I missed the first leg of this tie and was quite surprised to be told by my spies that when brought back to WHL Young Boys would be there for the taking. I had my doubts. The reports on the internet suggested that Dawson and Bassong wouldâ€™ve been better off herding the proverbial cats than dealing with the Usain Bolt like speed of the home team as they took advantage of our Champions League naivety at the back. How could a team like that & one that forced Harry into a tactical substitution after half an hour be â€œthere for the takingâ€?
Well as it turns out, you shouldnâ€™t believe everything you read. Thanks to three goals from a very tall boy and one from a short one the result was never in doubt from very early on. Without playing at our best we were able to keep the Swiss at armâ€™s length for the whole game and in the end despatched them with ease. Our only problems arose when we turned our own worst enemy and a one legged Gomes was kept on the field during the first half long after he shouldâ€™ve been subbed. Dawsonâ€™s response to having a limping keeper between the sticks was to leave crosses to the Brazilian and also let him deal with back passes and goal kicks unassisted. Luckily the lively Bienvenu was unable to capitalise for the away team. Cudicini replaced Gomes for the second half.
There were excellent performances from Crouch, King & Assou-Ekotto and good ones from Lennon and Defoe. Baleâ€™s normal effervescence seemed stifled for a lot of the game but by the end he had supplied the â€˜assistsâ€™ for all four goals and as usual these days ended up being one of the gameâ€™s dominant influences. He put in crosses for Crouchyâ€™s first two goals, took part in the quick exchange of passes with Defoe that led to the latter notching our second (via an illicit handball) and was bundled down from behind to earn the penalty that Crouch took to score our last and his hat trick goal.
The Swiss had been physical and irritable throughout with Lennon in particular being regularly upended. The challenge for the penalty was enough to earn Lulic a second yellow and off he went. They looked shit scared of Crouchâ€™s height, but thatâ€™s no excuse for leaving him with free headers in the six yard box.
The Champions League music plus the logo everywhere and the flags doled out to the home support were enough to give the night an atmosphere that even the constant rain and the many flat periods in the game failed to totally dispel. We werenâ€™t, as I said, at our best. There was little crisp & a lot of erratic passing and the creativity of Modric was missed. The result was key though and it was emphatically delivered.
WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE TOTTENHAM PERFORMANCE VS YOUNG BOYS?
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