as they’re still in the Cup.
Spurs survived a late onslaught from Middlesbrough to advance to the fourth round of the F.A. Cup after cruising through most of the game.
The Good. Spurs started quickly, the pressed high and were looking forward, not giving the visiting Boro a rest, getting an early lead then doubling it.
The two goals came via their two Argentinians on the field and them alone, though Boro helped a bit. Playing out from the back the Boro keeper misplaced his pass, Lo Celso was watching him, anticipating an error he pounced on it, cut inside and curled the ball in the far post. There was less than two minutes on the clock.
Not 15 minutes later and the lead was doubled. Lamela won the ball and set off goal ward. Through a couple of challenges, into the box and well, we all know he doesn’t kick it with his right foot but it was on that foot… no his poked it in with his left.
Boro had a chance, which Gazzaniga did well with but for most of the game it was all Spurs.
Which leads us to… The Bad. Finishing teams off. Why can’t Spurs finish teams off? Why do they get ahead and then spurn chances? Why do they get ahead by fast play and pressing and then switch off and start fannying about?
Which leads to part three. The Ugly. With seven minutes of normal time to go, Spurs yet again concede a goal and end up hanging on in panic and desperation through the final few minutes of the game.
Another game. Another lack of a clean sheet. It was the one misstep that Tanganga played on his second straight outing. He did a Toby style back off and went to his side to open up the corner of the goal for the Boro player to hit. I don’t know if he was the real man-of-the-match, Martin – finishes every sentence with a question… doesn’t he? – Keown thought so. But it was another good performance from the kid. Late in the game he went on a brilliant run up the wing, before putting a decent cross.
That kind of highlighted on failing. He had a number of chances to head to the byline throughout the game but stopped and played the ball inside instead. Well, he’s a kid, not sure what he’s allowed to do and is a centre-back really, here playing at right-back.
Wonder if we’ll see Lamela and Lo Celso start the next game. Jose said why they didn’t start against Liverpool, yes this was a second division side but both put in a decent shift here. With the new Portuguese arrival Gedson Fernandes and hopefully the close departure of Eriksen to Inter we won’t have to put up with that nothing of a midfield Jose put out for the second game running. Winks and Eriksen.
It’s the first victory of the year, first since Boxing Day but yet again for the 13th time in Jose’s 14 games, they couldn’t keep a clean sheet.