SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(2)
Kane, 25, 34 (pen)
Referee:- Craig Pawson
Assistants:- Ian Hussin, Andy Halliday
Fourth official:- Peter Bankes
Huddersfield (3-4-2-1):- Lossl; Zanka (aka Jorgensen), Schindler (sub Mbenza, 71), Kongolo (sub Hadergjonaj (29); Lowe, Hogg (Capt.), Billing, Durm; Mooy, Pritchard (sub Mounie, 85); Depoitre
Subs not used:- Hamer; Smith, Van la Parra, Stankovic
Booked:- Zanka (foul on Kane), Billing (foul on Son)
Spurs (3-4-2-1):- Gazzaniga; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen (sub Wanyama, 46); Trippier, Dier, Dembele (sub Winks, 46), Rose; Lucas Moura, Son (sub Sissoko, 90); Kane (Capt.)
Subs not used:- Whiteman; Davies; Lamela; Llorente
Booked:- Rose (foul on Hadergjonaj), Winks (foul on Hadergjonaj)
Spurs go fourth. Kane goes fifth.
Spurs secured a comfortable two goal win with both goals scored in the first half by Harry Kane. One was a header following a Trippier cross; the second was a well struck penalty won after Danny Rose had been fouled by substitute Hadergjonaj. Huddersfield had started well, and urged on by their noisy and exuberant supporters the bottom club gave Spurs a tough game, which I felt we managed pretty well overall. Both sides had other chances to score with Gazzaniga making a couple of saves, and having his woodwork struck. The win takes Spurs into fourth place, whilst Harry Kane’s brace makes him the clear fifth highest goalscorer in Spurs’ history, having been equal with Jermain Defoe on 143. That’s quite some feat for the 25 year old, who now has Cliff Jones’ 159 in his sights.
The official team news had told us nothing about the absence of Dele Alli, but there had been newspaper reports to the effect that Dele had suffered a recurrence of the hamstring injury he sustained when playing for England early this month. Whether he makes Wednesday’s Barcelona game remains to be seen, but we are led to believe that Christian Eriksen will be available, whilst we now have to worry about Jan Vertonghen who took a knock in the first half, and who was replaced at half-time. Mousa Dembele also did not come out, but in his case surely he was being rested in preparation for Barcelona. Harry Winks performed admirably in the midfield next to Victor Wanyama, with Eric Dier falling into the left side of our back three.
It was a bright sunny day at The John Smith’s Stadium, and the players were often affected by the high sun in their eyes. Huddersfield kicked off playing towards the away end, and were clearly determined to put Spurs on the back foot with Alex Pritchard supporting Depoitre, and Aaron Mooy never far behind them. After a cross from the right, Chris Lowe wanted a penalty, but referee Craig Pawson wanted none of that. The official was not the friend of the home fans throughout the game. One of “The Terriers”’ main attacking tactics was the use of their long throw merchant Philip Billing, but Spurs generally defended those situations well. It was a quite physical game, and Huddersfield certainly had the early pressure and their fans made an incredible noise enhanced by those irritating cardboard clappers.
Kieran Trippier made a good run down the right and crossed where Danny Rose met the ball with a header from inside the Huddersfield area. The ball passed wide of Lossl’s goal. Three minutes later Spurs cleared well out of defence and Harry Kane was away on his own run down the right of centre. His shot was saved by the keeper and the Spurs follow-up cross was cleared. Spurs had survived the early onslaught, such as it was and began to exert their authority. Jan Vertonghen needed treatment and took a while to run off his knock when he did return.
After 19 minutes, Toby Alderweireld picked out Son on the right side. Son came inside and hit a left footed shot, but it passed well over and wide of the target. Lucas Moura went into the box after 25 minutes and looked as if he had a good penalty shout, but Trippier quickly crossed and Harry Kane headed home with aplomb for a deserved 1-0 lead. Kongolo, who had committed the (possible) foul on Lucas needed treatment and was stretchered off before being replaced by Hadergjonaj in Huddersfield’s back three. The two teams had matched formations.
After one of those Billing throws taken from the left Lowe hit a good curling left footed shot which Gazzaniga saved well just inside his left post. A minute later Spurs had a penalty when Son made a clever reverse pass into the path of thee advancing Danny Rose who was brought down and got the penalty decision this time from referee Craig Pawson. Harry Kane hit a superb penalty. Goalkeeper Lossl dived right. The ball went to his left. Zanka got the first yellow of the game for his challenge upon Kane, who was suffering lots of attention throughout the afternoon. There were 5 minutes of added time at the end of the first half, during which Depoitre hit the bar in the top right corner of Gazzaniga’s goal with a shot after Durm’s cross from the left.
The home crowd booed when the players and officials went off at the end of each half, and I am not sure if there anger was directed at the officials or one of the Spurs players. Mauricio Pochettino made those half-time substitutions and Dier took up the position on the left of the back three, with Winks and Wanyama our new defensive midfield. I thought Winks played well too, making some tigerish challenges as well as some decent attacking contributions. It’s the best I’ve seen him play since his return from injury.
Spurs did create several really good scoring chances in the second half, but generally their fin al efforts just did not have the requisite power. Kane picked up a loose Huddersfield pass 35 yards out and then spread the ball to Son on the left. Son came in and managed to pass to Lucas Moura, who just managed to get in a shot, but it had non strength and was blocked. Danny Rose crossed from the left and again Lucas Mora managed to get a shot on goal, but Lossl saved this one reaching behind his body on the left.
Former Spur Alex Pritchard took a free kick which was blocked. After 63 minutes, Spurs played well out of defence in one of their sweeping attacks. This time Lucas Moura ended being the provider for Son, but his shot was well off target. Another Spurs break led to a pass by Kane to Son on his left but he ended up effectively passing to the goalkeeper with a shot which lacked strength. Lowe took another Huddersfield free kick at the other end, but that passed wide. Mooy took the next free kick for “The Terriers” and Billing’s header was well saved by Gazzaniga, who for the third consecutive game proved reliable in the Spurs goal. With those noisy supporters urging them on the home side were desperately trying to get back into the game with substitute Mbenza’s effort well saved by Gazzaniga after a ball from Hadergjonaj.
Kane was fouled cynically in the right corner (no card) and Trippier took the free kick. Sanchez had had one header blocked before his follow-up was saved. The atmosphere in the closing stages was racked up with spurs fans responding in kind to the chants of the home fans. Spurs had some good pressure and possession play before Wanyama had a shot saved after Lucas Moura’s final pass. Son was replaced on 90 minutes by Sissoko, and Spurs saw out the game comfortably. They will need to play far better and hopefully we will have the guile of Eriksen against Barcelona in front of a packed Wembley house on Wednesday night, but I honestly felt we “managed” this game well. This had been our seventh successive game in different stadia! Maybe we should be called the “Wanderers”!
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