for a whole game?
Spurs did their usual game of two halves, can’t perform until they’re behind, tedious routine of poor, lifeless football, yet again as they almost scraped the victory to take them through the Champions League group.
It was another insipid first half performance, that just mirrored all those previously, of Spurs not doing anything but giving the ball away quite easily. It almost looked like Conte had gone with a back four to begin with, though it morphed between that and the usual three.
But he had gone back to the front three, so for much of that half there was nothing in the middle of the park, unless Kane dropped in there. So that usual disconnect between front and back. Someone posted an image on Twitter and the huge gaping hole, void of any white shirts, was telling.
Moura was running around like a headless chicken. Son was getting the ball stuck under his feet. Kane was blocked off. Same old, same old. One shot on target, while going in one down. It had to be him.
Marcus Edwards, the mini Messi. Who played 15 minutes in one game before being shipped off with a problem attitude apparently. Well, he was given enough space and time to shoot. Davies pointing at something, god knows what, as he ambles over to do nothing. Oh and Hugo, take you time, mate.
Second half they showed life… but where was this before?
The introduction of Gil helped things. There’s still the same headless chicken look about him, as Moura, but there’s more control and more end product. Though with all the chances they created in the second half there wasn’t an end product. When it did come, it came from an unlikely source. A corner and Bentancur.
It came just 10 minutes before normal time was up. The Uruguayan rose high and hung there to nod the ball in.
Needing that winner, Conte then brought on two defenders. Peak Conte, with one of them being Emerson. Why does he do this? Emerson shortly announced his introduction with a no look pass that went to no one but straight out for a goal kick. Peak Emerson.
The Brazilian did then play his part in the final drama. It’s not Spurs in the Champions League without VAR at some point. They should have been ahead by now, the gilt edge chances in front of goal they missed. Eric Dier, chalk your head, son.
Less than 20 seconds before the end of the added 5 minutes at the end of the game and Perisic puts in a cross to the back post, Emerson heads it back and the ball hits the defender and Harry knocks it in. Cue delirium.
And then delirium cancelled as the wait starts. Hours and hours later they decide it’s offside. Emerson heading it back makes no difference. It hitting the opposition player makes no difference. A little bit of Kane was ahead of the line they marked.
That line was on the edge of the ball at Emerson’s head by the looks of things. While a bit of Emerson was ahead of Kane. Now this is my bugbear about VAR and offside. The bit of Kane that was offside wasn’t the bit that Kane used to play the ball. He kicked it in with his right foot, which was onside. If you’re gonna nitpick about the minutia, then.
Conte went full Italian and saw a number of red cards, which means hes completely banned from the final group game, away to Marseilles. Must win? Mustn’t lose. Still top of the group but only by a point from the next two and two ahead of bottom placed French side.
It’s gonna be Spursy, ain’t it…