Juventus 2-2 Tottenham: Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen Saves The Day

January 11, 2017, was the last time Juventus had conceded two goals at home, but that was an Italian Cup game. We all know what they think of the Coppa Italia round these parts.

So going back to February 23, 2016. Juventus 2 Bayern Munich 2. The last time a visiting team scored in a game that really meant a whole lot, Yet Munich were 2-0 up that night and Juventus pulled it back. It wasn’t like this with Spurs’ late ascendancy.

Fiorentina on two occasions scored twice here in 2015, although  Juventus won 3-2 anyway, it wa another Coppa Italia tie.. So a team scoring twice, coming from behind, getting a much needed result at Juventus in a match that mattered? Real Madrid, 2-2, November 5, 2013.

Juventus went 1-0 up, Madrid scored twice, Juventus equalised. No wonder they went quiet. This does not happen to Juventus. They do not disappoint once ahead. Not on home turf.

Tottenham are far from through against such classy opposition, but they will be favoured after this drama. They were outstanding, given the course of the game. Rode their luck, yes, started horribly, true. But did they deserve the draw? Most certainly.

Gonzalo Higuain missed a penalty and a good chance at a pivotal moment but, hey, Harry Kane missed a sitter of a header, too.

It was -2°C by the time the Allianz Stadium had cleared and, coincidentally, Tottenham were minus two in nine minutes at the start of the night. To fight back from such a dismal beginning took courage against a Juventus team who are not ashamed to place 11 players defending fiercely within 25 yards of their goal.

They had not conceded a goal this year, nor lost since November, and racing into a commanding lead, few could see a way back for Tottenham. But gradually they found a path. Not by going gung-ho, but with intelligence and craft.

Tottenham, as Mauricio Pochettino acknowledged, remain shy of experience at this level. But that did not show as they pressed for goals. Even 2-1 would not have been the worst night — but to draw level changes the complexion of the return leg.

A low-scoring draw would do them at Wembley. Not that they should shrink from aiming high. Taking the game to Juventus, they were more than a match. The equaliser came after Giorgio Chiellini had fouled Dele Alli on the edge of the area and, yes, it was a foul, not a dive.

Eriksen took responsibility and somehow managed to send the mighty Gianluigi Buffon the wrong way with a pretty straight shot. It was low, to the left, but Buffon had initially set off in the opposite direction, before correcting. Too late. Tottenham were level.

Juventus are unbeaten at home in Europe since 2013, so to go two goals down in nine minutes here, as Tottenham did, was nothing short of disastrous. What happened? Well, Higuain happened, as did some suicidal defending.

Mousa Dembele dived in rashly and gave away a free-kick against Miralem Pjanic, some 30 yards from goal. Pjanic stood with Federico Bernardeschi. The Italian made as if to take it, but pulled out. Pjanic clipped the ball to Higuain.

Somehow, he was unmarked. Somehow, one of the greatest goalscorers in Europe had contrived to lose an entire defence.

Alli saw the danger, but too late. Ben Davies appeared to be flagging up the trouble from the left. The central defenders were all gathered on the far side where Juventus had decoy forces massed. It was a quite brilliantly worked set-piece, and Higuain gave it the finish it deserved.For Tottenham, worse unfolded. At least the first goal was smart. The second was the result of simple clumsiness.

Mario Mandzukic played a crossfield ball, left to right, and Davies appeared to have lost his place on the pitch, and his sight of the danger around him. He studied the ball, was blindsided by the man, and ended up making a rash, misjudged tackle that upended Bernardeschi: a clear penalty.

Higuain stepped up and, while Hugo Lloris read his kick correctly, both hands could do nothing to stop it nestling in the left corner. With 171 minutes of the tie left, some were already speculating Tottenham looked done.

Higuain stepped up and, while Hugo Lloris read his kick correctly, both hands could do nothing to stop it nestling in the left corner. With 171 minutes of the tie left, some were already speculating Tottenham looked done.

Slowly, though, they probed for a way through. A tumble by Kane under pressure from Medhi Benatia was not greatly impressive, and was rightly rejected by referee Felix Brych — but after 26 minutes he lost his marker and met an Eriksen cross with a point-blank header, which Buffon saved.

Kane immediately looked for an offside flag to spare his embarrassment. None flew. And then two moments changed the momentum, and maybe the tie.

The unconvincing Davinson Sanchez made a mistake as Juve counter-attacked, and suddenly they were in. Higuain exchanged passes with Pjanic, before sizing up his shot in the penalty area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moura May Debut In North London Derby

Lucas Moura could  be making his first appearance with Tottenham Hotspur in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal but manager Mauricio Pochettino says he has serious decisions to make before selecting his team for the north London derby.

