Nkoudou breaks the Hoodoo!

Not quite, though the thoroughly deserved win did feature a lengthy cameo from GKN, or is that the burger chain?

Not that the victory was totally straightforward of course. We were on top but missing chances before they caught us square and took the lead after half an hour. Many knowing “f*ck me, here we go again” looks were swapped but we needn’t have worried as Alli soon found space at the far post and finished smartly across the keeper and then Kane scored from Danny Rose’s fine first time cross to give us the lead just before the half time whistle. Thus relief more than anxiety was the principle emotion amongst those  queuing for their overpriced coffee or carbonated beverage.

The second half was more one way traffic with clear chances being missed again and again. We were so much on top that it didn’t seem to matter but just before we finally got our third we had a warning when Traore very nearly found himself clear on goal after a rare Russian raid. As it was Alderweireld’s lovely ball to Kane down the right led to Harry crossing, Alli fluffing his header, and the keeper accidentally hooking the ball past himself and that settled proceedings.

More misses followed but it was all low key enough for bursts of “Is there a fire drill ?” to be aimed at those fans leaving early from those choosing to stay to see if we could add to our tally. We couldn’t.

A useful exercise for Pochettino in many ways. The so called curse/hoodoo was lifted, Alderweireld got twenty minutes under his belt, he was able to rest Dembélé and also take a long look at Winks in the central role he hopes one day I’m sure, to make his own. Son and Kane were also given the opportunity of a sit down well before the end.

Kane, Eriksen, Son and Alli were given loads of room throughout and used it well, the former two better than latter pair. Eriksen in particular enjoyed himself and looked far more like the player we expect him to be than he has done for most of this season.

The speed of the Moscow attack caused us occasional issues but Vertonghen et al coped better than against either Monaco or Leverkusen. Rose and Walker were constant threats going forward.

So all in all very satisfactory, if a little too late. The crowd was unsurprisingly reduced but not subdued by any means. There was plenty of noise and all in all, it was a good farewell to Wembley for the season, unless we end up there again for the Europa League of course. That’s yet to be confirmed I believe.

Talking of the Europa League, it’s Man United on Sunday, here’s hoping they have a torrid time in Odessa tonight.


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