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Crvena Zvezda v Spurs (Champions Youth League), 06.11.19
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

   Champions Youth League 2019-20, Group B, Game 4
        FK Vozdovac Stadium, Belgrade, Serbia
          Wednesday 6th November 2019, 4pm

 FK Crvena Zvezda          v        Tottenham Hotspur
   (White/Red)                          (All Blue)
     4-2-3-1                             4-1-4-1

       2(0)                                0(0) 

Red Star:– Katic; Mitrovic, Blagojevic, Matic(Miletic 66), Lukic, Milikic, Pantovic(Bacanin 70), Novakovic, Burmaz(C)(Piplica 90+2), Radulovic, Babic

Unused Subs– Copic, Savic, Pisar, Pesovic, Bacanin

Scorers:– Radulovic 69, Piplica 90+3

Booked:– Mitrovic 59(Late), Radulovic 84(Pull), Burmaz 86(KBA), Dordevic 90+2(Abuse), Piplica90+3(Shirt)

Coach:– Slavoljub Dordevic

Spurs:– De Bie; Eyoma, Cirkin, Bowden(C), Binks Walcott, Oakley-Boothe(Pochettino 77), Robson(Whittaker 66), Bennett, Markanday(Pedder 84)

Unused Subs:– Oluwayemi, Lusala, Muir

Booked:– Cirkin 54(Pull), Bennett 63(Late), Markanday 65(Foul)

Coach:– John McDermot

Attendance:– 650

Referee:– Sebastian Gishamer(AUT)
Assistants:– Michael Nemetz & Santino Schreiner(AUT) Fourth Official:– Lasar Lukc(SRB)

The day before this game was warm and sunny but it was a wet and chilly day in Belgrade for the visit of Spurs to the Serbian capital. The venue is also known as the Shopping Mall stadium because it was built on top of a Shopping Mall. I understand the local football club sold their ground to the developers on condition they provided them with a new ground so they put the ground on top of the shops! Unlike at WHL the pitch was astroturf. Having beaten Red Star 9-2 at Hotspur Way in the previous round Spurs decided to dispense with a striker for this match.

Spurs lined up with De Bie in goal behind Walcott and Binks with Eyoma at right back and Cirkin on the left. Bowden anchored the midfield with Robson and White ahead of him. They were flanked by Oakley-Boothe on the right and Markanday on the left in support of Bennett up front. Maghoma was missing from the bench with a late injury.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the South end but found the hosts more determined and better organised than in the first game. They employed a strong physical press which along with some poor passing by Spurs gave the advantange to the home side. Burmaz had an early effort wide while a Bowden free kick went for a corner. Novakovic played in Pantovic to fire wide with Bowden hitting wide from range. There were few chances in a tight half with Spurs trying to keep possession and slow the game down against the press of Red Star. Binks had a header saved at a corner while Pantovic fired wide and Novakovic drew a save at the end of the half.

There were no changes for the start of the second half. Cirkin was booked by the referee for pulling back Radulovic as he got past. It wasn't long before Mitrovic went into the ref's book for a foul on Robson. White took the free kick and followed up to fire wide when it was cleared.

The physical press got to the Spurs players as they failed to build up any form of passing game with Bennett booked for a late tackle on Pantovic and Markanday also booked following for a tackle from behind on Matic. To try and open the home defence Spurs made their first change an attacking one with Whittaker replacing Robson and going up front with Bennett moving left. Unfortunately Red Star scored when Radulovic, looking very offside, received the ball with only De Bie to beat.

Spurs tried to respond and Markanday was just wide from a White free kick. Oakley-Boothe gave way to Pochettino on the right and after winning another free kick for which Radulovic was booked Markanday was replaced by Pedder. Red Star were happy to drop deep and defend their lead having the chance to break as Spurs pushed forward.

When Burmaz was caught offside on a break he was booked for kicking the ball away. With the game entering added time Bennett came up with a lovely curling effort from the left that was saved by Katic at full stretch. That was a game-saving moment as Red Star broke forward in the last minute with sub Piplica scoring from a back heel by Radulovic to wrap it up. The scorer was booked for taking his shirt off in the celebrations but as he had just come on to waste a few seconds you can understand it.

This was a very tight game with few chances which without a striker to make them count was always a problem for Spurs. Red Star were much better than in the previous game and even if their coach was booked again for abuse, they stopped the passing game of Spurs. Bennett's effort deserved a goal but in the context of the game Spurs were well held. Spurs take on Olympiacos at Hotspur Way in the next round. The Greek team lost 6-0 at Munich. Hopefully Spurs will not make the sort of mistake in that game that cost them two points in Athens.


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