but it was enough.
Spurs only needed a draw to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League next year. They scraped the result required in yet another awful performance which Jose summed up pretty well.
Post match Jose called his players out saying they put in a performance of player that think they’re too big to be there, a Europa League qualifier. And that’s exactly what it looked like as they were outplayed by the second placed team in the Austrian Bundesliga.
It was all LASK from the off, with Spurs gifting them the ball in those moments the hosts didn’t have it. They’d already had a number of close chances before opening the scoring, which came came just before the break, which was a surprise – how long it took them not that they did. Having hit the post with a shot, had Joe Hart save a shot that was admittedly straight at him then have him come out and spread himself to block another attempt – after some glorious build up play, part in due to slack defending – they finally beat Hart with a screamer from about 30 yards out.
Sanchez ducked under the shot, while it dipped as it got to Hart it seemed to take him by surprise as he got a slight touch on it.
It wasn’t a shock, it wasn’t against the run of play. What happened a few short minutes later was and did.
After some playing it around on the sideline Moura got a cross in and from Ndombele’s stab at the ball the LASK defender stopped it with his arm. Penalty. Can’t argue. Bale scored his 200th goal for club and country from the spot-kick, with the last kick of the half. His first away goal in Europe for Spurs since that magical hat-trick in Milan. It was about all he did all night.
It was also against the run of play when Spurs took the lead 10 minutes into the second half, with the first of two bits of class they showed all night. A miss-control by the LASK player was pounced on by Ndombele, who played the perfect pass through to the onrushing Son, for him to take it into the box and slam it past the keeper.
The second bit of good football should have seen the lead extended. Hojbjerg up to Son n the halfway line, he played back to Lo Celso, Son was off accompanied by Bale, Lo Celso’s through ball found the Welshman, this is what we wanted to see, Son split off into the middle, then just outside the six yard box Bale could either go for a shot himself of cross it for a tap-in for Son. He crossed it behind Son. An awful ball.
It was back to LASK looking like getting the equaliser as they camped out in the Spurs’ half, though the goal started just inside the LASK half, a simple ball through to the left channel and Spurs just left the player alone to run through and shoot, with only the recently introduced Dier to chase him down. Hart should have saved the near post shot but it went through his hand. Yes he can cajole and shout but if he can’t make simple saves then what’s the point and where’s Gazzaniga? I meant what was he actually trying to do with his clenched fist nowhere near the ball that hit the upper part of his lower arm.
Just a couple of minutes later and Spurs were back in front with yet another penalty. Bergwijn, who had replaced Ndombele, brought down in the area, so blatant that the LASK players didn’t really argue with the ref but just tossed the ball to Dele. With Bale off Dele took the kick and scored.
But this is Spurs and with 86 minutes on the clock there’s still time and there was for another equaliser. Especially with four added minutes. Two minutes into which they scored another screamer. This time from the middle of the park just outside the D. Sanchez again ducking out of blocking it, don’t know how long the Colombian has at the club.
A thoroughly sloppy display by a bunch of Billy Big Bollocks. The trio we all wanted to see in the Spurs midfield, Ndombele, Lo Celso and Hojbjerg didn’t work at all. Gio won’t have got his place back in the starting lineup for the league on this performance. Ndombele won’t last the game going by his. It did seem strange to pick all three with the NLD at the weekend. While Bale still doesn’t look fit and Doherty won’t be removing Aurier on this outing.
They needed the point they got it… that is all…