Third straight game without scoring, after all those goals before, and a loss at the Lane thanks to another Gomes blunder, though this one had little effect on the outcome.
No, his two fumbles in the first leg, for Madrid’s first and fourth goals, were in reality more costly than what he did last night. Quite frankly when Ronaldo’s shot scooted off the ‘keeper’s outstretched hands – I don’t get ‘keepers these days, they don’t like catching the ball but when they do their arms are fully outstretched and so they can’t use their bodies – 50 minutes had passed and you knew it wasn’t going to happen well before then.
The two clear cut, nailed on, penalty shouts that came in the first half – Modric tripped by Alonso on 6 minutes and Pavlyuchenko similarly by Albiol just before the half hour – being turned down when visible to either the ref or the extra official behind the goal, was a good enough indicator that “This ain’t your night”.
What probably didn’t help was Bale going down early on, will have made the officials a bit wary of any player going to ground, knowing also before the game with that scoreline that desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures. But that’s no excuse for acting like a Woolwich scum player or the officials not getting the other two decisions right.
Then again with our penalty record who says either of them would have gone in.
It just wasn’t going to happen, from the off when possession was given away to easily, while Madrid kept the ball with ease. Too many miss-passes and a number of aimless long balls, being out-manned in the middle, 2 v 5. But after a shaky opening Spurs came into it but things just didn’t come off, over step dummies, little dinks. Huddlestone started well off the pace, for all the good touches in his first game back as per usual after a long layoff he pays for it in the second. Too much dithering from others, Corluka the main culprit here, a number of times the early ball was needed for a cross or one of Lennon’s runs behind the fullback but the Croat was slow of thought and deed.
And when they did a distinct lack of cutting edge. Same old story, what would this season have panned out like if a 20 goal striker was available? Pavlyuchenko was given his chance and he fluffed his linest, looked lively as he did on Saturday but was isolated with van der Vaart dropping deep and when it came to the end product they flew over the bar. Then a few times Lennon was flying through their defence only for there to be no one for him to cross to, they were all too deep.
Modric did his best as did Bale, how far did he run over the night, but both were up against two players most of the time. Assou-Ekotto played like it meant something to him – though still too many aimless humps up the park – Dawson has got to stop this habit of committing himself when tight, it’s not working. Gomes makes a great clawing save from a Madrid looper and then does what he did for the goal.
Bar the thrashing Madrid took earlier in the season how many times has a team put four past a Mourinho side, never mind five or six? We’re not the first English side to take a humping, others did so when it wasn’t their first time in the competition, others took a hell of a long time to win a knockout tie.
Just now have to make sure this isn’t a one off. Spurs have enlivened this competition, how many boring games do you see year after year in the Champions League? Not that many when ‘Arry’s team are on.
Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 1 Real Madrid
So everyone wants a ManUre versus Barcelona final, well what chance a Madrid v Schalke game?