Spurs being Spursy – David O’ Neill
by David O’Neill
The match kicked off at the earlier time of 5:55 but this didn’t stop a packed Karaiskakis Stadium making any noise with the fans entering the stadium a whole hour before kick off. These fans are the main reason this is such a difficult place to come to and win and even score as Olympiacos have not lost at home this year and went on a run of six games without conceding a goal.
Mauricio Pochettino made five changes from his team who beat Crystal Palace as Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies, Tanguy Ndombele, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli all came into the starting eleven.
After a sluggish start Spurs were handed a penalty after Harry Kane was bundled over in the box, and with no surprise he put the ball straight down the middle and scored. Four minutes later Spurs doubled their lead through Lucas Moura. Ben Davies won the ball back with some brilliant anticipation and fed it to Lucas who smashed the ball into the corner from outside the box. Spurs were in dreamland, they were not playing well but had a two goal lead and had silenced the crowd. But lightning struck again as they conceded a sloppy goal right on half time as a result of some terrible defending from Vertonghen and Davies. We saw this happen three weeks ago against Arsenal but would the players have the nerve and bottle to hold onto their lead or would history repeat itself.
After the half time team talk Spurs fans would’ve hoped for a reaction. We got a slight glimpse of the real Tottenham in the 49th minute when Dele Alli put the ball in the back of the net but unfortunately he was ruled offside. Then came back the first half Spurs, not holding onto possession and not looking bothered to play and they were made to pay for this in the 54th minute when Eriksen lost possession on the edge of the box and Vertonghen rashly fouled Valbuena in the box. Valbuena stepped up to take the penalty and sent his French compatriot Lloris the wrong way.
Olympiacos seemed very happy with a point and went into defensive mode for the remainder of the game. Spurs did have two good chances to win it but Dele Alli decided to shoot instead of passing to Kane for a tap in and in the last few minutes Lamela did the same by shooting from an awkward angle when Kane was free in the middle.
A point away from home isn’t the end of the world for Spurs as they are still favourites to get out of their group alongside Bayern Munich and remember they lost their first game last season and made it to the final.
As far as individual performances go I think Harry Winks is the only player who can hang his head up high, Dele Alli was ok considering it was his first game of the season and we can clearly see that Eriksen still isn’t interested being at the club as he put in the worst performance I’ve seen from him in a Spurs shirt as he gave the ball away 22 times which is very worrying considering he is our main ball player.
Tottenham’s focus will go back to the Premier League now as they face Leicester City at 12:30 on Saturday morning.