And the dream lives on…
Eriksen’s late winner was enough to see off a very lacklustre but obdurate Inter side that we should feel ashamed of losing to in Milan if this was the best they can muster.
We did though. Pah.
It was all a bit low key. A big away fans presence, dominated by yet another shitey drummer (where are your new bag rules now Wembley?) was noisy early doors but then quietened as the game took on a pattern of us attacking, but not good enough to score, them defending, but not good enough to break effectively.
We created few opportunities before half time. Dele grazed the bar whilst Winks smacked it dead on (from outside the box and I think he collected the rebound, a rare trick). They did nothing. After h-t we flattered to deceive mostly but looked a good deal more dynamic once Son replaced the disappointing Lucas and then when Eriksen took over from a comically patched-up and mostly ineffective Lamela.
Given the result, Poch can be forgiven for high fiving himself for his substitutions and probably his tactics too. Knowing their potential sit and wait tactics, we treated the Italian side with respect. Dele was played much deeper than on Saturday and Lamela and Lucas much wider than anyone had been against Chelsea.
The trick was to not fall into the trap of gamesmanship and the like and to make sure the game kept flowing, which we did well mostly. Winks and Lamela lost a little discipline and committed a few unnecessary fouls but in general we didn’t take the bait of Brozovic and Valero in particular.
They turned on the time-wasting and cramp-faking as the game wound down and their hopes of a draw rose, it wasn’t to be though as with about ten minutes to go Sissoko took advantage of some slackness on the left side of their defence to drive into the box. He squared to Dele who spun and laid the ball into the path of the onrushing Eriksen who fired high into the net.
Predictably all signs of cramp and crocked limbs disappeared as the away side came at us but they created nothing of great alarm and that was that.
All we need to do now to qualify is match or better Inter’s result on Dec 11. Easy.
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