We fielded a team with barely any goals between them all season and by the end of the evening, despite creating enough opportunities to win three or four games, theyâ€™d only added one to the tally. Defoe, Pavlyuchenko, Pienaar and Modric all missed clear chances or had shots cleared off the line. We had 25 attempts on goal according to the BBC website compared to the home teamâ€™s 8 yet by the end Pavlyuchenkoâ€™s 30 yard volley over Kingsonâ€™s head was only a consolation.
Off the pitch we started raucously but the team failed to match the efforts of those stuck behind pillars or queuing for the portaloos in the Meccano stand that fills one side of Bloomfield Road. A string of hoofs forward to the out of sorts pair up front were easily dealt with by the home team who chased and harried every time a man in a white shirt attempted to put his foot on the ball. Bassong in particular was struggling to maintain composure when under pressure. He provided the out-of-season entertainment lacking elsewhere on the Golden Mile with a series of comic impressions of a seasoned defender. After executing several misplaced passes he was lucky to get away with he decided a more direct approach to getting our evening horror show underway was needed. An oafish challenge in the box on a player heading away from goal meant that Adam was able to slot past Gomes from the spot.
The home crowd cranked it up (I really hope that drummer has got a dislocated shoulder this morning) and on the field we did marginally too with Modric and Lennon coming more into the game . The scene was set for the sort of comeback weâ€™ve become used to but instead, from a breakaway that we should of dealt better with – Assou-Ekotto and Dawson both couldâ€™ve got tackles in before the ball reached the danger zone – an offside Campbell volleyed in a second for the Tangerines just before half time.
Weâ€™d had comedy from the Spurs defence and the assistant referee and the hilarity continued in the second half as again and again we contrived to miss from close range. Converting one of these with say, half an hour to go, wouldâ€™ve given us a real opportunity of staging a Man Utd style revival but instead heads were held in hands or eyes raised to the heavens in disbelief as we contrived to shoot or head weakly, miskick or just miss completely when in sight of goal.
Harry went for broke with his subs, eventually replacing Palacios, Pienaar and Bassong with Jenas, Kranjcar and Crouch. Thus, lightweight in midfield and at the back we were vulnerable to the counter and Ormerod nicked a third late on to finish us off.
So the chances missed (have I mentioned that we missed loads of chances?) led to us not going third and putting pressure on Chelsea and City. But goalscoring has been our problem all season and itâ€™s not a surprise that it has eventually cost us. Some of our play, mostly involving Modric and Lennon was excellent, but a lot was ponderous and we were often too slow in the build up. We had little down the left & Bale canâ€™t come back soon enough. Not only does he provide width and pace, he also scores goals. Defoe used to do that too, now when he gets the ball near goal he display the timidity of a man with a pin and a balloon who is afraid of what might happen when the two meet. He needs a goal and some confidence desperately otherwise more frustrating nights like this are inevitable between now and the end of May.
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