After sticking with the same starting line-up that defeated Manchester United and the drew at Liverpool, Pochettino made 10 changes as Tottenham cruised into the FA Cup fifth round beating fourth-tier Newport County 2-0.

The Argentine is likely to make some selection changes again for the visit of sixth-placed Arsenal, with Brazilian midfielder Moura to play his debut after arriving in the January transfer window from French side Paris St Germain.

“I think he will be ready, maybe to be in contention for Saturday,” Pochettino said. “He is doing well, training so hard and I think we need to assess him.

“After the last training session, I hope that he is still doing well and we can put him in contention.”

Toby Alderweireld is available after the Belgian defender returned to the team from a hamstring injury he picked up in November and played 90 minutes against Newport.

Defender Danny Rose and midfielder Harry Winks are also fit, boosting the manager’s options. “It’s positive but it’ll be tough because we can’t put out more than 11 and seven on the bench,” Pochettino added.

“I am sure that many players will not be happy that they will be out but that is football, they understand the rules and always we are going to take the best decision for the team.”

Tottenham are fifth in the table with 49 points. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

 

Tottenham Handed Injury Boost

Tottenham have been  handed a triple injury boost ahead of their crunch Premier League game against Manchester United on Wednesday.

Danny Rose, Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris are all back in contention for the match at Wembley but Toby Alderweireld is not available.

Rose is back from a serious knee problem with Eriksen and Lloris both certified fit after a brief  illness.

Alderweireld has returned to training after three months out with a hamstring injury but Pochettino does not yet consider him ready for competitive action.

Pochettino also refused to be drawn on the club’s potential move for Paris St Germain forward Lucas Moura.

“The club will communicate when something happens,” Pochettino said.

He was also tight-lipped when asked about the future of Fernando Llorente, who has been linked with a January switch to Chelsea.

“That is another rumour,” Pochettino said. “Nando is our player. I don’t know anything about that.”

Spurs sit two points outside the top four and the game against United marks the start of a testing period for Pochettino’s side.

They face Liverpool on Sunday and then Arsenal in the league, either side of an FA Cup replay against Newport, before travelling to Turin to play Juventus in the Champions League last 16.

“I think it’s not key, there a lot of games to play,” Pochettino said.

Spurs are said to be closing in on Lucas Moura

“But yes, it is so important to win games, to be close and to have the possibility to fight to the end.

“I don’t think the key to the top four is to win tomorrow or to win Sunday. But yes it is so important to put yourself in a good position in the table and in the end be there.”

Harry Winks remains out with an ankle injury and Serge Aurier is also sidelined with a calf problem.

 

Martial Stars as Manchester United Down Tottenham 1-0

Anthony Martial came off the bench to earn Manchester United a 1-0 win over Premier League title rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Victory saw United, who had started the day ahead of Spurs on goal difference alone, go three points clear of their London rivals.

France international Martial, currently battling to win a regular starting place under Jose Mourinho, did his chances no harm with the manner of his 81st minute winning goal, even if it was a curiously direct affair.

A long kick forward by goalkeeper David De Gea was headed on by Romelu Lukaku and Martial sprinted away from the Spurs back line before calmly beating the keeper with an excellent finish.

It was a disappointing way for Spurs to lose a game and the fact that the London club were without injured leading striker Harry Kane is bound to revive the debate over whether their bid to be crowned champions is too reliant on the England forward.

After being widely criticised for their negative approach in the recent goalless draw at Liverpool, United showed more ambition against another of the division’s top clubs on their own turf, although the result was still a lack of real goalscoring chances and entertainment.

Within two minutes, Lukaku chased onto a through ball and his low, driven cross-shot was well cut out by the alert Hugo Lloris, with Marcus Rashford poised in the middle in front of an open net.

Ashley Young’s penetrating run might have carved out a chance but his drag-back passed through the area and narrowly out of reach of three team mates before a 35-yard Rashford free-kick was turned around the post by the diving goalkeeper.

Spurs, understandably given the absence of Kane, adopted a more cautious approach but grew into the game as the half progressed.

Early chances were limited to long shots — Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko forcing De Gea into simple stops and Toby Alderweireld shooting into the side-netting from outside the area.

But by the time Christian Eriksen floated over ime Christian Eriksen floated over a delightful pass in the direction of Dele Alli, who was denied the chance to volley on goal by two defenders, Spurs looked comfortable.

When Tottenham did create a real chance, it was in bizarre circumstances as De Gea made a routine catch from a Ben Davies cross but collided with Phil Jones and dropped the ball.

