Spurs under 18’s 3-0 Chelsea: (match report)
Something quite extraordinary occurred during our under 18’s league game with Chelsea on Wednesday afternoon, at their Cobham training centre. Scott Parker’s sides penultimate league game of the season would prove to be one of their finest wins of the campaign, as his lads brought Chelsea’s three year home unbeaten run to an abrupt end, with a superb 3-0 victory over our London rivals. As I predicted in my preview, the blues minus Jody Morris were forced into fielding a much weekend side owing to this Fridays UEFA youth league semifinal against Porto. This meant that fringe players such as former Spurs schoolboy Tushaun Walters got their chance alongside a coupe of under 16’s. But don’t take anything away from Parkers side, who still had to deal with an abundance of talent. Which included the likes of Scottish wonder kid and captain Billy Gilmour, u17 world cup winner Jonathan Panzo and prolific forward Martell Taylor-Crossdale. Meanwhile, Spurs lined up with the experienced trio of Jonathan Dinzeyi, Oliver Skipp and TJ Eyoma. Playing a 4-2-3-1 which saw Eyoma and Dinzeyi line up as the centre halves, Skipp and Bowden as the midfielders and Markanday and Patterson playing as the wide men. From start to finish, Parker’s side were exceptional. They showed a maturity and class about their game which the young blues couldn’t handle, they were imperious at the back and slick and tidy in the midfield. The wide men, especially Markanday created openings down the channels whilst the powerful Griffiths used the ball resourcefully up top. We were superb across the park. The already crowned champions got the game underway on a hot April’s day at Cobham. As expected it was an even start to proceedings, Skipp’s hopeful but eventually blocked attempt was the first piece of action of any note.
It was a lively start for the England u17 international, who did incredibly well to win the ball off of Lawrence a couple of moments later down the left hand side. The blues were very compact in the opening stages and were doing little to get forward. A fine move from Spurs managed to create their first decent chance of the game, when Dinzeyi picked out Markanday down the right flank. The skilful winger took the ball forward before slipping a nicely weighted pass into Griffiths down the right side of the penalty area. With little to aim at and with few options, Griffiths fired an effort straight across the face of Ziger’s goal. However, things all changed for Spurs when they took the lead on 15 minutes albeit through a slightly fortuitous goal from Reo Griffiths. It was another fine move in the lead up to the goal, the lively Markanday brought the ball inside from the right flank before passing to Griffiths. The Tottenham striker ran across the Chelsea goal before letting fly. His powerful effort took a heavy deflection off of Jack Wakely, before looping over the head of the stretching Ziger and bouncing into the back of the net, 1-0. Spurs were looking to consolidate their lead and soon after the restart they almost doubled their advantage. Courtesy of another exciting attacking foray from Markanday who managed to pick out Patterson on the edge of the Chelsea box. The winger brought the ball into the area before rifling a low effort inches wide of Ziger’s near post. Spurs were passing the ball about really well and were continuing to dominate the central areas, as the home side struggled to break us down.
We were pushing for our second of the game and we weren’t a million miles away from achieving that goal. The prominent Markanday cut inside from the right wing before smashing an effort ajar of Ziger’s goal. Chelsea responded with a clever move up the other end, Uwakwe’s clever over the top pass managed to find Taylor-Crossdale inside the Spurs box. But the striker couldn’t keep down his effort as it flew over De Bie’s crossbar, on the half volley. Desperate for his team to maintain their stranglehold on the game, manager Scott Parker could be heard urging his team to ”keep it short”, from the dugout. Spurs continued to unsettle this inexperienced blues side, Patterson’s curling effort had to be diverted clear by the head of Lavinier. Before the Spurs man’s resulting corner kick caused more bother for Ziger. Who got lucky after dropping the ball at the back post, luckily for Chelsea Jon Panzo was on hand to clear the ball before Griffiths could tap home at the far post. The last piece of action of the half would come through a rare Chelsea foray into the penalty area. When Jonathan Dinzeyi was forced into making a terrific, pitch perfect sliding challenge to rob the advancing Taylor-Crossdale of the ball inside the box. Parker’s side got the second half back underway as Spurs looked to hold on to a historic win. It was a lively start to the second half, Chelsea’s Clinton Mola did just about enough to stop Bowden’s promising through ball from putting Griffiths through on goal. Straight from that chance Chelsea brought the ball forwards after Taylor-Crossdale had robbed the ball off of Patterson.
