Match: Saturday 26th April 2014.
Competition: Premier League.
Venue: Britannia Stadium.
Result: Stoke City 0-1 Tottenham.
Goalscorer for Spurs: Danny Rose 33′.
Delighted with the three points. We move just 3 points behind Everton in 5th and 6 points clear of Manchester United in 7th, and we are only 4 points off the top four and Arsenal, which I find quite funny, even if they do have a game in hand. The football we played wasn’t pretty, but we hung on and got the result, which is what you have to do at places like Stoke, a place which has taken points off Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United. Now only 2 games left and I’d love to win both for a great finish to the season.
In the first half, I thought we played some nice football, but we lacked cutting edge and were wasteful with the ball, despite finding spaces in the right areas we were too slow at releasing the ball to the wingers or finding the killer pass to the strikers, and when we did find the wingers the crossing wasn’t hitting the right areas. Breaking the Stoke defence down was something we found difficult throughout the game, but we did find the killer touch on one occasion, Aaron Lennon flicked the ball towards Emmanuel Adebayor wide on the right hand side, who controlled the ball well and poked it past the Stoke defender Marc Muniesa and showed a good turn of pace and then delivered a delightful ball into the danger area for Danny Rose who jumped highest to nod home in the 33rd minute to make it 1-0, his first Premier League goal of the season. The second half was very difficult for us, early on the Potters were awarded a red card for Ryan Shawcross for a late tackle on Danny Rose, his second yellow card, and it was deserved. You’d think that this would help us take the game away from Stoke, but it meant that the home side sat back and made it even more difficult for us to break them down again, despite still having some space in the midfield. We held on in the end for a good three points.
The defensive back 5, including Hugo Lloris played very well. For me, Michael Dawson was man of the match, he returned to the side after a hamstring injury and he played superbly, making crucial tackles and winning headers all game, a great decision from Tim Sherwood to re-include the skipper in the starting 11 ahead of Vlad Chiriches and Zeki Fryers. Alongside Dawson, Younes Kaboul was very solid, the same as Dawson he made some great tackles and looked much more comfortable with an experienced head next to him, he looked much more free to run with the ball and take it out from defence and I think that was his best performance since his return from injury. The full backs Kyle Naughton and the goal scorer Danny Rose also played great games, and hopefully they can continue this form in the last two games of the season. In midfield I though Paulinho played well, but other than him I thought we were very sloppy, even Christian Eriksen wasn’t on form. Upfront, Harry Kane had his first bad game in a Spurs shirt and Emmanuel Adebayor continued his average form of late.
You can’t complain with 3 points! We are 6 points from our record points tally in the Premier League, 72 points, so 2 wins is the aim! Our next game is against West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday 3rd May. COYS!!
My player ratings for the team that faced Stoke at the Britannia:
Lloris – 8
Naughton – 7.5
Dawson – 9 – Man of the Match.
Kaboul – 8.5
Rose – 8
Lennon – 5.5
Paulinho – 7
Chadli – 6
Eriksen – 6.5
Kane – 6
Adebayor – 6
Townsend – 6
Sigurdsson – 6
Fryers – 6.
Match highlights from our 1-0 win over Stoke:
Tim Sherwood talks to the press after the Stoke victory: