UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP B
TUESDAY 6TH NOVEMBER, 2018
8PM (at Wembley)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(0) PSV EINDHOVEN 1(1)
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Kane, 78, 89
De Jong, 2
Referee:- Ivan Kružliak (SVK)
Assistants:- Tomaš Somolani (SVK) & Branislav Hancko (SVK)
Additional assistants:- Peter Kralovic (SVK) & Filip Glova (SVK)
Fourth official:- Tomaš Mokoš (SVK)
Spurs (4-1-2-3):- Gazzaniga; Aurier (sub Trippier, 75), Sanchez, Alderweireld, Davies; Winks; Eriksen, Dele; Lucas Moura (sub Lamela, 62), Kane, Son (sub Llorente, 75)
Subs not used:- Vorm; Walker-Peters; Sissoko, Skipp
Booked:- Son (foul on Lozano), Trippier (foul on Lozano)
PSV (4-3-3):- Zoet; Dumfries, Schwaab, Viergever, Angelino; Rosario, Pereiro (sub Malen, 73), Hendrix; Lozano, De Jong (Capt.)(sub Sainsbury, 81), Bergwijn (sub Gutierrez, 86)
(Armband to Zoet)
Subs not used:- Room; Behich, Ramselaar, Mauro Junior
Booked:- Lozano (foul on Winks), Schwaab (foul on Kane)
Spurs won the battle, but can they win the war?
On a night when so many Spurs fans voted with their feet and stayed away from Wembley, to which they are tired of travelling, Spurs suffered a very early setback when PSV skipper Luuk De Jong scored with a towering header. This was a situation where Spurs needed the very best of support, but it was the full contingent of PSV fans who filled Wembley with their celebrations as their team held on for so long, despite Mauricio Pochettino’s best attacking intentions.
Pochettino had choices in attack, but little option at the back where Harry Winks played a hero’s role in front of the back four. Dele and Eriksen played just ahead of Winks and supported the front three of Lucas Moura, Kane and Son. We enjoyed 75% possession against the visitors who were desperate to hold onto their lead, but also dangerous when given attacking opportunities. Paolo Gazzaniga, given the nod to make his Champions League debut in the absence of the suspended Lloris, did not let his side down, and made crucial saves in the second half.
Spurs fans crave Champions League football, but so many of them obviously chose not to bother attending last night. Numerous “spare” tickets were on offer on social media leading up to this game. PSV fans numbered nearly 5,000, so two thirds of the number of Spurs fans who will be required to fill the new stadium were in attendance. On the day the golden cockerel was raised to stand proudly above the new South stand at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it was skipper Harry Kane who scored the two late goals which gave Spurs the result they required. With Inter getting a draw at home to Barcelona, Spurs must win their game against the Italians at Wembley on 28th November, and will need to at least match Inter’s result on Matchday 6 when we travel to Barcelona, whilst Inter will host PSV, who by then are likely to have nothing to play for. At least we have hope going into Matchday Five when our win over Inter needs to be either 1-0 or by a goal difference of two to go ahead of them on the head to head calculations.
Spurs conceded an early corner, after only 40 seconds, and that was taken by Pereiro and headed home at the near post by De Jong. I understand that Dele Alli was blocked off cleverly as De Jong rose, and of course with Dier, Dembele and Wanyama injured, we did lack height apart from our centre backs. Spurs had given themselves a bigger mountain to climb.
Toby Alderweireld sent a long ball for Aurier to chase, but the right back failed to control it in front of the corner flag, and also in front of the gloating PSV fans. Eriksen took some stick every time he took a corner in front of them. Perhaps the Dutch don’t like Danes? (It has been pointed out to me that PSV probably did not like Eriksen's previoius Ajax connection. I don't recall him being booed so enthusiatically in Eindhoven) Son was attacking on the edge of the box but the ball was cleared. It was returned to Dele, who had a right foot shot deflected across the goal for a corner. From Eriksen’s corner and Sanchez’s header, Dele tried a clever back-heeled flick, but that was cleared off the line. A right footed shot from the left of the PSV area by Eriksen also took a deflection and Spurs won another corner. After 8 minutes Son, again on the left, passed back to Dele, who hit a ball through the left side of the area for Kane, whose shot was blocked and went for another corner. The PSV fans were in good voice, as their team was holding out well.
