It is time for the third Champions League week. After Tottenham Hotspur were hammered 7-2 by Bayern Munich earlier this month at home, and with only 1 point from two games (ironically in a better position that this time last year), the match against Red Star is a must win.
MATCH PREVIEW AND THOUGHTS
However, Spurs haven’t exactly been on winning ways. With their last win coming in at the end of September after a hard battle against Southampton, there have been some embarrassing matches since. Of course the Bayern game was a massive disappointment, but losing to Brighton away 3-0, was worse than losing to Bayern. With the international break, one would have thought that the match against bottom place Watford on Saturday would have been thrashing of goals and confidence. Nope it was a 1-1 draw – quite frankly unacceptable. Luckily I was at work, so missed the entire match.
The match against Red Star is massive. With some players lacking confidence, or enthusiasm, it will be an interesting affair, to say the least. With Gazzaniga in goal after Lloris dislocated his elbow at Brighton, Gazza is the first in the starting 11 with Harry Kane. UCL nights are when Lucas Moura comes alive, however, after being subbed off on Saturday, will the spark be lit. Son should provide the pace, but Lamela was arguably the best player on the pitch (from what I have heard) against Watford. Then you have Dele, showing his fight and getting his first goal since January to save Spurs yet again.
It will be interesting, but with Tottenham charging an arm and a leg for UCL nights compared to Chelsea and Manchester City (who also offer student discount), there has been outrage from supporters complaining about the prices, and then when you bring in the poor performances, the crowd won’t exactly be at 60k, more like 40k at the moment. Will the atmosphere encourage the players, or will there be a sense of annoyance at the players?
It’s a game where Spurs needed to bounce back, and the Champions League against Red Star (with no away fans) at home was the perfect opportunity. It give credit to Tottenham, that’s exactly what they did.
With Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose absent entirely from the match squad, with Ben Davies and Davison Sanchez in, defence was changed. With Winks on the bench, Ndombele and Sissoko, with Dele and Erik Lamela held the midfield. Of course Harry Kane and Son were up front, and we were ready to see if they really could win again. Spoiler: they did.
Now you expect Tottenham to win against Red Star, but on the current run of form I was thinking 1 or 2 nil, but no, Spurs wanted it and they pushed for them goals.
Harry Kane gets the opener, and Spurs score from a corner (yes they actually scored from a set piece).
Son strikes second and third before the half time whistle. The lad is on fire, and dominating the wing, and you can tell he is enjoying himself out there. Yes, there was a chance where he should have scored to get his second (before his second), a sitter where the whole of the South Stand got up and thought Son was going to shoot. No he didn’t and the ball ended up god knows where. The first half was a class display from the Spurs lads, there was press, and Harry Kane was putting in passes in which he probably wanted to be on the end of.
A quick mention to Ndombele, what a lovely player. Completely different to Winks and Sissoko, and can see the passes and makes runs that others don’t always. Sissoko also gets a special mention, not only as his name was sung around the crowd, but because he did a stable job in midfield, as always (as of late).
Second half came, and Spurs wanted more goals (and so did the supporters). With Dele finding his feet and his game again (yes in the first half he was a bit sloppy), and finding his position behind Kane in the centre. Erik Lamela still concerns me, like when he missed a sitter in the second half when Spurs were still 3-0, he also does stuff and you are like “why?”. Then Erik Lamela makes you love him again, with classy little tackles, going in for the ball in situations where others wouldn’t, and of course getting a goal (on his 200th appearance should I add). 4-0 to Tottenham, and the boys are enjoying themselves. Harry Kane wants his second, Son wants his hat trick and even Ben Davies could have scored at one point.
With Son off for Eric Dier, the chance of Son finally getting his Tottenham hat trick is over. The love for Sonny is real, as he did his unofficial lap of honour in front of the South Stand. Harry Kane however wants his second, and gets his second goal. 5-0 to Tottenham – but how many more. With some showboating from some of the lads, as they finally look like they are enjoying playing for Spurs again.
As Jan Vertonghen is subbed off for Juan Foyth, for Foyth’s first appearance this season, the centre back pairing of Sanchez and Foyth is the future. Working well together on the later stage of the second half to help secure the clean sheet that Spurs so desperately need.
With the final substitute being Lo Celso, returning from injury, the Argentine replaced Dele. Lo Celso and Ndombele had a few good link ups, and from what we saw, they could be the dramatic duo that Tottenham need that could restart their Premier League campaign.
We all thought about the 4-nil victory over Crystal Palace in September was going to be a turning point for Tottenham. People stated that they had “got their Tottenham back”, and then it went downhill for a while. Is this 5-nil win in the Champions League, Spurs biggest win in the competition, going to kick start Tottenhams season again? Last nights match saw the fire in the Spurs players. From Gazzaniga telling Vertonghen that Vertonghen had made a mistake, to Lamela fighting for the ball the entire game, to players getting annoyed at conceding a corner. Can Tottenham use the fire, the press, and the performance at Liverpool on Sunday, a place where Liverpool have not lost at home in two years.