Match Review, Anzhi Makhachkala vs Tottenham.

Thursday 3rd October 2013

Europa League

Anzhi Makhachkala 0-2 Tottenham. Defoe 34′, Chadli 39′.

Professional performance from the lads in a game that we were more than expected to get a result. We were dominant, and we deserved the three points to keep us at the top of our group in the Europa League. We weren’t amazing, but we got the job done fairly easily and didn’t leave room for any upsets. In the first half we passed the ball around really well and controlled the game, Lewis Holtby and Mousa Dembele at the heart of our control. We couldn’t find the decisive pass to open up the Anzhi defensive unit that was being relatively sturdy. Finally, Lewis Holtby picked a delightful pass through to Jermain Defoe who slotted home clinically, as usual, to make it 7 goals for the season and 5 in the Europa League. Quickly after another delicious ball from Holtby set Walker away down the right to set up Nacer Chadli who finished well in the box for his second Spurs goal. The second half was very, well, boring. Anzhi pushed into the game a bit more, but we held on and completed a good win.

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No real stand out performances for this game. I don’t think anyone was bad, as it was difficult conditions on a cold night in Russia, the bobbles on the pitch didn’t help us to play our game, and made it difficult for both attack and defence. Vlad Chiriches impressed me with his composure and ability to run with the ball, a little shaky at points but this is down to nerves, and I think he’s trying overly hard to impress after just coming into the team, maybe physically he needs to continue to work and get stronger as Lacina Traoré of Anzhi was a real test, although he is 6ft 8. Lewis Holtby was another top player, his creativity in the end won us the game, very important he impresses, and at this rate he deserves a place, although it is very tough competition! Jermain Defoe is one goal off Martin Chivers’ European record, maybe getting the record at White Hart Lane is destiny, got his customary goal today, and maybe should have got a couple more! Younes Kaboul looked brilliant today, so unfortunate with his injuries, I hope to God he gets fully fit and stays fit because when he is, he is my first choice centre back alongside Jan Vertonghen. One last thing, can I urge EVERYONE to give the new signings time. Erik Lamela received some extremely naive criticism, as a 21 year old who doesn’t speak any English he needs time to settle in. He will be amazing for us, in time.

A good win, another clean sheet. We now face West Ham on Sunday, 6th October in the Premier League. Our next Europa League fixture is on the 24th October away at Sherrif. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Anzhi at the Saturn Stadium:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 7
Chiriches – 8
Kaboul – 8
Fryers – 7
Sandro – 6
Dembele – 8 Man of the Match
Lamela – 6
Holtby – 8
Chadli – 7
Defoe – 6

Subs:
Dawson – 6
Sigurdsson – N/A
Eriksen – N/A

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