not get a draw with a bunch of bottlers who needed help?
We were told all week that Spurs hadn’t played anyone and that they would be found out by the team that bottled the league last season, in Ange’s first NLD. Except it didn’t quite work out like that.
An earlyish lead from a Spurs’ gift, surely you should be winning after that, especially at home, where Spurs hadn’t got much since the new library was built.
Spurs were generous to begin with, they were doing that fannying about at the back, playing each other – especially Udogie – into trouble, repeatedly, while having the ball taken off them at ease. It looked like so many of the recent visits there. Facing towards their own goal and just not turned up asking for a stuffing.
Now considering every goal Spurs had conceded so far this season had come down their right, Woolwich were mainly going down Spurs’ left. So far Udogie and VdV had looked comfortable in defence. Udogie here was though having a tougher time, as mentioned earlier not helped by being played into trouble with no out ball.
Was happy to see Johnson start but think he could have helped his fullback out a bit more early on.
Sak was getting the odd ball past Udogie, why show him inside, he’s only one trick, don’t let him do it. One brought out an excellent save from Vicario. The next time his curling shot was going wide of the far post, which Vicario had covered, until Romero stuck a leg out for an own goal. Well, I suppose it makes a change from Mickey. First goal conceded from the left. Still Udogie and Mickey are a fine pairing on that side the big Dutch kid looking like Vertonghen but with pace, though not the shithousery. The young Italian got better as the game went on. A pair of class signings.
The stupid tart Saka then went and mimicked Maddison’s goal celebration. Well, he was taught later.
It did seem to wake Spurs up, they were still doing that fannying about stuff – and gifting chances – but there was better movement and protection of the ball. As Bissouma, Sarr and Maddison got into the game. And when they started playing one touch and go forward – Angeball innit – they cut through the home side quite easily.
The best stuff came when Spurs used width and got to the byline. They didn’t do it enough though, Porro showed numerous times how dangerous he could be in such situations but numerous times Kulusevski was left with no one on his outside. One such move saw Son play out to Kulu who kept his width before cutting inside, while Son had looped round him. Son’s ball from the byline was just a bit behind Johnson, so he couldn’t get much pace on the ball but it was still an excellent save from Raya.
Well, you’d expect Raya to have a worldie, after Spurs declined to sign him. He didn’t have much hope with Spurs’ equaliser though.
Maddison versus Saka in the corner, a drop of the shoulder and the pair are going in opposite directions, Saka heading for the cheap seats, Maddison for goal. getting to the byline he cuts it back to Son, who delightfully deflects it inside the far post.
Spurs were in control now, that midfield trio running things. At the end of the half the media would have you believe one side bossed the game that side probably thought they did as well… except…
Sum up our first half performance ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/0sLDYd8OA2
— COYS.com (@COYS_com) September 24, 2023
They just needed to move faster, with that front unit speed is key, and use the width more, Porro and Udogie getting forward and getting crosses in.
At the break they made changes, bringing on a striker who didn’t score for his last club – at least Richarlison scored a few for Everton – and another Chelsea cast off in midfield, to replace their one hundred million pound man. For all Gary Neville’s bleating that they would have won with Rice playing the full 90, I didn’t even realise he was on the pitch.
It didn’t take long for them to get another helping hand. From a corner their defender traps the ball down with his arm, fouls Maddison then turns and shoots, the ball hitting off Maddison onto Romero’s arm, which was high but not in an unnatural position for the lunge he was making. The ref said no, the commentators said no, the commentators said the check was complete and no penalty before the VAR told the ref to look again and we all know how this pans out.
Well, looks like Saka can actually score a penalty. He mimicked Maddison again. But he’d barely finished his celebration when Son netted his second equaliser. Maddison winning the ball off the replacement for Rice it was then two on one or two on two if you count the keeper. Maddison then put the ball through for Son to side foot home that second.
Spurs didn’t need external help for either of their open play goals. Meanwhile the officials couldn’t stop themselves helping the home side just a bit more when their striker went through Vicario with an awful challenge that should have been a straight red, no arguments from that hyperactive child, Arteta, on the sideline. Shockingly awful that the ref didn’t see it that way, even worse that VAR just waved it off.
Dermot Gallagher admitting Eddie Nketiah was lucky to not be sent off after that challenge on Vicario 🙄pic.twitter.com/4G7mukw69S
— alex (@boshtecogl0u) September 25, 2023
Vicario was very lucky he didn’t end up with something broken, dislocated or severely damaged. But they couldn’t help themselves I mean there was an incident where Udogie was fouled four times, the fourth caused him to go down in the process landing partially on Saka and somehow they got a foul given.
A couple of injuries soured things a bit, first Johnson looked to have done his hamstring when chasing back and Maddison eventually went off after hyper-extending his knee in a tackle, tried to run it off but better to take him off. He was replaced by Hojbjerg while Son made way for Richarlison at the same time. Not exactly like for like. They came on with 10 minutes to go, there was another 10 minutes of added time in which their absence was very noticeable. Midfielder with the ball and there’s a huge gap between them and the forward players, space that Maddison would drop into to link things up, so would Son.
Richarlison showed why despite his goal in the previous game he shouldn’t have started here, a couple of chances one he did better with but still not starter material, especially with Son playing as he is.
So a point at their place, before hand you’d take it, after with the gifts they had you feel a bit cheated. Certainly not found out, coming back twice, no help from the officials, still unbeaten…