Does a league win trump two cup defeats? Well, it kind of felt that way as Spurs again eschewed the draw and went for the comeback win against Watford to make sure it wasn’t three straight home league defeats.
The blessed relief of victory. The blessed relief of a team that looked like they were interested.
It wasn’t just missing out on a trophy that got my back up with the F.A. Cup defeat, it was that the team didn’t look bothered in a game, even stripped to the bone as they were, that they should have won, with Palace looking at avoiding relegation rather than a cup run.
They looked bothered for the league. It did help to have Son back. He certainly looked up for it and was basically a one man show for most of the first half. A first half that Spurs again ended behind. Another Watford goal from a set piece, another individual error, another blunder from Hugo. The first corner of the match and Watford score.
With City losing the night before and Chelsea losing to Bournemouth this looked like classic Spurs and blowing a golden opportunity. It looked even more so when Llorente completely Llorented an open goal in the second half. The half again started with Spurs making a formation shift, going from a back three to four, with Aurier making way for Moura, Sissoko moving to right-back. The Frenchman put in the first decent cross of the night from Spurs. After some nice work by Son, Sissoko’s cross got Llorente moving. As the striker was being pulled down by his shirt – a penalty – the defender just beat him to the ball, Foster saved it but the rebound was there in front of an open goal, all Lorente had to do was nod it it but instead he tried to get his leg up to kick it and in the process kneed the ball over the bar from about a yard out.
An unbelievable miss, that was very believable.
The thing is Llorente had been a lot better in the game, up until the final third. He wasn’t gifting the ball away or having it bounce off him as in the last few games. He missed a hard chance a little later, with a header this time.
Moura should have had a penalty, while Watford had been time wasting from very early on, even before they scored. While Foster was taking the piss with his antics. Moura had been a good change, he was taking the pressure off Son, who could try and find gaps, instead of being on the ball all of the time. The little Brazilian was doing his best Danny Rose impersonation by being kicked from pillar to post.
It was ten minutes from the end when Spurs finally equalised. Started by Son. Finished by Son. He won the ball in the middle of the park, Eriksen onto Moura, who after finally controlling the ball played a lovely pass through to Llorente. the Spaniard stumbled over it, as it was played off his shin into the path of Son, who took a touch, bounced it off his shin, got some space and then hammered the ball goalwards.
Son’s reaction was the reaction of all Spurs fans.
Remember now, Spurs don’t do draws. 24 games and counting.
Seven minutes later and the comeback was complete, for team and player. Lamela, who had come on for Vertonghen as Poch went for it, crossed into the box, Foster punched clear to Winks, he played a simple ball to Rose who lofted the best Spurs cross of the night into the box, where Llorente – pushing off his marker – nodded the ball back across goal, into the net. Redemption.
Almost an exact reversal of the reverse fixture. The opening goal for the away team could have been an own goal in both and the home team snatched two for victory late on. And the winning feeling is back… along with Son…