Last time a game was played at US Bank Stadium that I cared about—10 months ago– the best player on my other “football” team, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, separated his shoulder and thus missed nearly the entire season, which effectively ended at that moment for the Packers. Nothing so momentous would happen tonight in a 1-0 Spurs victory as Mauricio Pochettino gave more young or reserve players a chance to shine against a largely veteran AC Milan side.
Spurs broke brightly, as their pressing controlled the action for most of the opening quarter-hour, but soon enough the more experienced Italians began to counter effectively and produced nearly all the best opportunities in the first half, Patrick Cutrone failing to convert a number of excellent chances in the box from well-placed crosses. Spurs failed to produce that final ball or link-up after some decent work in midfield from Oliver Skipp and George Marsh, and some impressive runs down the left by Anthony Georgiou and Kevin Georges Nkoudou. Fernando Llorente suffered from almost no service and Kyle Walker-Peters was the unfortunate guilty party on several occasions, either making a poor cross, being bullied off the ball, or simply giving it away without excessive pressure.
No sooner than the restart had come than Calabria made a sloppy pass (another would follow) into the welcome lap of Georges-Kevin Nkoudou whose left-footed blast tipped off the sub keeper for the opener. Nkoudou seemed to be running for his proverbial Spurs life today, constantly harassing Milan defenders and goalkeepers, effort which nearly produced a second when Calabria again gifted him the ball. Paolo Gazzaniga was forced to make a couple of fine saves and Milan had a chance or two near the death, but Spurs saw the game out and will fly back to London having not been best over 90 minutes in any of their three games stateside.
Eyoma and Sanchez were generally resolute at center back, Amos a bit more inconsistent than in his earlier stints, Skipp and Marsh neither spectacular nor wasteful. Lucas Moura was fairly anonymous tonight although he made one exceptional layoff to Walker-Peters that fizzled as most things did for our right back tonight.
Now we wait for the injury verdicts on Winks and Wanyama, the return of the nine World Cuppers, and the final judgements as to whether Toby, Mousa or Fernando stay and who, if anyone will join Spurs as Levy is (shockingly!) leaving it late again in the window.
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