Spurs new Europa League group campaign got off to an unfortunate start but then one player may have answered some questions, another just enhanced a growing reputation, while another was himself.
A the glamour and glory of Qarabag on a Thursday night on BT Sport.
Well that start, Kieran Trippier giving up a penalty five minutes in, five minutes into his club debut, at least others, Dier and Alderweireld, waited a game or two before doing such.
It looked like being one of those nights, one where chameleon Spurs showed up and they played to the level of the opposition. Except the opposition were the better side in possession. They looked comfortable on the ball while Spurs looked clumsy and ham-footed.
Lamela was the one having one of those Lamela days. One touch too many and that touch gifting the ball away. Lamela was doing some things right, getting in the right positions, playing some decent enough balls but when it came to the crunch he’d just blow his chance at glory.
One glorious chance came back off the post after some excellent build up play that no doubt would have had Roberto Soldado nodding his head in solidarity. When he finally did score, Spurs’ third, it was a blessed relief with tinges of Andy Cole’s needing a ton of chances to get one or…
Lamela scores… monkeys and Shakespeare…
— Toxic Web (@Toxic_Web) September 17, 2015
By then Spurs had taken the lead and ridden their luck, well if you play Danny Rose at left-back you’ve got to expect him to bollocks up things every few minutes. This talk of how great a player he’s turned out to be somewhat exaggerated.
Two goals coming from someone who is or is not a striker, Son Heung-min. Well his first looked like a pure poacher,
the boy Lineker, the ball dropping to him in the middle of the goal a couple of yards out from a corner.
His second was with that Lamela miss the best interplay from Spurs all night, between Lamela and Alli and Son. Lovely turn in the box by Alli and perfectly laid off to Son as he advanced into the box.
Son hasn’t exactly looked at his best in his two league outings. A bit lightweight, not used to having a big lumper up his backside as soon as the ball is anywhere near him. But third game in two important goals, is he off an running in a way that Lamela, who struggles in the same way, never got the chance to do?
One player who is used the rough and tumble of the English game is Alli and again he shone in a man of the match performance. He’s still a teenager but looks comfortable out there and certainly doesn’t back down.
So it’s a victory, it’s three points in what looks like a tough group, that Spurs now top after the other pair drew, and maybe an unpredictable group Qarabag may not be the push overs that people thought. Or maybe Spurs just made them look better than they are. Time will tell.