After 20 minutes, Winks sent Kane away down the left channel, and Harry’s right footed shot was saved well by Zoet, diving to his left. Lucas Moura excited the home fans with a great run across the area from left to centre. He got into the box and got the benefit of a rebound, but his final shot was over the goal. Slovakian referee Ivan Kruzliak chose to have “words” with Ben Davies over a strong challenge, and quite remarkably for a European referee he seemed reluctant on the whole to get his cards out, also allowing some strong challenges which benefited Spurs’ efforts. Winks in particular was battling hard, but also bringing the ball forward effectively. I made him my man of the match, despite Harry Kane’s late goal-scoring heroics.
After that foul by Davies, PSV wasted their free kick. Viergever was also shown lenience by the referee when he fouled Harry Kane. After 27 minutes, Dele broke into the area on the left and had his shot blocked. Eriksen’s follow-up was also blocked, and Kane was penalised when he challenged for the ball. A further decent spell of Spurs possession ended in disappointing fashion when Aurier crossed into the arms of Zoet. Toby Alderweireld found Dele with a long ball after 35 minutes. Dele hit a right footed shot, but not with full power, and Zoet saved, diving to his right. Lozano was yellow carded for a cynical foul on Harry Winks who had won a challenge and was threatening to break down the left wing. After 39 minutes, Son exchanged passes with Dele and raced into the PSV area where he went down under challenge from three defenders, but no foul was given.
Two minutes into the second half, Lucas Moura raced across the edge of the area from right to left, exchanged a wall pass with Eriksen then fed Davies, who hit a shot quite woefully wide. Davies would get forward more and more in this half, and would ultimately have a very positive effect, creating the winning goal. That was a long way off though, as Spurs pounded away. Dele passed to Son on his left, but his shot was blocked. Winks brought the ball forward on 50 minutes, and fed Aurier on the right. Aurier’s cross was held by the PSV keeper.
After 52 minutes, Spurs fans had their hearts in the mouths when Gazzaniga turned to keep the ball away from Lozano, after receiving a back pass. He hit a longish clearance to Davies who passed inside to Kane. Kane returned the ball to Dele, but his shot passed harmlessly over the goal. In a rare attack Bergwijn received the ball from Lozano 22 yards out, but his shot was deflected and went for a corner.
Boos rang around the ground when Mauricio Pochettino chose to replace Lucas Moura with Erik Lamela. Lucas had obviously been offering plenty of excitement, but perhaps Mauricio knew more about energy levels than we did, not that Erik had a massive influence on the final quarter of the game, but he probably offers more in the way of defensive skills than does Lucas. Dele Alli was blocked off by about five defenders in the PSV area and Davies had a shot blocked. Son was fed by Winks and his goal-bound shot was deflected out by Schwaab.
Spurs looked as if they were going to break after a long ball by Gazzaniga, but the referee halted play for an inured PSV player. It was not a head injury, but Spurs’ attacking intent was thwarted. With fifteen minutes left Pochettino brought on Llorente for Son and replaced Aurier with Trippier. Spurs brought the ball out from the back after a good challenge by Alderweireld in the Spurs area which had the PSV fans baying for a penalty. Lamela laid off the ball for dele, who passed to Kane. Kae was forced across the PSV area from right to left and could not get his shot past the wall of defenders.
That PSV defensive wall was finally broken and Llorente played a part in the goal. Kane won a header which he hit to Llorente who quickly passed back to Harry who beat Zoet low to his left with a well placed shot. PSV coach Mark Van Bommel immediately replaced his captain De Jong with a defender – the Australian Trent Sainsbury. Gazzaniga made a good double handed save from substitute Malen, who was previously an Arsenal junior.
Harry Winks hit a good centre from the right but Llorente’s header was straight into the arms of the PSV keeper. Winks was then offering a pass to Lamela, but he fired over. PSV had a free kick from the left after Lamela’s foul but Schwaab’s header was held by Gazzaniga. Then came the wonderful moment that was the winning goal! Dele had threaded a ball to Davies, who hit his best cross of the night. Kane rose and headed towards the corner of goal, but his header was actually deflected in by not one but two PSV defenders. There was confusion initially over whether Kane would be credited or whether it was an own goal, but Harry’s has been credited as the original header was on target. That makes it 4 Champions League goals this season and Harry’s 150th club goal!
There were no less than 6 minutes of added time, but Spurs saw it through and cling onto that slender chance of qualification for the group stage. Some fans will not want to be told that our chances of European football in the New Year are enhanced anyway, with the prospect of a third place finish and the Europa League. Hopefully we will get a better turnout for the Inter game.
Group B Table
P W D L F-A GD PTS
1. Barcelona 4 3 1 0 11-3 8 10
2. Inter 4 2 1 1 5-5 0 7
3. Spurs 4 1 1 2 7-9 -2 4
4. PSV 4 0 1 3 4-10 -6 1