Gent 1-0 Spurs: (match report)
Spurs’ hopes of qualifying for the round of 16 of the Europa league were dented, when they fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Gent on Thursday evening. It was a really frustrating night for Spurs they just couldn’t state their usual authority on the match, with an industrious Gent side catching us by surprise, running out deserved 1-0 winners on the night. The first half was wearisome with neither side able to produce much to shout about. Dele Alli produced Tottenham’s best chance of the half just over 10 minutes in, when the England international fizzed a powerful long range effort narrowly wide of the left post. With the exception of Alli’s long range effort, there was almost nothing of note in the remainder of the half, it was a truly dispiriting half and one which was quite dreadful to watch. In a total contrast to the first half, we came out of the blocks in some style in the opening 15 minutes of the second half. Pochettino’s side begun to find their shape and their rhythm returned, with Harry Kane going desperately close to putting us in to the lead. After some good build up play Alli passed to Kane in the box, and the centre forward swivelled round before unleashing a powerful effort which hit off the outside of the post. In that bright 15 minute spell our intensity had returned, we passed the ball around with real attacking intent and it seemed as if we were going to go on and win the game. However, that spell did not last and just before the hour mark the home side took an unexpected lead through striker Juan Perbet.
Gent had caught us on the counter attack as they surged forward with Milicevic squaring the ball to Perbet inside the box as he dodged Davies’ sliding challenge, before the Frenchman fired the ball past his helpess compatriot to the send the crowd wild with delight. We never returned to our tempo in the remainder of the match and the Lillywhites were fortunate not to find themselves two goals down, when Milicevic saw his low shot tipped on to the post by a spectacular diving save from Lloris. We offered nothing in the remaining minutes as Gent saw out the 1-0 victory with ease, a really disappointing night for us Spurs fans, the lads confidence seems to have been dented from last Saturday’s loss to Liverpool, and despite a strong selection from Pochettino we looked lacklustre and lacked the potency required in front of goal. Next Thursdays second leg at Wembley is massive! Spurs have got to really go for it and they simply cannot afford to not turn up again, this is such an important competition for our club and we just can’t afford to throw this opportunity away. On to Sundays game against Fulham. COYS
My player review:
– Hugo Lloris: Made a stunning save to deny Gent their second of the game deep in the second half, that save may prove vital come next Thursday.
– Kyle Walker: Not his usual self against Gent, didn’t have a good first half at all but he grew into the game and put in a decent second half performance.
– Toby Alderweireld: As precise as ever in his timely blocks/interceptions I thought Alderweireld was as good as ever, though it’s clear he’s missing Vertonghen’s presence.
– Eric Dier: A decent game from Dier, not as effective as Alderweireld though but put in a good performance nonetheless.
– Ben Davies: A bit sloppy from time to time but I thought Davies played quite well, his a really hard worker.
– Victor Wanyama: A good performance from Wanyama, strong tenacious and impressive.
– Harry Winks: Yet again I was really impressed with Winks he was my man of the match by some distance, smooth passing, brilliant vision and as composed as ever both on and off the ball.
– Moussa Sissoko: Didn’t really get into the game, was pretty ineffective down the left wing.
– Mousa Dembele: I thought Dembele had a good game against Gent, I liked the fact that he was much more attacking and he made some good runs, but just didn’t have the end product on this occasion.
– Dele: Wasn’t the headline act but this was due to the fact he was being played out wide, we missed the more central box to box Dele Alli. And I feel as if we would have a greater chance of winning, had he been played behind Kane.
– Harry Kane: Was isolated yet again up top wasn’t able to get into the game, his second half chance being our best of the match.
My man of the match: A real positive throughout the game, Harry Winks was excellent against Gent. Winks’ vision and passing were top draw, his such a calm and composed player and is developing rapidly.
KAA Gent (4-3-3): Kalinic, Mitrovic, Asare (c, Gershon 80), Dejaegere, Gigot; Saief, Esiti, Foket; Simon (Kalu 74), Perbet (Coulibaly 74), Milicevic. Substitutes (not used): Rinne, Renato Neto, De Smet, Verstraete.
Spurs: 4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Walker, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Wanyama, Winks (Eriksen 80); Sissoko (Nkoudou 71), Dembele (Son 68), Dele; Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Onomah.
Goals: Gent – Perbet 59.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Walker 54, Dele 73.
Referee: Benoit Bastien.