Let’s get Everton down to 10,
Coz facing eleven is entering lion’s den,
Send everyone to school of Zen,
Our rescuer can’t always be Eriksen, sen, sen.
A short, sensible, impromptu poem which encapsulates the way our team is playing right now. Yes, we won. And yes, against another team which had reduced itself to 10 men. The way our team played against 10 men for the bulk of second half was very heartening. However, infuriating is the feeling that every Spurs fan was cognizant to throughout the match before the miracle called “red card” appeared. I had written after the match against Aston Villa that our opponents won’t be cursed with a red card in every match. Well it seems we are blessed as even the footballing gods can’t see us losing. Or maybe they have empathized with us. The latter option seems more probable looking at the way we are playing.
In the first half, we had a completely barren spell in front of the goal. Soldado and Kane’s clinical finishing was what I was looking forward to seeing when the line-ups were announced. However, the combination was meek and futile, resulting in close to no clear cut chances till the miracle occurred. I had been dreading about one of our former players scoring against us and it came true when Livermore did score from a long shot into the bottom corner. The inability of our defense (read Davies) to close him down instantly proved costly as were a goal down within 10 minutes. Hull to their credit never sat back in lines of five. They chased every ball gallantly and looked hungrier for the victory. The first half wasn’t a one to remember as we looked astray with or without possession. The same old story of our team doing nothing with the ball apart from sideways passing and attacks failing outside the box was miserable to endure.
And then the miracle arrived out of the blue. Gaston Ramirez robbed Hull of 3 crucial points by getting himself a red card. He tangled his legs on Vertonghen’s ankles from behind, which made the latter fall on the pitch. The referee hadn’t spotted this petulant act but the linesman had. After discussing with the linesman, the decision of giving the red card was made by the referee. Hull were shackled by this decision but Spurs looked invigorated. Creating opportunities after this point became easy as pie. There were numerous chances with Eriksen finally weaving his magic in the 61st minute. Soldado won a free-kick at the edge of the box. Eriksen, who had been poor with the set-pieces till that point, struck a well placed shot which hit the goalkeeper after hitting the pole. Luckily the ball landed at Kane’s feet and voilà, we had equalized. Kane seems to epitomize poaching so finely, which was entrenched firmly in Soldado’s repute some seasons back. We probed endlessly and were rewarded in the 90th minute. Eriksen drove forward purposefully and unleashed a well placed shot, beyond the reach of Hull’s goalkeeper. It was an archetype of Eriksen’s abilities of placement rather than power, finesse instead of pace.
It would be an injustice to Chiriches and Lennon if there was no mention of their game changing contributions. Chiriches had replaced Dier, who was on yellow, at half time while Lennon had come on for the ineffective Dembele in second half. The injection of pace on the right flank by this pair was a joy to watch. Majority of our attacks in second half came through the right flank with Chiriches bombarding the opposition’s area countless times. He threaded a pass into Soldado’s feet with only the goalkeeper to beat but Soldado screwed up this golden chance. Thanks to Eriksen, we were not left to rue it.
The screening was picture perfect as a result of the late winner with all smiles as can be seen above. If Spurs can bag 3 points by hook or crook from the upcoming matches starting with Everton, these smiles will be retained for sure. It’s time to climb up the rungs! COYS!