AFirstly, well done to 1882 and Block J, a good effort that definitely lifted/created the atmosphere I thought. Hopefully the club will realise they’re on to a good thing and only encourage.
Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale will steal the headlines, the former for some top class finishing and the latter for one of those displays that appears to put him amongst the very best. The number of times he beat his man and crossed must have broken some sort of record, he provided the assists for the first and third goals but so many more balls flew across the face of the Maribor goal unhindered having just departed his left boot.
The assist for the second goal came from Tom Carroll who provided an excellent display of eagerness, vision but most of all intelligent and quick passing. Bale’s assists came from crosses, the first delivered with, the second at, speed; Carroll’s was a superb first time off balance side foot into the space in front of Defoe whose shot into the corner matched it for quality. Carroll’s size will always be against him you sense but perhaps, a la Bale he’ll bulk up and gain the strength that will guarantee him a future.
Adebayor started, this wasn’t a Redknapp 442 however as the big man spent much time & effort, especially early on, making himself available in front of the midfield and attempting to link play rather than just combine with Defoe. At one point, rather incongruously, Adebayor near the right touchline, having taken a ball from Lennon (who was himself in space) crossed in the air for Defoe to attempt a header. All a bit arse-about-face.
Thanks in no small part to the new combination at the front we for once started at a decent tempo and had Maribor on the back foot from the off. We were always in control and Defoe’s goals in the end punctuated a comfortable win with only the mix up between Naughton and Lloris causing any doubt as to the final result. The five minute spell when the ref’s apparent refusal to give a free kick against Bale unless there was a Taser and machete involved threatened to spoil the fun at one point but in the end it was those perched high in the corner of the Shelf who were left singing rather than the 100 per cent bass baritones from Slovenia.
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