more than once in some cases.
Spurs inability to put away PSV Eindhoven costing them victory is nothing new for this Spurs, neither is facing elimination from the Champions League.
It could have been oh so different, a bit of luck here, a bit of decent officiating there, a bit of decent finishing here, a bit of a cool head there and it could have been their first three points of the tournament and a better chance of grabbing a spot in the top two of the group.
Spurs were totally outplaying their Dutch opponents so much so that they should have put so many past them they could have given Spurs the Eredivisie title there and then – PSV are unbeaten after nine league games, scoring 36 conceding just 3.
But now, were sitting here and Spurs aren’t three points behind second placed Inter but five behind after letting yet another lead slip away. The annoying thing this was one of Spurs better performances this season. There was some really decent play on show, it didn’t half help having Eriksen back. But having the Dane back meant yet another change in personnel and formation, though the lack of continuity didn’t seem to hinder that much here, though you’d say Lamela was very unlucky to lose his place to Son, who hasn’t quite shone since his return.
The officiating did. PSV players, especially Lozano seemed to have trouble with gravity. Dembele carded not long into the game after being nowhere near fouling Lozano when he took a tumble. This was shortly before Toby decided to have a dither. Under no real pressure if he hadn’t dithered, he coughed up the ball and the aforementioned Lozano was through on goal, Toby did a great job getting back to him, it’s just his sliding block deflected the ball over Lloris, into the net.
It was typical Spurs, have all the ball and all the chances and end up a goal down.
The lead shouldn’t have lasted long but for the inept officiating to continue. From Trippier’s corner, Toby nodded on, the keeper saved it straight out to Sanchez and the defender put it away. Only for the lino to flag for Harry Kane being offside. Harry was just off the line, with the keeper ahead of him and one defender behind him. Technically offside, under the old rules but as he jumped away from the ball, wasn’t that close and didn’t interfere with play… not offside.
Five minutes later they couldn’t find a reason to chalk off Moura’s deflected shot. It was a nicely constructed goal, PSV hadn’t touched the ball for some time, when it found Eriksen just outside the box, he saw Trippier out wide and played teh perfect ball, bisecting the defence, onto the on running fullback, near the byline his cutback was perfect for Moura.
It was a well deserved equaliser. The main architect was involved in Spurs’ second ten minutes into the second half, a one-two with Son saw Eriksen swing in a beautiful cross, with his “weaker” left foot, right onto the head of Kane, who nodded down and in.
They needed that third, hell they need that fourth, fifth, sixth. You never know what goal difference can do to your chances. But as with the first half they were spurning good chances, while the home keeper was having a highlight reel day. Lamela replaced Moura, when maybe it should have been Son that should have been taken off.
PSV barely touched the ball in the second half, well, for pretty much 80 minutes of it. The problem was the carded Dembele was taken off for Winks at about 75 minutes and from there the control in the middle was lost. Then all control was gone, Eriksen with a lazy lay off and one pass later Lozano is through on goal, Hugo came screaming out of his box and got him enough for the ref to immediately go for the red card.
You can argue that Sanchez and Toby had him covered, especially when you remember how Toby closed him down for the opener. The other way and Spurs fans would be screaming for the dismissal.
What is wrong with Hugo. The excellent saves at the weekend, go without saying but the mad rushes out of the box are proving costly. With that the drink driving conviction, something ain’t right. Though with a sweeper keeper you have to expect errors, people castigating him now are happy when he comes out and gets the ball. Can’t believe some want him dropped for the static Vorm. Unfortunately it was the Dutchman that came on and not Gazzaniga, though his first touch was an excellent save from the resulting free-kick.
The damage was done though. From being out of it both the team and the crowd were now lifted and we didn’t have long to wait for the inevitable. From another free-kick, the ball is nodded out, where a weak shot is met by de Jong’s foot to make the ball loop into the net, past the scrambling Vorm. De Jong clear in the box, with no markers, all too simple.
So been here before leading against Inter with five minutes to go, leading here with 3 to go. Eight minutes to drop five points. 71% of the ball, 24 attempts of which 9 were on target, that should get you more than 2 goals but Spurs can’t finish a team off when they’re so dominant.
It was all so reminiscent of the last time these two met. A decade ago in the UEFA Cup, that piss weak Jenas penalty when he had a chance to put us through, which ended up in Spurs signing Heurelho Gomes.
They’ve also been here before in the Champions League, the first stab at it under Pochettino, being disappointed, though after three games they had four points but still needed snookers to get through. Need to beat PSV, hope Barca beat Inter, then win the home game against Inter. Then hope PSV do us a favour against the Italians or that Barca have an off day having already qualified.
Though it’s far more likely that the new stadium will be greeted by the Europe League anthem…