Monday, February 11, 2013

Beaten by Bale brace

Spurs 2 - 1 Newcastle Utd

Two goals by Gareth Bale were enough to put the brakes on our recent league resurgence at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

With the Silver Fox sticking with the same starting XI for the third game in a row, there was no place for the newly returned Mr T, who had to content himself with a place on the strongest bench we've probably had all season, sitting alongside Steve Harper, Vurnon Anita, Big Lad, Obertan Kenobi, MYM and Sylvain Marveaux.

On the pitch, with the hosts running decidedly short of strikers, their principal threat was presented by Gareth Bale, and it was the Welsh wonder who gave Spurs an early lead, firing home a dipping free kick within ten minutes of kick-off. While Sideshow Bob should perhaps have done better in not conceding the foul which led to the free-kick in the first place, if we're looking to apportion blame anywhere then Perchinho's decision to remain rooted to the ground as part of the defensive wall as the ball travelled within a whisker of his head was a curious one. If the team mantra was not to jump, and thereby prevent the ball going underneath them, why did Spidermag (immediately to Perchinho's right) jump?

At the other end, we finally managed to get ourselves into the game, with Papiss Cisse heading wide after a fine diagonal cross from Sideshow Bob. However, it was our new French connection which, after the heroics against Chelski, again proved our route back into the game. This time it was Sissoko's turn to play provider, with his pull back finding Goofy who hammered the ball home via Michael Dawson's shoulder.

As both sides continued to joust for the game it was Spurs full-back Kyle Walker who was next to make his mark, albeit this time on Goofy's leg after a nasty-looking challenge which saw our man depart on a stretcher sucking on oxygen. Thankfully, post-match reports confirm no broken bones, and with a fortnight until he can next be called into action there's plenty of time for Goofy to recover.

Ultimately, though, it was Bale again who was to land the decisive blow, as he raced onto a through-ball and capitalised on a moment of hesitation between Saylor and Sideshow Bob (quite which language Saylor used to communicate with his captain is anyone's guess). Bale took the ball away from our defenders before firing low past Tim Krul (who perhaps could have done better).

If the Dutchman was perhaps slightly culpable for Bale's second, he redeemed himself with a string of further saves to deny the Welshman his hat-trick and, with frustration starting to seep into our performance, it was something of a relief that Dreamboat only saw yellow after an ugly tackle on Moussa Dembele. Our only real sniff of an equaliser came when the ball broke kindly for substitute Big Lad, but his prod was smothered by Hugo Lloris.

Wigan, Reading and QPR may all have lost but, with Southampton picking up points at home to Man City, the defeat saw us drop back one place to 16th. However, we more than matched Spurs for the majority of this game and only lost out to one of the players of the season producing two moments of real class. A few more performances like this and we'll be safe sooner rather than later.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"More than matched Spurs" I don't think so. Played as well as them at times yes. But overall There was only going to be one winner

11:02 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

I thought we were the better side for much of the first half - which was pleasing, given that another horrible capitulation looked on the cards when we conceded so early on. In the second period, though, we admittedly sat back, content with a draw that would have represented a good result. Spurs could have had more than just their two in the end - but it's worth pointing out that they didn't create much at all until Bale got the second and we started to chase the game.

1:39 pm  

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