Reading social media some people went ap*shit over Mourinho because we lost. Really! This was a non-match, it didn’t matter which way the results went, the league positions were going to stay the same. We were going through to the next stage. So why put your best players in the danger zone? We’ve got more important fish to fry on Sunday against Wolves.
Our match against Bayern was just a pure exercise in scrutinising fringe players. For Mourinho to see what he has got on. Who he could incorporate into the main team and those that he should ditch.
Eriksen was first up on the podium to see if he should be given the boot. He failed. He showed he was shaky, as he has been for the last year. Somebody suggested that he should be given an extended run-out, in this game, so that he could show off to future cross-eyed purchasers. If that was the case, he failed miserably to demonstration what he still had to offer, if anything. Walker-Peters also didn’t step up to the mark, nor even Lo Celso, Wanyama and Rose. They will be out soon or just sit in the reserves. Saying that, Lo Celso was probably the best out of that bunch.
Those that did step up to the mark were Foyth and Sessegnon, who scored our goal. Those two would have had Mourinho smiling in one instance, and tearful in another. But taking the whole squad as one, there is more going for us, than negative. The January transfer window should be fascinating.
One bit of nostalgia, and going off track, I remember going with friends to Ibrox and seeing Spurs beat Rangers 3-2. That was in 1962, on the 11th November (European Cup Winners’ Cup). That was a great match and memory, sadly the Bayern game didn’t get anywhere as close (that was 57 years go to the day of Bayern’s game). There was no reason for me to mention that other than the match at the Bayern stadium triggered that memory, why? Who knows what goes on within one’s skull. More so as both games were so different, other than being a European match. Anyway, back to the now:-
With qualification to the last 16 and positions in the group already sorted before this game, Jose Mourinho understandably opted to give his fringe and young squad players a chance to shine, as I had said.
After a testing start for Sessegnon, he grabbed his opportunity with both hands. The 19-year-old signed from Fulham on deadline day, but a hamstring injury he picked up in the summer while with England Under-21s had limited him to just three first-team appearances from the bench. He took only 20 minutes to make an impression in Munich, thundering an unstoppable strike past Neuer after first taking a touch to control Giovani lo Celso’s deflected manoeuvre.
He is only 19 years, but he became our youngest Champions League scorer and went on to put on an assured performance.
Out of all the youngsters he was the standout player for an otherwise flat performance, who struggled to compete against a Bayern team that barely got out of third gear. So it isn’t surprising that he ended up as the man of the match. It was a cold night and nothing about the result warmed anybody up on the Spurs side.
As for Bayern Munich, well, they became just the second club to win all six of their group games in a single Champions League campaign (in the competition’s current format, since 2003-04) after Real Madrid, who have done so twice (in 2011-12 and 2014-15). By collecting maximum points (18) and a goal difference of +19 Bayern became the best group winner in the history of the competition. Sadly, we helped them to achieve that goal.
As for Mourinho, he has now lost each of his three away games at Bayern Munich, with all three coming in the Champions League in charge of different teams (3-2 with Chelsea, 2-1 with Real Madrid and 3-1 with Spurs). But to be fair, this particular game was a game of nothing. Whatever way it went, nothing would have changed. Bayern finished first, while we finished second.
As for us, we have conceded at least two goals in five of our six games under Jose Mourinho in all competitions (11 in total), including in all three of our away games.
We now return to Premier League action this weekend when we travel to Wolves tomorrow (14:00 GMT). Meanwhile, the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League is on Monday (11:00 GMT).
Even though we lost, we are still in it. If we should meet Bayern again in this competition, it will be a totally different match. Roll on Monday and give us something we can get our teeth into. I do believe we can go all the way again, but luck will play an important part as well.
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