Match: Sunday 29th December 2013.
Venue: White Hart Lane.
Competition: Premier League.
Result: Tottenham 3-0 Stoke City.
Tottenham goal scorers: Roberto Soldado (pen) 36′, Mousa Dembele 65′ and Aaron Lennon 69′.
What a win! We finally win a game at White Hart Lane by more than 2 goals. We were brilliant and it’s so good to say that after a very difficult period for us Spurs fans. To win 3-0 and put in such a convincing performance is so relieving, hopefully now we can put our goalscoring and performance troubles at the Lane behind us and move ahead to make the Lane a fortress once more. A lot of negativity from Spurs fans heading into the game, expecting once more a hard fought 1-0 win, or a disappointing drop of points, but we pleasantly surprised everyone. From the off, we dominated the game, our passing game in full flow and making chances very well, which we couldn’t seem to finish. Frustrating that we couldn’t finish our opportunities, same old Spurs. Finally, in the 36th minute Emmanuel Adebayor tried the spectacular with an overhead kick which didn’t find the net, but the second best thing is that it hit Ryan Shawcross’ arms and resulted in a penalty which Roberto Soldado calmly put away, same old Soldado. We continued to to play well and attack Stoke City really well, keeping Stoke at bay excellently, only having 2 shots in the whole game on Lloris’ goal. In the second half Mousa Dembele and Paulinho dominated the midfield and Mousa got his reward for such a brilliant performance, getting a brilliant goal, shifting onto his left foot in style and rifling the ball into the bottom corner. He’s capable of that! Soon after going 2-0 up, we went 3-0 up, as the ball fell to Aaron Lennon’s feet and he half-volleyed home to make it a comfortable win at such a crucial time.
My man of the match is definitely Mousa Dembele, he was phenomenal on the ball, creating attacks and showing his undoubted class, and his goal topped off a great day for the big Belgian. His midfield partner Paulinho returned from suspension and arguably had his best performance in a Spurs shirt to date, being open minded in attack, passing brilliantly and showing his skill with flicks and tricks that caught the eye, unfortunately he got a knock in the second half from a Charlie Adam tackle and we hope he’s okay for our trip to Manchester, a key player. The formation we played really allowed our players to express themselves, Adebayor and Soldado were impressive as a partnership but Ade peeled off and helped out the midfield really well, letting our wingers Aaron Lennon and Christian Eriksen get involved in the play a lot more, Eriksen coming in more central and Lennon working the wide spaces well in the absence of Kyle Walker. A 4-4-2 turned into a 4-3-3 and it worked really well, I hope this sort of offensive display can continue. Defensively, we were solid and it was a much improved display from our back four, and credit to Sherwood for tightening it up, Dawson and Chiriches were very good, and so were our full backs Naughton and Fryers, it’s clear Naughton is much better in his preferred position of right back, rather than left back. The nerves were there for Zeki Fryers on his Premier League debut (start), but he dealt with them well and put in a good performance.
Three points and three goals make me a happy man. We now need to push on and get a run together, starting with a tough match on New Year Day against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Got to put in a good display! COYS!!
My player ratings of the team that faced Stoke City at the Lane:
Lloris – 7
Naughton – 7
Dawson – 7.5
Chiriches – 7.5
Fryers – 7
Lennon – 8
Paulinho – 9
Dembele – 9 – Man of the match.
Eriksen – 8.5
Adebayor – 8
Soldado – 7
Capoue – 6
Chadli – N/A
Lamela – 7
Match highlights from our 3-0 win over Stoke:
Tim Sherwood’s post match reaction: