SUNDAY 21ST MAY, 2017
HULL CITY 1 (0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 7 (3)
Referee:- Andre Marriner
Assistants:- S Beck, S Ledger
Fourth official:- A Madley
Hull (3-4-2-1):- Marshall; Ranocchia, Dawson (Capt.), Davies (sub Grosicki, 46); Elabdellaoui, N’Diaye, Huddlestone, Tymon (sub Robertson, 73); Bowen (sub Elmohamady, 72), Clucas; Niasse
Subs not used:- Jakupovic; Batty, Olley, Mbokani
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier (sub Dembele, 73), Wanyama; Eriksen, Alli (sub Sissoko, 73), Son; Kane (sub Janssen, 79)
Subs not used:- Vorm; Wimmer; Lesniak, Nkoudou
Hot shot Tottenham!
Picking a headline after this game was not easy, I can tell you! I was thinking of “The Incredibles”, or Hull City “Kaned”, but after watching us score 6 away goals on Thursday at Leicester and 7 today at Hull, I had to go for “Hot shot Tottenham”. When did Spurs ever have two such massive away wins in successive games? Never, I suspect. Spurs have scored more, and conceded less than any other team in the Premier League, including Champions Chelsea, and they have the best goal difference (+60) as well. Today we saw an incredible performance, and this season we have been watching an incredible team!
Once again, it was clearly evident that manager Mauricio Pochettino had got his team fired up to finish this season strongly, after the debacle we saw at the end of last season. I commend Mauricio and every member of the team for their efforts not only today but over the course of the season, and for their achievement, and performances which will be remembered far beyond this season.
You have to feel sorry for relegated Hull, who were missing several players, who would otherwise have played this game, including Harry Maguire, Hernandez, and Markovic to name but three. However, you can only beat the team put in front of you, and Spurs did that today with high energy, high skill, and high desire. The Spurs fans were in good voice throughout the game, and bearing in mind we were two up within 13 minutes, it was a party atmosphere in the away end for the full 90 minutes.
Pochettino reverted to 4-2-3-1 today, with Trippier returning at right back, and Christian Eriksen starting instead of Dembele. Hull played three at the b ack, which often turned to five when Spurs were going forward. That was most of the game then. Hull were skippered by Spurs legend Michael Dawson, who was fondly greeted and whose name was chanted more than once during the game by the Spurs fans, as was that of Tom Huddlestone. The absent Ryan Mason also got a fond shout-out too with a rendition of “He’s one of our own”.
The weather was sunny and warm at kick-off with Wanyama doing the honours for Spurs, as they played away from their fans, as is traditional. Hull held their own initially, and actually had the first shot on goal after a clearance for Son came back via Ranocchia and Niasse tried a shot from 25 yards, which passed wide. The level state did not last for long as Harry Kane increased his lead in the race for the “Golden Boot” in the 11th minute. Eric Dier won the ball in the Hull half, and sent it to Eriksen towards the right. Eriksen, who has so many assists to his name this term, added another with a return pass across the line for Kane who fired home from just outside the box with a left-footed shot. That put him three ahead of Lukaku and four ahead of Sanchez at that time, although both would score during the course of the afternoon.
Spurs fans hardly had time to laud Kane’s name before he had made it 2-0 within two minutes. Goalkeeper Marshall had saved from Son after Alli’s ball, but after good work by “Super Jan” Vertonghen and Kieran Trippier’s cross, Kane scored with another left footer, this time from close range. Now came not only the expected “One of our own chant”, but also “One season wonder” and “S**t Jamie Vardy2, making reference to the taunts which had been aimed at him by Leicester fans on Thursday. Kane might even have had an immediate hat-trick after fed Dele Alli, and after his pass, Harry fired just wide.
Referee Andre Marriner (who also had charge of our home game against Hull this season) kept his cards in his pocket today, but he did have “words” with Dele and Ranocchia. These two did have something of a running battle throughout the game, and Dele was not hesitant in trying the clever side of his game at every opportunity – often with success too.
Spurs were required to defend at times, and Vertonghen showed great skill in winning the ball against Niasse, before beating another Hull player. Unfortunately, his intended clearance did not fall to Tottenham feet. Son Heung-min was often involved and energetic, but this was not a day when he would bother the scorers. Alli and Kane fed the ball to the industrious Ben Davies down the left. He passed inside to Son, but another shot was saved. Davies shared corner-taking duties with Eriksen, and Eric Dier had a header from one such kick held by Marshall in the Hull goal. Ranocchia needed treatment after another challenge against Dele, and at the other end, Hull won a free kick after a foul by Wanyama on Bowen. Nothing came of that kick, and towards the end of added time, Spurs made it 3-0, through Kane, Son and Dele Alli’s finish. You know what song was aired then!
