For most of this game it was all too familiar fare with basic errors at the back and a chronic lack of width looking like it would cost us dear, but a last twenty minutes that will live long in the memory gave rise to a comeback that won us the three points and will hopefully give us the momentum we need to get to the end of season where we want to be.
In the first half we huffed and puffed and created a couple of opportunities through Walker and Dempsey but at the other end we had the profligacy of Nasri (who should’ve been watching the game on TV by then anyway after his studs up challenge on Walker) and the reflexes of Lloris to thank for still being in touch at the break.
You can say what you like about the deficiencies of technique and nous that are in this side but there’s certainly no faulting its spirit and it appeared that this quality (given that there was no sign of inspiration from a very subdued Bale) would be our best chance of cancelling out the gooner rat fink’s early opener as the second half unfolded. But no, AVB decided to try and tip things our way by using all his subs in the space of a few minutes and like being served a beer just as the clouds clear on a sunny day, everything was suddenly right with the world.
First Dempsey from Bale’s cross after some good work by Dawson, Benny and Walker on opposite wings, then second Defoe with a trademark curler after Holtby’s nicely weighted pass and finally Bale from Huddlestone’s perfectly timed ball into his path. The volume was raised as each goal went in with the ground rocking as only White Hart Lane can, even those in the upper tier of the West Stand were joining in the Yidd-i-o’s as the City fans started disappearing well before the end, realising that today wasn’t a day where their money would count most.
Joe Hart made no friends with his time-wasting before and antics after Dempsey’s goal (his anger should’ve been aimed at the statuesque Kompany not the lino) and his distress as each ball flew past him was gratifying. In a comedy move Mancini threw on Lescott before the end to play up front having already taken off Dzeko.
A fine, welcome and surprising win that looked unlikely for most of the game. We were suicidally narrow until Huddlestone’s appearance, as it did against Everton, allowed our play to expand. Big Tom’s eye for a pass, Holtby’s non-stop running and the withdrawal of the ineffective Adebayor for the fit again Defoe will have given Villas-Boas pause for thought before he selects the team for Wigan next weekend, the next in the long line of must-win games.
Have something to tell us about this article?