– Young and Alli clash –
Alli was alert and passed the ball back to Sissoko who fired well over the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Soon, Young and Alli were involved in an altercation, after the United man was accidentally hit in the face by Aurier, with players from both teams squaring off in an incident which breathed much-needed life into the game.

Tottenham reacted first as Alli saw his header, from a Davies corner, blocked by Eric Bailly and then the England midfielder found space for a shot which failed to trouble De Gea.

Another Davies corner again caused problems before De Gea caught Eric Dier’s hooked shot towards goal.

United opened the second half in more committed fashion and, finally, after 54 minutes, the home crowd had something to cheer as the Reds created three quick chances in succession.

A mistake by Davies presented Henrikh Mkhitaryan with an opportunity for a shot which Lloris fumbled. But for Davies atoned for his error with a superb cover-tackle to deny Rashford a simple goal from the rebound.

The attack continued with Ander Herrera setting up Antonio Valencia, whose shot was blocked.

Lukaku then shrugged off Jan Vertonghen before sending a low shot just wide of the goal.

Both teams had chances to break the deadlock shortly before Martial scored the only goal of the game.

Alli flicked agonisingly wide after a brilliant chip forward from Eriksen and Lukaku headed against the post from Jesse Lingard’s cross.

AFP

‘Spurs Can Thrive Without Kane’

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday his high-flying side do not need to prove they can win without Harry Kane as they head to Manchester United without the injured forward.

Kane has already hit 13 goals for Spurs this season but was forced off late on in last weekend’s 4-1 win over Liverpool with a hamstring issue.

The 24-year-old will not feature against United as Tottenham look to address a recent poor record at Old Trafford and leapfrog Jose Mourinho’s side in the Premier League table.

Pochettino said he was not willing to take a risk by involving Kane, who hit a brace against Liverpool before his late injury, with other big games on the horizon.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola recently labelled Tottenham as “the Harry Kane team” but Pochettino pointed to last term, when Spurs coped without Kane as he nursed an ankle injury, as proof they can be successful without their talisman.

“We don’t need to prove ourselves, that we’re Tottenham,” said Pochettino, whose side lie third in the Premier League table with 20 points, trailing United only on goal difference.

“Maybe people expect that but for us, no. I think last season, in the period he was injured, you can see the stats and the games we played – win and lose with Harry, win and lose without Harry.

“I’m disappointed because he is our main striker and I think he is one of the best strikers in Europe, in the world, and always you are going to miss your best striker. I am not silly or stupid to talk in a different way.

“You always want all the players available… We always believe in the collective, the squad. During the season, problems happen and you must trust all the players, all the squad.”

The club described Kane’s injury as a “minor strain to the left hamstring”, which has already been assessed.

Pochettino said it was only a “small issue” but he did not want to exacerbate the problem by playing him against United.

“We can’t take the risk,” the Argentine said. “The doctor and medical staff made the decision to not take the risk. There is no sense in taking that risk and making the problem bigger.

“The players are not machines and it is so difficult to cope with international duty and playing every three days.

“It is not a big problem, only a small issue, but he is not going to play (on Saturday).”

Pochettino could hand summer signing Fernando Llorente his full Premier League debut in place of Kane while using Son Heung-Min as an out-and-out striker is also a possibility.

 

 

Source: SuperSport

I Want To Play For Pochettino -Luke Shaw

Manchester United fullback Luke Shaw admits he’d like to play again for Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

The pair worked together at Southampton.

Shaw, in the epilogue of Guillem Balague’s Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs, explained: “I think with Southampton he achieved the impossible.

“We were one of the best footballing teams in the league.

“I do hope that I can play for him again one day. And I think he really wants me to play under him again.”

And the England star alluded to the fact life was simpler when he was at St. Mary’s.

“He used to call me his son, that’s how good our relationship was. I’ve had lots of ups and downs, but when I was with Pochettino it was only ever up, up, up,” he continued.

“He made me feel that I was the best. He’d show me clips of my games and say, ‘You should do this better’.

“Not in a horrible way. Not I could have done better, but I should have done better because he knows I can be better.”

 

Antonio Conte Questions Tottenham’s Transfer Inactivity

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has questioned the ambition of Premier League title rivals Tottenham Hotspur after a summer of inactivity in the transfer market for the north London club.

Tottenham were champions Chelsea’s closest pursuers last season, finishing seven points behind, but have failed to strengthen with chairman Daniel Levy saying the transfer spending in the Premier League is “unsustainable”.

