Spurs moved five points clear at the top of the table with their 2-1 victory over the fake club Crystal Palace.
They used to say that the most important man in football was the Match of the Day editor. Because in those far flung days if you couldn’t get to the match your only view of what happened was their highlights and you perspective on how your team did, outwith the result, was based on how the editor cut down 90 mins to 10 minutes of brief highlights.
I did watch MotD just to see if they included certain things, Spurs had three quarters of the ball against Palace but the highlights shown would suggest Palace bossed the game. And no, those certain things were left on the editing floor. Fouls. The number of fouls that went unpunished, also they glossed over the obvious handball for Palace’s goal.
I know, I know. As I’ve said many a time, there’s no point having all of the ball and doing nothing with it. And that’s how it was panning out. Despite having all that possession the two best players on the pitch were Micky van de Ven and Guglielmo Vicario. Vicario making those saves we know he’s so good at, while the questions were being asked if the Palace player is quick enough to get through on goal, Micky had taken the ball off them before the questioner had finished.
Micky paid for it though. Early on Palace’s albino went through the back of his heel. Awful challenge that apparently didn’t warrant a card of any sort from the ref. Now, he’s done VdV down the back of the heel absolutely nowhere near the ball. It was a red, he was the end of another one where the palace player went straight through him catching both ankles. Again a red card challenge, both of them going for the man, nowhere near the ball. Maddison was the end of a couple that should have been yellow. Then Romero. He was looking at the ball, waiting for the ball only had eyes on the ball, while the Palace player, who should have gone for the second challenge on Micky, who only had eyes for Cuti went for a shoulder charge. Never once looked to see where the ball was.
So that half saw Spurs end without a shot on target, while having all that ball. Nice play but no end product. Summed up by Richarlison. He played some nice stuff but when it came to decisive moment was found wanting, yet again. At the break Emerson replaced the virtually unseen Davies, who was in for the injured Udogie – you didn’t see Davies but you did see Emerson give the ball away repeatedly. The Italian was sorely missed. Spurs still desperately need two fullbacks as understudies.
Ange made two more changes just after the hour Hojbjerg – who is showing that maybe he shouldn’t be offloaded so easily – and Johnson, replaced Bissouma and Richarlison. Many were calling for that latter change at the break.
By now Spurs were one up. All thanks to the press. Maddison – who I remember some pundit saying didn’t do anything off the ball – chased down the keeper the pressure result in a Spurs throw, taken quickly, played between Porro, Sarr and Hojbjerg, the Dane played the ball down the line to Porro who had finally stayed wide. He put the ball towards the byline for Sarr’s run, his attempted cross found Maddison. Maddison’s slammed cross put in his own net by a Palace player who resembled Willem Defoe’s dying scene in Platoon.
Probably good that the Palace defender did it, because Richy was at the back post, and well, that’s far from a given.
I keep saying it. Keep wide, bang crosses in, they’re always dangerous. Was it seen again. No. Why? Why when something works out so well for them do they never keep doing it?
Spurs then started the piss boiling shithousery, with Romero, Vicario and Micky playing Chuckle Brothers football. It led to the second goal. A team goal of brilliance. Vicario to Romero, on to Hojbjerg, whose first time ball finds Porro in a bit of trouble, but a nice turn and lay off to Sarr, Sarr’s cross field ball is excellent for Johnson. Though it bounces a bit, now what would most players do in his position, I don’t know if many would have headed the ball on like he did to Maddison, also after doing so how many would have just stood there and admired their own handiwork? Johnson didn’t he was off, into the box to take the return ball from Maddison, he kind of scuffs the cross but it’s right there for Son to finish it off.
Even the idiot Goon on MotD was gushing about it.
The second goal came a couple of minutes after Johnson’s introduction. There was a couple of happy subs made later, as finally we saw the return of Rodrigo Bentancur after 20 months out. Like signing a new player. Also Gil made his first appearance of the season. Neither featured much in the minute of normal time or the nine added.
What did happen in that added time was a consolation from Palace. A consolation that shouldn’t have stood after Ayew handled the ball in the action of scoring. But of course VAR couldn’t see what everyone else saw. Almost as if they were trying to make up for Spurs getting one.
Well Palace, maybe if you didn’t come out to the Tottenham Sound… and didn’t come up with your own nickname, years after your formation… and pretending you’re some sort of ultras…