In beating CSKA Moscow in their last Champions League game, Spurs finally won a game at Wembley, now they have no excuse for the Europa League or next season.
I don’t really know what Pochettino was doing with the final group game of the Champions League. Playing a pretty full strength side, from those available, he sent them out there like he wanted to win the game.
Why? Why would you want to win this game more than the rather more important previous game? Win that and they’d be playing Champions league knockout games next year, win this and they’re playing on Thursday nights.
Yes, he said pre-match that the Europa League is important but actions speak louder and those actions in previous seasons say he doesn’t want Thursday nights in the second tier or European football.
So why go for it now? Because Wembley will be home for all games next season? Could be.
Unfortunately Spurs won’t be playing CSKA in every game next season, only team Spurs beat in this competition, home and away. And even though this was by far the easiest team in the group Spurs still had to make it difficult for themselves.
A hump up from the halfway line, a nod down and Dzagoev is through to score. Spurs defence opened up with a bit of the old Wimbledon.
Really when CSKA opened the scoring just after the half hour Spurs should have already been ahead. Dele was doing what Dele has done this season. Missed. Missed from 6 yards out when it would be easier to hit. He did it early on and then did hit the target but with such a weak attempt that even Akinfeev managed to save it.
He had been the centre of attraction, after his back pass to the Moscow ‘keeper following the ball being played out for an injury wasn’t quite as sporting as the visitors liked. It resulted in him getting a couple of kicks.
He did though have the last laugh. Starting just five minutes after Moscow’s opener. Eriksen plays the ball into the box where Kane loses it, wins it back, gets it to Walker, who is offside, he plays in Eriksen whose cross is brought down by and finished off by Dele.
Eriksen, who is this new player Spurs have bought. He scores goals and he creates them as well. It can’t all be down to the return of Kane that has brought the reemergence of both Dele and the Dane.
The Dane made the second, just into added time at the end of the first half. A lovely chip over the defence and Rose’s first time cross found Kane at the back post.
Second half was a series of missed chances and the timely return of Toby. It took until the 77th minute before this one was over. Much talk of Akinfeev’s clean sheet record. It’s over 10 years since he’s kept one in this competition.
The Russian went one step further this time and decided to impersonate Son Heung-min and hook the ball into his own net. Toby’s ball to Kane on the right wing, his excellent cross was met by Dele’s cushioned head, Akinfeev saved it but as it rebounded off him he kicked it into his own net.
Well they’ve got that losing at Wembley monkey off their back so when everyone comes back in the New Year for the Europa, oh joy, they can’t blame to stadium. Though I’m sure that we’re all sure they’ll find some excuse, even with all the positive noises they’re currently making, to try and not win the thing…