You’ll be disappointed if you didn’t stay up for this. It was totally mad.
The starting eleven for Spurs consisted of Hugo Lloris in goal and captaining the side, with a back four of Under 20s World Cup stars Kyle Walker-Peters and Cameron Carter-Vickers, alongside first-team regulars Jan Vertonghen and Ben Davies. In midfield was Eric Dier, partnered by Mousa Dembele, while Christian Eriksen, Josh Onomah and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou sat behind Vincent Janssen, who spear-headed the attack.
After an impressive beginning to the game, it didn’t take long for PSG to grab the opening goal, with a long ball up-field touched passed an on-rushing Cameron Carter-Vickers by 22 year old Adrien rabiot seeing PSG in behind the Spurs defence within the first 6 minutes of the game. Rabiot squared the ball to Uruguayan forward Edison Cavani, who fired home first time, giving Spurs skipper Hugo Lloris absolutely no chance in goal.
However, PSG’s lead did not last long, thanks to a phenomenal strike from Danish play-maker Christian Eriksen, who’s strike levelled the tie for Spurs in the 11th minute of the game. Some patient build-up play outside the box saw Georges-Kevin N’Koudou pick out Eriksen in the centre of the park with a lot of space in front of him. In similar fashion to his winning goal away to Crystal Palace in April, Eriksen put his foot through the ball, some 30-35 yards out, which flew through the air before powerfully clipping the bar on it’s way into the net.
And then, a mere 7 minutes later, the scoreline changed again with a quite calamitous goal in Spurs’ favour in the 18th minute of play. Eric Dier was applying the pressure when closing down the PSG defence, who were playing some hospital balls around their own box. Dier mustn’t have been able to believe his own luck when German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp languidly powered his clearance straight into the young English midfielder and consequently into the back of his own net.
A few good chances followed, N’Koudou watched his close-range volley sail over the bar in the 20th minute and Davies’ attempt to outfox Trapp with an audacious back-heel proved to be bread and butter stuff for the 27 year old German shot-stopper.
However, the next goal of the game fell to PSG, who had a big helping hand from some poor Spurs defending. Javier Pastore was given the ball by Cavani, as well as acres of space by Kyle Walker-Peters, and then proceeded to charge purposefully inside Tottenham’s box. The Argentinian bore down on the six yard box, before taking an extra touch inside to wrong-foot the young American defender Cameron Carter-Vickers before defiantly firing the ball into the top corner.
On the 35 minute mark, my final score prediction of 2-2 had already been achieved, and soon after that, the half-time whistle blew and we all took a well-deserved rest.
The start of the second half signalled 8 changes for Spurs, with Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Tashan Oakley-Boothe, Victor Wanyama, Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld, Kevin Wimmer and Michel Vorm all coming on for Vincent Janssen, Georges-Kevin N’Koudou, Josh Onomah, Kyle Walker-Peters, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris respectively.
In similar fashion to the opening few minutes of the first half, the beginning of the second half was simply bizarre, when PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp was sent off just 20 seconds into play, for an intentional handball outside the box and subsequent foul on Harry Kane.
A classic, defence-cutting long ball from Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld sent Harry Kane through on goal. However, it seemed as though the ball was running away from Tottenham’s talisman, and under little pressure, the on-rushing Trapp struggled to re-adjust his feet and simply decided to palm the ball into his path with his hand. It was a basketball move and once Kane had arrived on the scene, Trapp clumsily brought the striker down while still attempting to control the ball, and was promptly given his marching orders by the referee, who was realistically given no choice by the German ‘keeper.
Down to ten men, PSG faced a barrage of attacks from Tottenham, but for most of the second half, Spurs could not find a way past substitute goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. That was the case up until the 82nd minute, when Toby tested his luck from 25 yards and scored what appeared to be the decisive goal.
Similarly to Eriksen’s goal, Victor Wanyama teed up Alderweireld outside the box, who took one touch before hammering the ball into the far-bottom corner of the goal past a scrambling Areola (never said that before). In all fairness, the sub ‘keeper, who came into the game in difficult circumstances, didn’t have much he could do about this goal, as Toby’s shot was both powerful and accurate; a goal any striker would be proud of.
The drama did not end there though, as just 5 minutes later Tottenham were awarded a penalty for a handball in the box, after Harry Kane’s shot seemed to cannon off Brazilian defender Marquinhos’ hand, which at first the ref didn’t see. The linesman on the far side signalled for the foul and the referee pointed to the spot, however the call did look harsh, as there was very little the 23 year old could do to move his hand out of the way. A ball to hand might have been a more fair ruling.
However, the penalty was given and there was no way anyone other than Harry Kane was going to take the spot-kick, which was emphatically blasted into the roof of the net in the 87th minute. Soon after, the final whistle was blown and Tottenham had officially triumphed 4-2 over PSG, in what was honestly a strange, but enjoyable viewing experience well worth staying up for.
Tottenham’s 4th goal of the game was Kane’s 14th goal in 9 games for both club and country. The Englishman looks in fine form ahead of the new season. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get injured.
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