despite the scoreline.
A year to the day from that embarrassment at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Spurs reversed the score against Maccabi Haifa in Europe’s second division contest.
Hard to know who was more unhappy, Poch after Spurs were stuffed 7-2 a year ago, or Jose after Spurs did the stuffing 7-2 last night.
Most weren’t too happy after Spurs opened the scoring with just a minute and change on the clock. A good triangle between Davies and Bergwijn, one touch stuff from Davies, saw the fullback put in the perfect cross for Harry to tap in his first.
But after that it was like the previous Europa League game where Spurs dropped off and let the opposition back into it. Spurs were making Maccabi feel at home by opening up like the Red Sea. It was obviously a preplanned tactic, maybe with Joe hart being in goal for Spurs, that they were gonna shoot at sight. They’d already tested him out before Chery slammed a screamer past Hart for the equaliser.
It was a bit all action and being level didn’t last long. From a corner, fought for by Bergwijn and taken by him, Moura at the front post flicked the ball with the back of his head into the net. Fifteen minutes later and that lead was extended. Doherty put a good ball into the box, Moura’s header bounced off a defender into Harry’s path, who couldn’t control it but Davies prodded it towards Lo Celso who smacked it with his left.
Davies’ second assist of the game, he hadn’t produced that many in a couple of years. It’s funny what having actual competition for your place can do. Danny Rose should Google it. Three minutes later and it was extended even more. A nice attempt at a one-two between Kane and Moura saw the latter’s ball over hit but the defender lost it and Kane was straight on it. Through to lo Celso on the left the Argentinian perfectly chipped the keeper for 4-1.
I said they needed one more before the break, then Jose could give Harry the second half off. They didn’t so Harry appeared for the second half. Lo Celso did make way for Dele. And there’s a thing, you want Harry not having to play and risk it but you feel if you’re gonna get the best out of Dele it’s better with the player he’s hooked up with most on the pitch.
It was the visitors that scored first in this half though. Oh look another dodgy penalty from a non-handball handball. What exactly can Doherty do when with his arm at his side when the ball is hit from about a foot away? Bleeding ridiculous.
What goes around though, came around. When Spurs were awarded a penalty for much of the same. Davies slammed a cross at the Maccabi defender and the ref blew for it. The shot was further away but his arm was in at his body, which the ball would have hit if the arm wasn’t there. So to avoid the penalty he would have had to put his arm in “an unnatural position”. Kane blasted the spot-kick straight down the middle.
Harry’s hat-trick was started off with a lovely ball from Dele. Flicked wide left from the outside of his right boot to Bergwijn, he played it back to Davies who played it, one-touch again, forward to Dele, who in turn one-touched it to Bergwijn. The Dutchman left his defender on his arse, ran into the box cut the ball between two Maccabi players for the on-running Harry to chip it past the keeper.
That was Harry done for the night, thankfully. Though at 75 minutes you feel it was half an hour late. So he wasn’t around to take Spurs second spot-kick of the night. Dele was and he deserved to after wining it. Some lovely skill in the box, the Dele nutmeg counter is up and running again, before he was clipped. Good to see him with a smile on his face.
Jose wasn’t smiling. Far too open. Too sloppy. Not impressive. You could hear him shouting at certain players. Hell even the media fanbois were giving Winks only a 6/10 lowest score of those that started.
Oh well, onto the group phase now. Decent looking group, Ludogorets, LASK and Royal Antwerp.