Curtis Davies made way for Grosicki after the break, and Hull did show more intent during this period. Son had yet another chance after 50 minutes after Eriksen send him clear to the left of the area. I thought that Son must score, but Marshall saved again. Dele Alli was fouled on the right by Tymon and Eriksen swung in a free kick which passed across the danger zone just in front of Kane. Marshall retrieved the ball. News now filtered through to Spurs fans that Liverpool had scored and that therefore, despite also winning it was looking like Arsenal would fail to qualify for the Champions League. “Shame about the Arsenal” was amongst the chants heard.
After 61 minutes, Eriksen passed inside to Kane who saw that Dele was in an offside position and delayed his pass. Dele’s shot was well saved by the keeper diving to his left. Now we had a spell when Hull enjoyed a little pressure. Tom Huddlestone had too much space deep in the midfield, and found substitute Grosicki, who came in from the left and had a shot saved. Hull made it 3-1 in the 66th minute, after an error by Jan Vertonghen let in Niasse to feed the ball to Sam Clucas, who fired home to give home supporters a little cheer. Clucas had scored Hull’s last goal in April against Watford, and still goes down in the record books as the last Hull player to score a Premier League goal, until such time as they return.
As happened at Leicester on Thursday night, Spurs were stung into action to retrieve their three goal lead, and Marshall had to make saves from both Eriksen and Alli. That fourth goal and three goal gap did come quickly when Eriksen hit a deep free kick from the left and Victor Wanyama popped up at the back post to head home for his fourth Premier League goal of an excellent first season with Spurs. Four became five within three minutes as Dele won the ball and passed to Harry Kane who raced into the box and didn’t hesitate to fire low past Marshall. That Golden Boot was heading Harry’s way, and he has scored no less than 8 goals in three games in a week; two hat-tricks in successive games, and his fifth hat-trick of the season including one against Fulham in the FA Cup. Hot shot Tottenham and hot shot Harry Kane indeed. This puts Harry on 78 Premier League goals for Spurs, and 99 in all games for the club.
Eric Dier, and Dele Alli were replaced by the two Mous(s)as – Dembele and Sissoko respectively. Kane was desperately looking for his fourth goal (when did a Spurs player last score four in successive games, I wonder). Trippier crossed and Kane turned his defender and tried a shot but it went the wrong side of the near post. Harry was not to get the opportunity to make it four, as he was replaced by Vincent Janssen, of course to great acclaim, which was also offered by a good number of sporting Hull fans.
Spurs had been, and continued to be nothing less than rampant. Son passed to Trippier on the right and he passed inside to Eriksen, whose shot passed wide. Son and Janssen worked together before the ball ran back to Sissoko who hit a good powerful shot, again well saved by Marshall. Gola number six came for Spurs after Trippier was fouled; Eriksen took the kick; Sissoko teed up Ben Davies, who hit a rocket of a shot that had Marshall beaten all ends up! “We want seven” cried the Spurs fans for the second consecutive game, and this time they got it, when the excellent Trippier crossed deep, and Toby Alderweireld finished the rout with a powerful shot.
Two minutes of added time were scheduled, but I think referee Andre Marriner showed mercy, calling an end to the slaughter a minute early. Naturally the team was greeted with roars of approval from the travelling fans, and Mauricio Pochettino took his own, even louder bow. Despite one or two glitches which I have reported during the season, he is “magic you know”.
And so ends a wonderful, exciting, and exhilarating season in which we have been treated to no less than 117 goals in all competitions by our beloved team. Both Man City and Liverpool won today, so they finish third and fourth respectively, with Arsenal playing “Thursday night on Channel Five” (not that they have the rights any more) in the Europa League. We have finished well-deserved runners-up to Chelsea, and in doing so, have rightly won the acclaim and admiration of pundits and fans around the world. We all crave silverware, but we also need to cherish what we have seen this season, because it has certainly been a wonderful ride.
Several articles remain to be written this season at Spurs Odyssey but I do want to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and restful summer. Personally, ever since I fell in love with the beautiful game and this team of ours, I have hated the close season with a passion, and until August, I will feel somewhat bereft.
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