Yesterday was a very interesting day. No Kane in the lineup, Chadli & Bentaleb on the bench, and Onomah & N’Jie getting starts. Where In The World Is Kevin Wimmer has officially ended, as he makes his start at CB for us, and despite the absence of Kane, Eriksen, Alli, etc...we still look really strong. We have officially clinched a spot in the next round of the Europa league so we could lose 800-0 and still be fine. However, this team came out to win & within 2 minutes, before I even finished my introductory paragraph, Lamela scores a goal like what the ****!!!!!!?!
N’Jie flicks over to Davies who perfectly plays a ball flat across the box right to Lamela for the tip in. 1-0 Spurs!! The team came right out of the gate with speed & zip, playing quick overlapping passes to win us some close chances in the first few minutes of the game. After going up we immediately came back and pressed in on their backline. Our young, fast team was clearly too much for the likes of Toulalan & Co. whose chronic back pain kept them immobile. N’Jie & Onomah had a nutmeg each within 5 seconds of each other, to continue the rich tradition established by veteran GOAT Dele Alli. Side note, Lamela has been reborn this season & it is lovely to watch. We really played full speed for the majority of the first half, refusing to settle the ball and pass around, or establish any structure in the attacking area. Rather, the fluid overlapping passes and breakneck speed of our young players got us into the box time and time again, falling inches short of chances and goals consistently. We decided to head the ball straight up the middle and it falls to Lamela who shoots from outside the box to beat the keeper into the corner & Lamela makes it TWO for Spurs & two for Lamela on the night! “A man in form, a man reborn” -my brother, who is insisting I put this rhyme into the match report. That thing I said about the Monaco backline being immobile earlier? yeah absolutely exposed time and time again by our pace. Monaco realized their chances of breaking through our midfield were DIER so they started just lob-balling it into the wings & hoping that would work...NOPE! Our equally speedy backline continued to close them down quickly and cut out any chances of possession Monaco were building toward.
Our transition between defense and offense was immediate, perfectly exemplifying the system Pochettino has been working hard to implement here at the club. Son took a hilarious volley that was not half bad, and then an ensuing Monaco corner ended up with N’Jie and Son on the break, but the rain decided to foul N’Jie & trip him up. No card on the play, weirdly. Carroll almost got a goal too so clearly this game is hilarious. What made it even funnier was the period of defensive lapses that we decided to have around the 20th minute mark to give Monaco about 8 chances at goal. Dier is a defensive juggernaut and had two massive, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tackles in the first half. Every second of this game is action packed, night and day from our recent performances. I cannot recall a single moment where a Spurs player wasn’t bursting forward (or backwards, defending) with speed. N’Jie does some weird super speed teleportation thing to steal the ball from a Monaco defender, gets it to Son who plays it perfectly over to Lamela who gets his hattrick in the first 40 minutes of the game….are we sure this is Lamela? I mean, did we do some sort of secret scientific project underneath White Hart Lane to give Lamela the Captain America serum? Cause this does not look like the Lamela of seasons past. “It’s going to be very hard for Kane to work his way back into this team” - my brother’s commentary. Bentaleb comes on for Eric Dier, due to a knock he picked up earlier. This is largely precautionary, as Dier has been playing for 10 minutes since the incident and looked fine. THE PRODIGAL SON RETURNS! BENTALEB RISES! Half time comes and its still only 3-0, surprising I know. I’m having trouble awarding this as a true Lamela hat trick, cause none of them were rabona goals.
Monaco take almost-thrice-ex-Spur Moutinho off for Lemar (who is not Phil Lemarr, famous actor) and starts brightly. Start moving forward, but our defense continues its strong defensive stance and we once again transition into offence. N’Jie & Lamela break forward well but the cross from Lamela is cut out, to stop someone else from scoring for once. Bentaleb gets booked for a foul on Lamar. Does anyone else think Wimmer looks a bit Wayne Rooney-esque around the middle? We start to slow down quite significantly, playing a lot of passes back to our defenders & Hugo as well. Retreating a bit, conserving our energy, which is fine with me as we are securely through and don’t need any injuries or tired legs going forward. Traore comes off for Mbappe who is actually 16 years old. Onomah inches from scoring, but semi-robbed by the Monaco keeper, very very unfortunate. El Shaarawy curls an unbelievable effort from the far left over into the bottom right corner and makes it 3-1, which I should stress does not matter as we are through anyway. CHADLI COMES ON !! Finally, after months of waiting, Chadli is back in the lilywhites as Lamela makes way. Really the tale of two halves here, as we have settled back in and let Monaco come at us. While we are getting some attacking presence, and close chances, Monaco is probably outplaying us this half a bit. Bernardo Silva makes way for Diarra for Monaco, because they wanna give us a run for it on our age coefficient here. The Monaco goalie robs N’Jie unfortunately again. For a guy down 3-1, he has been pretty solid all night (barring the Lamela bouncing, rain ball). Tom Carroll with a gorgeous goal. Bursts forward to run onto a rebounded ball, dribbles around the Monaco defender on the touchline and tucks it through from a 180 degree angle on the touchline past the keeper for the 4-1. I know I have compared him to Xavi and Iniesta before, but that goal was nothing short of Lionel Messi-esque. Alli comes on for N’Jie to try and up the nutmeg counter for the night, and with 10 minutes left the game is about wrapped up now. Important to note that Bentaleb has been very solid defensively since he’s been on, with the good skill on the ball and passing range that we have been so used to with him. Despite it being his first game back, and it being a 3 goal lead, Bentaleb has looked very good for the majority of his time on the pitch.
Very entertaining game today, with high pace and lots of chances for us. We had a lot of fluidity and a very impressive transition game that saw a Lamela hattrick (I KNOW) put us up 3-0 going into the first half with a very impressive performance from just about everyone on the team. The second half was a 50/50 as we really sat back and looked a bit lazy until a gorgeous goal by El Shaarawy kicked us into gear, causing Tom Carroll to put the entire team on his back and Messi it into the goa to put us back up by 3. Great returns by Bentaleb and Chadli, as well as really great performances from fringe & young players like Wimmer, Onomah & N’Jie. Son very lively and our back four solid like a “Chevy Silverado:™ Like A Rock” gives us a very strong performance top to bottom. High octane match and a very convincing win to see us through comfortably into the Europa league next round (is it 32?). On to Newcastle this weekend who are very bad and we should really win a game here for once instead of a tie. COYS!
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