The young winger surged into the penalty area before being taken out by the sliding Dinzeyi, who made a rash two footed challenge on his man. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, it was a really rash decision to make from the Spurs defender. The awkward looking Taylor-Crossdale stood up to take the penalty kick but his finely struck effort was excellently kept out by De Bie who dived to his left, to palm it away. Moments later, Maximus Tainio got a vital head on the ball to prevent Lavinier’s header from squeezing in at the back post. Chelsea were really going for it and were looking far more threatening in the final third. But the Spurs defence were resolute and they managed to hold there own incredibly well. The imperious Dinzeyi made another crucial intervention, then a couple of minutes later De Bie was almost caught out by Taylor-Crossdale whilst trying to play the ball out from the back. After a spell of pressure, Spurs were able to break down the other end through the so far uninvolved Griffiths. The striker caught the blues out as he charged forwards, his first touch was erratic but he got lucky as the ball came back to him off of a Chelsea leg. Griffiths continued into the Chelsea box but despite an excellent run from Shashoua to his right, he opted to go for glory from a tight angle. His effort was duly closed down by Masampu who blocked it out for a corner kick. You could tell that Shashoua was in disbelief that Griffiths hadn’t squared the ball to him, with his hands in the air he roared ”Reo!” In this such instance, Griffiths had made the wrong call.
The impressive Tainio made an impressive last ditch challenge at the other end to stop Walters inside the box, as Spurs continued to frustrate the increasingly desperate looking home team. One player who had been excellent throughout was Oliver Skipp, and the Spurs man made a vital block when he threw himself in the way of Lavinier’s powerful effort from the edge of the area. We were having to defend for our lives against an increasingly more attacking Chelsea side. It was end to end and exciting, a proper London derby. After catching Chelsea in possession, Markanday embarked on yet another surging run as he sprinted past his man before slipping the ball into Griffiths who ended up getting his feet all wrong at the vital moment. Shortly after being introduced in the place of Phoenix Patterson, forward Rodel Richards made the perfect impact when he doubled Spurs’ lead on 74 minutes. The opportunity was created by our high pressing, in this instance it was from Shashoua whose tigerish running managed to unsettle Karl Ziger. The Chelsea keeper ended up passing the ball straight out to the newly introduced Richards who took a sublime first touch to knock the ball past his man. Richards then sprinted into the Chelsea box before weighing up his options and calmly slotting the ball inside Ziger’s near post, it was a terrific finish. Spurs were now dominating play and their constant high press was causing nightmares for the blues defence. Soon after restarting the game, the Industrious Oliver Skipp went on a brilliant attacking foray of his one down the middle, eventually passing the ball to Tainio out wide. The Finns pacy cross only just evading the alert Rodel Richards at the back post.
We came close to extending our lead once again through an incisive attacking move. Markanday’s mesmeric weaving run saw him bring the ball towards the penalty area, he sent a crisp pass to Richards out left. The substitutes first time cross managed to pick out Skipp on the edge of the area, but the Spurs anchorman’s powerful effort flew a fraction wide of the mark. Thankfully it wasn’t to matter, as soon afterwards Parker’s side wrapped the game up in style, with a scintillating move. Richards passed the ball to Hinds who burst forward down the left wing before sweeping the ball across the Chelsea goal and into the path of Markanday to calmly tap home at the back post, 3-0. Panzo attempted to respond with an effort at goal, which was dealt with all too easily by De Bie. Spurs had managed to totally unravel the Chelsea defence, comfortably seeing out the remainder of the game to claim a rare victory over our old foes. It was a superb performance from Parker’s men who thoroughly deserved the win, from start to finish they were the more impressive side, limiting Chelsea to few clear cut chances whilst managing to pose a significant attacking threat up the other end. Up next for Parker’s side is a home game against Arsenal, in our final league game of this season. COYS
Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Excellent all round performance from our under 18’s very own brilliant Belgian. De Bie had yet another top game, making a game changing penalty save with the scores at 1-0. He made a string of fine stops, he was excellent in the air. And his distribution was just as impressive. I have a feeling that De Bie is more than ready for u23 football!
