“Aurier” wouldn’t have had the same ring, would it. Well, that was nice. Two missed chances by Son and Lucas and then a wonder strike out of nowhere from one of the least likely players to do it and then the dam burst in the second half. Alive in four trophy competitions with two huge games in the next 9 days.
As for the specifics, the back three were pretty solid throughout but consider the opposition. I liked Skipp—he did get his pocket picked once but recovered nicely after Sanchez ushered the Rover away from goal to regain the ball. His through ball to Llorente was straight out of the Eriksen playbook. Young Marsh seemed active and Eyoma was nice to behold—imperious and calm in his cameo.
Why not have Serge score twice? The second needed some help from Davies, who became more sieve-like as the evening progressed, but it was well struck. Llorente after an outrageous volley attempt scored three typically Llorente-ish goals—all along the ground, none travelling faster than the Central Line at rush hour. Son and Kane did what they do—Dele directed traffic. No one got hurt.
Poch is 100% accurate when he says he could have won two or three of these minor domestic cups, and still got the sack without Champions League qualification these past three years—but somehow it seems as if things might just be working out for one of them to come good. We are catching Chelsea at an awkward time—and City are nowhere near last year’s smooth running machine, though they showed a lot of grit in that win last night.
But let’s face it—the home and away v Dortmund, and the league position beginning with the United dramafest next Sunday will still tell the more vital tale. Sunday’s game is the ultimate “no-win” proposition—beat United (again) and Gary Neville will be frothing at the mouth about how talented Poch is and how he would make the perfect manager at Old Trafford. Lose or draw and Spurs show that they are not a big enough club for Poch and surely he will leave in the summer, according to Mr. Neville and many others.
The only way to beat down the media hordes who either 1) don’t want us to succeed or 2) want someone else to succeed more is to, in the words of the late great Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders (yes, the team that we may share space within North London next season) “Just win, baby”.
That’s what we did last night.
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