Alderweireld – 7
The greatest danger we were ever under was when a long shot got blocked and Toby had to hurry back from his sort of midfield position. Hard working and secure, as you’d expect. In a night of physics (see Llorente) he defied the laws thereof by hitting the inside of one post before we watched the ball spin off for a goal kick on the other side.
Are they the perfect games? The ones you suffer through for eighty-seven minutes and then find release, ecstasy, nirvana? Is that the kind of no match that defines a season, whether it’s death or glory? Spurs won. The previous ninety minutes are, let’s face it, largely irrelevant. But here goes …
Pochettino decided to show his studious side, unfurling a formation from the mid-twentieth century, a five man forward line: two rapid wingers, two tricky inside forwards and a lump of a centre forward. It wasn’t the worst idea offering width early and some threat, in particular from Lucas. Then the five increasingly became a static line all turned helplessly towards Eriksen waiting open-mouthed for him to throw them a fish.
Just as it became desperate, Eriksen collected the ball on the edge of the box and Brighton were finally hoist by their own petard – a line of at least eight players stood between keeper and ball – and Eriksen delivered (us from purgatory). Another win in this stadium … of sound.
Keep it to yourselves but I think the Brighton goalie might be an alcoholic – every time he had to kick the ball, he needed a drink!
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