Why do Spurs do this

Marseille v Tottenham (1-2) | Spurs through to last 16! | Champions League Highlights

to us?

Another rolley-coaster ride of a game, as Spurs hokey-cokey’d their way into the knockout stages of the Champions League, with a last kick of the game winner at Marseilles.

Somehow, Spurs managed to top group D, after another of their bipolar performances. With Conte in the stands, nothing much had changed on the pitch, as Spurs started like they really didn’t want midweek football in the New Year.

Just when you thought Spurs couldn’t get any worse, they did. An awful first half that was worse than anything we’ve seen so far this season, hell that’s saying something. Saw them head in at the break one down, and lucky to be just one down.

It was the same old story of sitting back on the edge of their own box and not being able to string two passes together when in possession, to get up the pitch. A huge surprise that Emerson didn’t start but in his place Sessegnon was doing his best impersonation. In fact he was so bad he almost made Emerson look good.

Half an hour things got worse. Now Sonny hasn’t exactly been on top form this season, he hasn’t been on any form whatsoever but you don’t want to lose him from the squad. He took a sickening blow to the head, as he header the Marseilles player’s shoulder. He was dazed and confused.

It could have got worse… there was a moment it looked like Emerson would be his replacement. It took some while for Son to be removed from the pitch, something that was obviously going to happen and yet it took an age after his departure for Bissouma to come on. Hojbjerg was not a happy bunny.

The change didn’t change Spurs. Still awful. The only surprise was it took so long for the home side to open the scoring. It was a minute into plenty of added on time at the end of the half. A quickly taken corner, resulting cross and a free header at the back post. Far too easy as everyone had knocked off.

Things had been so bad in that half that as the clocked to the seventh of the added seven minutes, Spurs had their first shot. Half time and Spurs are third in the group.

Well, Conte wasn’t there for the half-time rollicking but what ever was said it had the desired effect as the game was switched about. Spurs on top and Marseilles struggling. It took less than 10 minutes for them to get level. Excellent swinging free-kick from Perisic on the left, right on Lenglet’s head. Another set piece goal.

But as soon as they scored they dropped back into first half mode. It was straight back to sitting deep and giving the ball away. I joked at half time about looking forward to Conte bringing on Emerson and Sanchez as Spurs searched for a goal. Hahahaha. He only went and brought the Brazilian wingback on at the break. And with Spurs dropping deep that Brazilian was trying his best to gift the home team the winner. Some people were happy with his performance. Maybe that shows how bad Spurs were.

Then it got worse. Bentancur had been all over the pitch in the second half, until he sat there on the pitch clutching his thigh. If it’s his hamstring then what with the medical staff at Spurs, will we see him again this season?

Oh joy, floundering Liverpool at the weekend and Spurs will more likely be without Son and Bentancur. Dr Tottenham back in town.

There were chances at both ends. Hojbjerg smacking the post, while a Marseilles sub missed an absolute sitter of a header at the back post.

A minute into added time, Hojbjerg got a yellow card that will rule him out of the next game, if Spurs got through – they were as long as Marseilles didn’t score. A minute later Gil finally replaced Moura, who had run around like a headless chicken.

Then four minutes into the four added minutes the Viking hit the winner, with the last kick of the game. The ball and nearly everyone in the Spurs half and, Davies was it, makes a tackle the ball flies forward. Kane picks it up and it’s three on one. He plays it centrally to the charging Hojbjerg, a couple of touches then bang off the inside of the far post into the net, to seal top spot in the group.

Cue more last gasp delirium.

It’s getting a bit regular. Three games in a row, of course last week it was VAR’d. But come on, does anyone really want to sit through this rope-a-dope routine every game? That good bit after the break, before the equaliser. Why can’t they play like that more often? Why do they have to go behind and be in the last chance saloon before showing some fight.

I mean it is better winning from a losing position than the old Spursy way of dominating for 90 minutes and losing in the last seconds. But god that’s just points. Is anyone really entertained?

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