Another Europa League knock out game and another Europa League loss, another Wembley game another Wembley let down.
They didn’t lose at Wembley on the night but Spurs did lose at Wembley as they went out of the Europa League to end a rather awful European campaign this season.
And only themselves to blame for this abortion of of a campaign. They were pretty damn useless in all the Champions League games, something they kept up in the first leg of the first knockout game of the Europa League away to Gent.
Bizarrely at Wembley in the second leg they all of a sudden looked like they were bothered about European football. It really looked like they wanted to win and progress, something we hadn’t seen before in either competitions.
Fast, attacking, in their face football. Everything you want to see from the off, from this Spurs, otherwise it’s going to be a miserable night.
It looked better 10 minutes in when Eriksen scored the opener. A Toby punt down the wing is missed by the Gent player and Eriksen was through one on one with the ‘keeper, he slides it home for his first goal in living memory.
The speed with which he attacked the goal and then got the ball and rushed back to the centre spot, now if they had only played with this intensity in Belgium the score wouldn’t now be one all.
What followed was standard Spurs stuff this year, creating chances, missing chances.
Then there was a corner, their corner, now Spurs can’t score at their own corners but those of others. Harry Kane’s back header flies past the helpless Hugo. An away goal, oh well tow needed now but if they kept playing the way they had you could see them coming.
Well, if they actually took the chances that is. Because more came and more went. When they were playing the fast one touch stuff, it was good stuff, one great first time cross from Davies just couldn’t quite be reached by Kane. As I tweeted that this is what they needed more of Walker on the other side was dithering over a cross before kicking straight at a yellow shirted player.
He did manage a couple of first timers but christ I hate it when he has acres of space out wide but comes inside right up to a defender, who he hasn’t got the brains to get the ball past. Why don’t you cut off your angles you dolt.
And then it went a bit pear shaped.
Oh, Dele. Well, he does get narked when things aren’t going his way and he’s done it before and got away with it and it almost looked like he had again. But in reality if the ref had reached for his yellow, which for a mo it looked like, it would have been yet another officiating error on the night.
Fouled by Dejaegere – who had been rolling about in the Spurs penalty area just moments before, claiming for something – Dele took his revenge, after losing the ball, he went over the ball and straight through the Gent players shin. It was a bad one, if the other side had done it we would have all been screaming for a red – though with this mob in charge it probably would have been a yellow.
Between a rock and a hard place, don’t want to have a real go at Dele but don’t want to water down a Charlie Adam challenge. Certainly cannot argue about the card.
That was just five minutes before the break, so 50 minutes with ten men, though you wouldn’t know it. Spurs were pretty much camped out in the Gent half for the half. Can’t remember Vertonghen spending so much time, so far forward. Inside left.
But again chances were being spurned. Pochettino waited until just before the 60th minute to make a change. Defender, though in name only with the way of the game, for attacker. Davies making way for Son.
Minutes later the game was on. Walker actually found a white shirted player after cutting inside, right up to the defender, Eriksen’s lay off with the outside of his boot was sublime, though probably meant for Walker, Wanyama stepped in and blasted in the goal.
Still one needed, with their away goal and Harry looked like he didn’t want Spurs to progress. There was the missed chances, then there was the own goal and then blocking a really good goal bound shot.
Two headers by Gent players could have changed things, one almost an own goal the other a sitter missed in the Spurs box that would have sealed the deal. As it was the latter didn’t matter for the visitors when with it being all Spurs, they broke and got the equaliser on the night. The winner on aggregate.
With Spurs lamentable finishing, Harry was back at it joined by Son, they weren’t going to get one back, never mind the two required to face Genk in the next round.
Someone tweeted that Gent deserved some credit. They didn’t. Spurs handed them the tie. Absolutely useless in Belgium, they should have won by a country mile at Wembley, even with 10 men for most of the game, but for being so wasteful.
Only themselves to blame…