There was one obvious turning point in this game of course. When the lino called back play after an off the ball tangle early in the second half, few in the Spurs end would have seen clearly what happened, stuck in the opposite corner as we were, thus it came as something of a relief to see the ref wave his red card at Ramirez rather than someone more familiar looking. From then on we were dominant in a game we’d never been out of but were pleased to have the helping hand of Pawson and the feet of the Uruguayan to assist our way back in to.
The other clear decisive moment which shouldn’t be lost in the red card haze was Hugo Lloris’s magnificent reflex save down by his left ankle after Ramirez had got first to a cut back from the byeline. It was a terrific effort at 1-0 that prevented the home side from getting too cocky after Livermore’s spawny low drive had given them the lead early on. Ben Arfa’s skied shot in front of an open goal helped as well.
Our patched up side, no Rose, Kaboul, Chadli or Adebayor, I presume all through injury, played ok in the first half despite being behind at the break. The back four was nervous and tentative as usual, the forwards as toothless as ever, we had our normal chronic and in my view crippling lack of width and we broke with our normal crab and snail like direction and pace. Despite that, Mason, Lamela and Eriksen zipped the ball around and were threatening enough to force some physical and late challenges from the home side as well as causing the odd moment of danger. Soldado, Lamela and Eriksen all had good efforts.
In the second half we made the most of our numerical advantage to push the Tigers back and, hallelujah!, actually stretched the home defence by pushing Chiriches, on for Dier, and Davies forward. Lennon was sent on to provide even more width. Mason and Eriksen continued to make the home midfield work like dogs and goals from first Kane from the rebound of Eriksen’s sublime free-kick and then the Dane himself – just when it appeared as though we’d have to be satisfied with a draw – gave us, deservedly, the points. Soldado, Lamela and Kane should all have put us out of our misery well before Eriksen’s late, 20 yard, strike.
Mason was caught very heavily by Livermore with about 15 minutes to go and it clearly slowed him down, hopefully nothing too serious given his previous injury record but slightly worrying nevertheless.
The game kicked off with the clouds above lit by a beautiful sunset, the atmosphere in the away end wasn’t always quite serene however. There was anti-Levy chanting and some banners. The result on the pitch wasn’t enough I’m sure to dispel the dissatisfaction in the ranks with the way things have been trending in the last couple of years, Pochettino though currently remains unscathed, ‘give the man time’ is still the mantra. COYS.
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