– Maximus Tainio: Solid and assured at right back, the young Finn put in a really impressive performance. Tainio dealt well with the threat of Walters down the flank, he was focused and decisive in his defending. Two notable pieces of defending, were a vital headed clearance and a superb last ditch challenge inside the Tottenham box in the second half. After struggling to get game time for the majority of the campaign, it’s great to see Taino looking so assured in the team.
– Tariq Hinds: A typically flawless defensive performance from Hinds. Filling in at left back for the injured Jamie Reynolds, Hinds put in a sterling defensive performance. As well as combining that with some well timed runs down the left hand side, he bagged a fine assist for our third of the game.
– Oliver Skipp: It was a performance of epic proportions from Tottenham’s domineering midfielder. His impact on the game was immense from start to finish, he bossed the central areas anticipating danger to perfection. Skipp also managed to recycle possession well, and threw himself into danger on numerous occasions to make vital blocks in and around the six yard box. He is without doubt the best midfielder of his age group in the country!
– TJ Eyoma: I can’t remember Eyoma making a single mistake throughout the game. Him and Jonathan Dinzeyi formed a formidable defensive partnership stopping everything that came between them. Eyoma took no risks, he was good in the air and strong in the challenge. His experience of playing in the development squad is really showing.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: My motm, see below.
– Dilan Markanday: Markanday played a significant part in our dominant victory over the blues. Electric down the right hand side, with his weaving runs and numerous attacking forays, Markanday managed to totally unsettle the Chelsea fullback Lavinier. He mixed things up and cut inside on numerous occasions, the ball glued to his boot as he ran at the Chelsea defence. An assist and a goal for Markanday takes his goal involvement tally to 11 for the season.
– Jamie Bowden: An industrious force in the centre of midfield, Bowden’s energetic performance really caught the eye. He was relentless and helped to thwart the creativity from Chelsea’s midfield. He is such a grafter!
– Armando Shashoua: Like Bowden, Shashoua is another grafter who really caught the eye against the champions. Playing in the number 10 role, Shashoua gave a great account of himself. With his crisp passing and fine movement, Shashoua made some excellent runs into the danger zone. He worked immensely hard for the team and also performed his defensive duties really well.
– Phoenix Patterson: It was a good showing from the left winger, who had a particularly bright first half in which he managed to cause quite a bit of a trouble. However, he wasn’t as involved in the second half and ended up being replaced by Richards on 71 minutes.
– Rodel Richards: Excellent cameo from our second top scorer this season. It only took him a matter of minutes before he doubled our lead with one of our goals of the season, he remained for the rest of the game.
– Rayan Clarke: A bright, albeit it very short cameo.
– Troy Parrott: From his short time on the pitch, a single terrific sliding challenge from the Irishman really caught the eye. It also caught the eye of the Spurs coaching staff who were cheering him on. Physically he is more than ready to lead the line for the 18’s!
My man of the match: Jonathan Dinzeyi. A colossal defensive performance from the 18 year old centre half, Dinzeyi had an excellent game alongside Eyoma. Dinzeyi was superb, he was so calm and composed on the ball and decisive without it. He won all his aerial duels, made some absolutely brilliant sliding challenges inside his own box, and he also managed to successfully frustrate Taylor-Crossdale, for whom he allowed little time on the ball. He did however concede a penalty in the first half for a two footed challenge on Taylor-Crossdale, but at least he had the courage to make that challenge in the first place, many defenders wouldn’t have had the bottle!
Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Tainio, Hinds, Skipp, Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Markanday (Clarke 83), Bowden (Parrott 81), Griffiths, A Shashoua, Patterson (Richards 71). Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, P Maghoma.
Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-29
Phoenix Patterson -8
Dilan Markanday- 7
Jamie Bowden- 1
Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
Matt Lock- 2
Maurizio Pochettino -1