Tottenham’s only transfer activity has selling England right back Kyle Walker to Manchester City for a reported 45 million pounds.

“If (Spurs) don’t win the title, it’s not a tragedy,” Conte was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“If they don’t arrive in the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy. If they go out in the first round of the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy. If they go out after the first game that they play in the Europa League, it’s not a tragedy.”

Conte said for Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and possibly Liverpool, those kinds of failures were tragedies.

“Every team has to understand what their ambitions are,” the Italian said. “If their ambitions are to fight for the title or win the Champions League, you must buy expensive players. Otherwise, you continue to stay in your level. It’s simple.

“My question is this: What are Tottenham’s expectations?”

In marked contrast to Tottenham, the other clubs expected to fight for the title have been spending heavily.

Chelsea signed striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid for a club record fee reported to be 70 million pounds and paid around 40 million for Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Manchester United signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton for a reported 75 million pounds while Manchester City has splashed out in excess of 150 million on the likes of Walker and Monaco duo Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva.

Conte said Tottenham still had a strong team “if they are able to keep all their players”.

Tottenham is building a new stadium at an estimated cost of 800 million pounds and are planning to move into it for the start of the 2018-19 season.

They will play home matches this season at Wembley.

 

Tottenham Hotspur Threatens Premier League leaders Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur can inflict another psychological blow on Premier League leaders Chelsea by beating them in Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal tie at Wembley, striker Harry Kane has said.

Chelsea, who were 10 points clear of second-placed Tottenham in March, have lost two of their last four league games, including Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester United, to reduce their lead to four points with six league games remaining.

“It could be a big thing psychologically,” Kane told British media.

“Of course it’s a different competition so it’s hard to say, but it’s a big game for us … If we win next week it might put a bit more doubt in their minds regarding the Premier League.”

Kane said Tottenham had had a superb season, but urged his teammates not to take their foot off the pedal.

“If you look at the table, 71 points with six games left is incredible. We’ve got to make sure we finish strongly – it isn’t over yet,” Kane said.

Tottenham’s last FA Cup win over Chelsea came in 1982 but they beat the leaders 2-0 when the two sides met in the league at White Hart Lane in January.

Gareth Bale Ranks Dele Alli Among The Worlds Greatest Footballer

Alli has emerged as a key part of the Tottenham team over the past two seasons and his 16 goals and five assists in the Premier League this season have helped propel Spurs to second in the table, seven points behind leaders Chelsea.

England international and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is good enough to play for any club in the world, according to Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, himself a former Tottenham player.

Alli celebrated his 21st birthday only this week and British media are inevitably predicting Spurs will face a battle to hang on to such a talented young player this summer.

“In terms of his ability, he could play wherever he wants. He has achieved so much in a short time that he must have great confidence in his ability to affect games at a high level,” Bale told British media.

The Wales international broke the world transfer record when he left Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013 and his success in Spain has convinced him that more British players should make the move to continental Europe.

“I’ve loved being part of a different culture and learning new things,” Bale added. “You’ve just got to be open-minded and be prepared to learn a language and experience the unfamiliar.

“But I also understand why some players are reluctant to move. Like a lot of people, some footballers want to stay close to friends and family.”

 

Source: Super Sport

Tottenham Midfielder Banned From 3 European Matches

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been suspended for three European club matches for his sending off against Gent last month, UEFA announced on Friday.

Alli, 20, received a straight red card for his horror tackle on Gent’s Brecht Dejaegere during the Premier League club’s shock Europa League exit.

Alli speared his right foot high into Dejaegere’s shin. The Belgian midfielder was able to continue initially but had to be substituted, limping off with a bloodied shin.

 Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been suspended for three European club matches for his sending off against Gent last month, UEFA announced on Friday.Alli, 20, received a straight red card for his horror tackle on Gent’s Brecht Dejaegere during the Premier League club’s shock Europa League exit.

Alli speared his right foot high into Dejaegere’s shin. The Belgian midfielder was able to continue initially but had to be substituted, limping off with a bloodied shin.

Dele Alli Accepts FA Violent Conduct Charge

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Dele Alli, has accepted a charge of violent conduct from the Football Association (FA), according to Sky sources.

The player had until 6pm on Wednesday, to respond to the charge, which could see him miss the final three games of the Premier League season.

Alli appeared to punch West Brom’s Claudio Yacob, in the first half of their 1-1 draw on Monday at White Hart Lane.

The 20-year-old who was named PFA Player of the Year on Sunday, will now wait on the FA’s Independent Commission, which is expected to meet on Thursday or Friday, to determine Alli’s fate.

Spurs last three games are against Chelsea, Southampton and Newcastle.