered very little from anything they created themselves, it was all gifted by Spurs, they’ll have to come out and play in the return leg, with Spurs being better away from home, taking just a goal lead is better than some other alternatives.

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