UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE GROUP J
THURSDAY 1ST OCTOBER, 2015
AS MONACO FC 1(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(1)
El Shaarawy, 81
Referee:- Artur Dias
Assistants:- Rui Tavares & Alvaro Mesquita
Additional assistants:- Hugo Miguel & Cosme Machado
Fourth official:- Nuno Pereira
(All officials are from Portugal)
Monaco (4-1-4-1):- Subasic; Fabinho, Raggi, Carvalho(sub Dirar,76), Coentrao; Toulalan(Capt.); Bernado Silva, Moutinho, A. Traore, Lemar (sub El Shaarawy, 60); L. Traore (sub Carrillo, 68)
Subs not used:- Nardi; Fortuna; Bakayoko, Pasalic
Booked:- Toulalan, (foul on Dier)
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Alli; Lamela(sub N'Jie, 65), Eriksen (sub Carroll, 91), Chadli (sub Townsend, 70); Kane
Subs not used:- Vorm; Fazio, Wimmer; Winks
Erik hailed again!
For the third consecutive game, former Spurs misfit Erik Lamela was hailed by the Spurs fans when he was substituted with 25 minutes to go in this game. Erik missed out the Arsenal league cup game, but played prominent parts in the Palace and Man City league wins. Here, "Erik" (for that is how he was referred to on the Monaco scoreboard) scored the Spurs first half goal which had looked as if it would secure all three points here in the half-empty Stade-Louis II stadium.
Apart from his goal, Erik was also instrumental in some excellent football, as Spurs put several very good moves together through the middle. Lamela was ably assisted by Dele Alli, celebrating his senior England call-up with more fine artistry.
Mauricio Pochettino fielded a stronger side than some anticipated, with the full backs changing, and Chadli replacing the injured Heung-min Son behind Kane. Christian Eriksen played in the middle of the attacking midfield three.
The Stade Louis II stadium is a very attractive looking structure, with architecture that fits in with its well-heeled surrounds. There is a car park beneath the stadium, and you have to climb more flights of stairs than you'd think to access the not so posh seating area, where the seats had the height of those infant school seats! Most Spurs fans stayed on their feet, of course. The Spurs Odyssey flag was flown, but the weather did not look very Mediterranean, with rain arriving in the late afternoon in the Principality. The home support looked embarrassingly thin, and the game was played in a largely subdued atmosphere. That was partly because it rarely set the pulses racing.
Monaco often played neat football, with flowing passing moves, and Thomas Lemar very effective on their left wing. Trippier had his moments, but Lemar was too often accorded luxurious space. The Spurs defence, with their ace central defenders present, looks very solid, and Danny Rose was often a hero at back and front, clearly saving Spurs with a great block tackle late in the game.
Trippier won a early corner with his powerful cross after Eriksen had sent him away down the wing, but that came to nought. The tall and bothersome striker Lacina Traore had chance after Coentrao's cross, but he fired over. Coentrao is on loan from Real Madrid.
Danny Rose hit a similar cross from the other side, after Eriksen's pass, but the goalkeeper held the ball. Rose led a Spurs break after 19 minutes, and this time it was Eriksen who got to the line, hitting the ball to Chadli, whose shot was just over in front of the travelling fans.
There was a worrying moment when Lloris did not quite hold Lemar's shot, but the defence cleared. Then Spurs went ahead with a great move and a great goal. The ball was fed from the back by Lamela towards Chadli down the right flank near the half way line. Chadli had to battle to win the ball, and got through and around a couple of defenders before advancing down the right. Nacer fed the ball to Alli who looked as if he would score, making room for a right foot shot, but it was saved. However, Lamela had made a run all the way from his own area and scored from the follow-up.
Apart from Lemar's play, the home side did not seem to have much about them, and it looked as if Spurs would hold on to if not increase their lead.
Unfortunately, after his great work for our goal, Chadli was too often either caught in possession, or over-ran the ball. One such error gave Coentrao a chance with a header from a cross from the left. The goal beckoned but Coentrao headed wide of the far post.
Harry Kane had a great chance saved after Alli's excellent move forward and pass inside. Lacina Traore also had a chance at a header from a Lemar cross, and should have done better than glance it wide.
Four minutes into the second half, Lamela was stopped in his tracks some 30 yards out, and Eriksen took the free kick, which was held by keeper Subasic.
There was whistling and jeering from the home crowd and confusion when Danny Rose was injured seeking treatment, but denied by the referee. Rose spent a little time off the pitch and re-appeared with his right hand strapped.
Monaco captain Toulalan got the only booking of the night for a foul on Dier. Lemar was substituted by El Shaarawy and the home crowd booed the departure of their star player. Head coach Jardim would have the last laugh though, as two of his substitutes were involved in their equaliser. What do fans know, eh?
Lamela was replaced by N'Jie, who did not have as much influence as he did against City. Townsend replaced Chadli, and he too did little to improve the Spurs performance. By this time, Spurs were starting to look a bit leggy, with Dier tiring in the middle. We started playing like an away team, defending desperately and hitting the ball anywhere, only to see it fed back by the stronger looking home side.
Harry Kane did have a shot cleared off the line after Eriksen crossed from the left, and Kane also had a header saved by the keeper after a Trippier cross. Spurs had another break after a poor effort on goal by the home side, moving the ball forward down the left to N'Jie, who was offside.
Monaco equalised in the 81st minute. Dirar who had replaced Carvalho hit a good cross from the right, and El Shaarawy rose to head home. Hugo Lloris got to the ball but it squeezed past him.
A minute later, Lloris save from Dirar, and this was a Vorm type save as the ball ran out towards Carillo, who was following up. This was Danny Rose's moment as he conceded a corner with a brilliant saving tackle.
Despite the pressure of the home side, Spurs did see out the game, securing a point which keeps them top of the Group J table, after Qarabag beat Anderlecht 1-0. Next up for Spurs are the two games against Anderlecht, with whom we have a famous history.
EUROPA LEAGUE GROUP J
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Spurs 2 1 1 0 4-2 2 4
2. Qarabag 2 1 0 1 2-3 -1 3
3. Monaco 2 0 2 0 2-2 0 2
4. Anderlecht 2 0 1 1 1-2 -1 1