On another rather tedious Europa League night, one man stood out above the mediocrity surrounding him, even if he had a few dodgy moments of his own. Has Lloris cemented the number one spot?
No doubt that Hugo Lloris kept Spurs in the away game with Lazio last night. He made a number of saves to deny Lazio in very good scoring opportunities to keep the clean sheet and the scoreline at 0-0 as it had been in the home game. And as it had been in that home game the officials helped in keeping things scoreless.
Back then it cost Spurs the victory here it might have as you don’t know how both sides would have reacted if Bale’s “opener” five minutes in had been correctly allowed. He wasn’t offside from Carroll’s excellent through ball. At the time Spurs had got into the game after an initial dodgy start. The state of the pitch making it’s presence known from the off.
Not long after Lazio came into things as Spurs retreated into their shell’s and became increasingly frustrating.
Too much Parker style passing – passing to players who are marked, or passing to a player who immediately and needlessly passes it straight back. Too much waiting for the ball from the receiver rather than going to get it, the slow bobbly pitch slowing the ball down and making it bobble. Nobody being active, all reactive. No running to create space, just a lot of cramped bodies giving the ball away.
The likes of Kyle Naughton saw far too much of the ball as Bale didn’t help him out in defence or do much in attack after that initial burst. Bar one attempted shot later. Adebayor, you’d think would want to make amends in some way for for Saturday’s screw up but barely looked arsed. Still hopeless first touch. Dempsey and Sigurdsson still haven’t fit in.
Carroll again looks decent. You do think things could have been worse with Huddlestone in there. But is the youngster commanding? Maybe that’s asking too much now, with experience it may come. One glimmer of hope was the arrival of Dembele as a substitute with a quarter of an hour to go. He looked a class above in the cameo.
It was all just too lacklustre a lot of it lazy. Yet again in the Europa League.
It was left to Lloris to make sure Spurs’ fate is in their own hands. Some excellent saves went hand in hand with some inept finishing from the hosts – some of his kicking was pretty poor on the night contributing some to problems on the night. Just have to not lose at home to Panathinaikos to go through. Oh god I hate games where they can get away with a draw.
Ah yes the hosts. The wonder full supporters from Rome who left London two months back facing a fine from UEFA for monkey chants aimed at Spurs’ black players. Topped it off with anti-Semitic chants here after the attacks on Spurs supporters in the Italian capital the night before.
We all know if this had been the other way round then the English team, if not all English teams, would be facing exclusion from European competition, Lazio no doubt will be on the end of another slap on the wrist – to match the 40,000 euro fine after the first match.