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AEL Limassol v Spurs, 21.08.14

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE
4TH QUALIFYING ROUND (1ST LEG)
THURSDAY 21ST AUGUST, 2014
(5pm BST)
AEL LIMASSOL 1(1) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(0)

AEL Scorer:-
Sardinero, 14

Spurs scorers:-
Soldado, 74
Kane, 80

Attendance:- 8,350

Referee:- Manuel De Sousa
Assistants:- Ricardo Santos & Tiago Rocha
Fourth official:- Hugo Miguel
(All officials from Portugal)

Teams:-
AEL (4-4-1-1):- 1.Fegrouch; 23. Carlitos, 4. Sielis, 50. Cadu, 19. Edmar; 77. Sardinero (sub 11. Carlitos), 12. Nikolaou (Capt.), 33. Guidileye, 20. Bebe; 10. Diego Barcelos (sub 27. Eleftheriou, 67); 9. Gikiewicz (sub 7. Tagbajumi,73)

Subs not used:- 30. Pulpo (GK):- 2. Espana, 44, Nadeau, 8. Stavrou,

Booked:- Cadu (foul on Soldado)

Spurs (4-2-1-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Naughton, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies; Holtby (sub Dembele, 66), Bentaleb; Paulinho (sub Chadli, 59); Townsend (sub Lamela, 72), Soldado, Kane;

Subs not used:- Friedel; Rose, Dawson; Sandro

Booked:- Holtby (unsporting behaviour), Soldado (foul on Guidieleye), Davies (foul on Carlitos)

"Lamela won us the game"

My decision to economise and not travel to Cyprus back-fired insofar as, like most of you, I was disappointed to find there was absolutely no TV coverage at home. My novice attempts to find a stream also failed, so I gave up on the idea of creating a traditional match report, and eventually found the only British radio commentary of the game on BBC Radio London 94.9. (That was only available online too!)

Next week, normal service resumes. I will be at the game, and those of you unable to go to White Hart Lane will be able to watch ITV coverage.

I have seen the goals, and clearly Erik Lamela was man of the match, for 18 minutes of sheer delight once he came off the bench to replace Andros Townsend. Lamela's chip for Soldado's superb volley finish was outstanding, and the goal will be a candidate for the Spurs' goal of the season.

Lamela's second assist came with a pass into the path of the on-rushing Harry Kane who fired home convincingly, having had several chances earlier in the game. The best of these was from a Chadli cross, which I haven't seen on any highlights, but the AEL goalkeeper made a great save to tip the ball onto the bar and out of play, as I recall from the radio commentary.

In the end, it was a happy night for Spurs, and the positive result I sought, which should see us through to the Europa League proper after next week's home leg.

Pochettino left Emmanuel Adebayor, Christian Eriksen, Younès Kaboul, Aaron Lennon and Etienne Capoue at home, and will have plenty of options and fresh legs for Sunday's home game against QPR. One of those options might not be Paulinho, who looked very stale by all accounts, and whose error allowed Sardinero to race away to score the 14th minute first goal of the game.

I am grateful to those who did manage to see the game, and who haave responded to the post-match survey, giving me enough responses to provide the spursometer for this game

I also received the following comments, all of which were anonymous, but which I consider to be quite pertinent:-

"Paulinho very poor , off the pace . Holtby reminds me of a dog in the park chasing the ball, when he gets it has no idea what to do with it."

"Woeful pass out from Paulinho to give the goal away and no improvement after that from him. Looks like he's working his ticket out. Two good goals though and maybe, just maybe, Soldado is beginning to get some self belief back."

"Woeful from everyone until the subs came on"

"Game changed with subs at last a bit of creativity and forward passing at pace from Lamela. Also he had 2 great scoring chances."

"Kane's not my favourite player but he can be effective and always tries. One or two decent moments"

"Lamela won us the game"

"Pochettino was getting out-thought by his opposite number, whose plan was to attack the full backs with fast breaks and flood the middle with two packed defensive lines - and it worked for the most part. Davies showed some vulnerability which we're more used to seeing from Naughton, who looked his usual weak self. Poor positional defensive play from through balls in the first half and Lloris had to sweep to the rescue on occasion and make the occasional save."

(Regarding the referee):-"Not obviously the usual European homer but not giving much to Spurs either, although better than the level of ref we usually get in the Europa."

Daily Telegraph Match Report

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