Spurs 4 Olympiacos 2
The anointed one arrived at his new home, and the fans paid tribute. But the first half was nothing like what the anointed one wanted, more like Pochettino was back for the first half-hour. Then he made a good substitution (Eriksen), and 15 minutes later, Alli struck. A replacement (so-soon) that the inexperienced Pochettino wouldn’t have made. He would have waited until the second half; that is the difference between somebody who still has his learner plates on and a man of experience. We’ve gone up a level, with knobs on it.
After Saturday’s good result we arrived home (that is our spiritual home) and prepared the way for the anointment of our new guru. Not for a long time was the area where we sit full of joyous life and talk. The excitement in the air was palatable, putting it mildly. Predictions were glore, but all in the positive. I went for 5-0 and low and behold… not quite. But it was a six-goal thriller… well, ok, not at the start (that is, using the word “thriller”), but it got there, eventually.
Anyway, I am jumping the gun… let me keep you in suspender belts (about the result; Oh, you know!).
After all the drinking (two glasses of wine), eating and chatting (including to the young Premium ladies) it was time to go out and pay homage to the daubed one.
Fifty-seven thousand and forty-two turned up for the Passover (no pun intended). As in the West Ham game, the photographers were like bees swarming around a honey pot for the home game. In fact, they were more interested in Mourinho than the two teams.
Mourinho made a dramatic entrance at his new home as we came from two goals down to beat Olympiacos and qualify for the Champions League knockout stage. He made a low-key entrance for his first game as manager at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – but then it was drama all the way as he was subjected to all facets of the side he inherited from sacked Mauricio.
Let us be honest, we were dreadful at the back in the first half, going behind after only six minutes to Youssef El-Arabi’s low drive and conceding a second 13 minutes later when Ruben Semedo scored from close range at a corner. But our new coach acted quickly, sending on Christian Eriksen for Eric Dier, but it still took a horrendous error from Yassine Meriah to gift Dele Alli a goal in first-half stoppage time to throw us a lifeline that we accepted with relish, so thank you Olympiacos. We are always happy to receive gifts, no matter who they are from.
Our boy Harry got into the act and levelled from a Lucas Moura’s cross five minutes after the break, Mourinho hugging an alert ball boy who helped Serge Aurier take a quick throw-in that caught the Greeks kipping, and the recovery was complete 17 minutes from time when the defender powered home a finish at the far post from Alli’s cross.
Mourinho fist-pumped furiously in delight, and he was ecstatic again when Kane wrapped things up with a header from Eriksen’s inviting free-kick.
Our England captain broke Alessandro del Piero’s record as the player to score 20 Champions League goals in the fewest games – 24, compared to the Italian’s 26 games with Juventus.
After the game and free doughnuts and popcorn, it was down to the next floor for talkies, that is with whoever would listen and enjoy our company (including players). After being kicked out of the stadium at 11 pm, I got home at 1.15 am and bed.
Next up will be Bournemouth, at home, and I think this will be a harder test than the previous two.
Granted, it will take the anointed one a bit longer to get fully into his stride, but he will get there, and then the gems (read; trophies) will hopefully materialise. After Bournemouth, we visit Manchester and take on the United half of that city.
With Mourinho coming in and the confused one departing, there is a spring in our steps. Yes; I know, there still needs some tinkering with the team and new players in, but to be fair, our anointed one has to deal with the hand he was given, at least for the time being. But times they are a changing, feeling exciting, even.
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