Spurs eventually succeeded in doing the first bit they needed to stay in the Champions League qualification hunt by beating Inter Milan, eventually, now they just need to match Inter’s result in the final game, against Barcelona.
Hope don’t you just love it…
In a shocking turn of events, needing just a draw to qualify for the knockout stage of the competition, Inter Milan came to Wembley it seemed with the aim of just getting that draw. I know, an Italian side doing that, what a shock.
What with their manager stood on the sidelines hold up his arms, it looked like they were trying to fulfil every known Italian stereotype going. With Harry Kane repeatedly running at them and being repeatedly fouled, they couldn’t live with him without fouling him. All done of course without receiving a yellow card from the ref – yet the first indiscretion by a Spurs player and oh, look there’s it is. And in the second half it was a bit of a shock when the fourth official indicated there would be only three minutes added time as numerous Inter players had spent most of the half writhing around on the floor in agony.
In the end they were only wasting their own time, but the winning goal came so late there was little they could do, though in the first game between the pair Inter’s equaliser and winner came after the 80th minute. Which was the minute Spurs took a deserved lead.
Desperately needing that goal, it looked like it would never come as again Spurs dominated the Italian team but looked to come away with nothing to show for it – one point was worthless really. The Inter defence was solidly stopping most Spurs attacks, by fair means or foul, most of the attempts though were from outside the area and most went high or wide. Except Winks’ shot which curled over the keeper’s outstretched arm and hit the bar.
A lot of the time there just was’t the space for the players Poch put out in his starting XI to play like they want to. Lamela – who was lucky not to see a red card – and Moura were running into a few cul-de-sacs. It needed a change. It needed the obvious changes. Those two for Son and Eriksen. Son arrived first – usual on the hour Poch substitution – for Lamela and immediately made a difference. But he waited so long to bring on the Dane, only 20 minutes left. I know, I know, played at the weekend, big game this weekend.
Eriksen created a glorious chance for the returning Vertonghen, from a free-kick, which the Belgian somehow missed the target with from a few yards out.
Hugo was then called into his first real action of the night, a cracking save from a sharp shot at his near post.
The game changer though was Sissoko… I know, you never thought you’d see those words… unless he was doing something completely inept and was changing the game for the benefit of the opposition. Picking up a pass about halfway into the inter half, his run… charge… into the box carved through the Inter defence, and then he actually found Dele with an excellently weighted pass. Dele’s touch, turn and layoff were equally as good leaving the onrushing Eriksen to lift the ball into the net. An excellent goal, all round.
Will also say it wasn’t Sissoko’s first decent run at the opposition and that time he played a decent final ball. I don’t know where they’ve found this new Sissoko from but where ever it is that lot can keep the old one.
That away goal in Milan puts Spurs second in the group ahead of Inter. Barca won their game and so have won the group and have nothing to play for when Spurs visit them in the final game of the group stage. Spurs have to at least match what ever result Inter manage in their final game against PSV. The Dutch side lost 2-1 in their home game.
So Spurs keep you hoping… and it’s the hope that kills you…