Sun 6th – Wolves 3 Spurs 3
A cracker of a game for the neutral, another kick in the balls for our top four hopes. A deserved last minute equaliser for Wolves on a potato field of a pitch came after ninety minutes of all out typical Premier League endeavour from both sides. You’d have got long odds on Defoe not netting a league goal until March, but that’s how long we had to wait. A long injury and a suspension didn’t help of course but it’s not as if he didn’t have the chances. This was his fourteenth league appearance of the season.
Jermain broke his duck with two spectacular long-range efforts, one a blaster, one a curler and Pav joined in the apparent Resurrection Of The Forwards by thumping home a third. Gareth Bale’s cameo appearance with twenty odd minutes left promised much but he couldn’t quite create the opening that we needed to grab a fourth and put the game out of reach. Inevitably Wolves grabbed an equaliser and confirm that failure to see off the Premier League relegation contenders was becoming as much as a theme to our season as the constant injury crisis and the regular Champions League parties, talking of which…
Wed 9th – Spurs 0 AC Milan 0
Given our performance and deserved victory in the first leg there seemed to be a general assumption that we would roll Milan over in this game and progress serenely to the quarter finals. In fact we had to endure a 90 minutes that by the end had caused the nerves to become well and truly wracked. Milan were far livelier than they had been three weeks earlier and played with a high tempo from the off pushing us deeper and deeper. The biggest heart in mouth moment came in the first half when Robinho poked a shot at Gomes which deflected up and towards goal. Gallas on the line hooked the ball clear and it was safe to look again. We held on, of course, with Jermaine Jenas of all people proving a calming and confident presence when brought on for Pienaar with twenty minutes to go. Into the quarter finals!
Sat 19th – Spurs 0 West Ham 0
After conquering the might of Milan we had the chance to increase the plight of West Ham. We ended up with the same scoreline however as Defoe, Bale, Dawson, Lennon, Modric and Van der Vaart all went close but failed to make Robert Green adopt his familiar “woe is me” pose. West Ham had a couple of opportunities themselves but were just as inept around goal as us thankfully. This was Bale’s first start since his injury in January and whilst it was clear there was a way to go before he was match fit, it was great to see him back.
One thing this game did provide was the opportunity for an on field comparison between Luka Modric and the eventual Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year Scott Parker. Whilst the former gave his typical, almost musical (!) performance, the latter displayed the touch and awareness that reminded you to be careful what you wish for when it comes to the summer transfer window. No contest.
Premier League table as at 31st March –
P W D L Pts
1. Man Utd 30 18 9 3 63
2. Arsenal 29 17 7 5 58
3. Chelsea 29 16 6 7 54
4. Man City 30 15 8 7 53
5. Spurs 29 13 10 6 49
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