Spurs under 19’s 2-4 Inter Milan: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 2-4 Inter Milan: (match report)

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Our under 19’s penultimate game in group B of this seasons UEFA youth league campaign took place on Wednesday afternoon, as Matt Wells side took on bottom of the group Inter Milan at a wet and windy Hotspur Way. A win against Armando Madonna’s winless Inter Milan side would have all but confirmed Spurs’ place in the next round of the competition. However, Matt Wells youngsters fell to a surprising 4-2 defeat to the Italian club in a game which they really should have won. After falling behind to Tibo Persyn’s opener in the 12th minute of the game, Wells side responded well and they managed to draw level less than 12 minutes later courtesy of a stunning goal from Troy Parrott. Following Parrott’s goal Spurs started to take control of the game and they were really carving open the Inter Milan defence. It took less than a minute for Spurs to get their second of the game through Jack Roles, who scored with a typical poachers finish from close range. Spurs were the much better side for the remainder of the first half and considering all the chances that they had, they should have been at least 4-1 up. The visitors started the second half in resurgent fashion and after threatening the Spurs defence Maj Roric drew Inter Milan level in the 53rd minute. Once again Spurs took control of the game and they would have put the game to bed but for their sloppiness in the final third. The counter attacking and much more mature Inter Milan side regained their lead in the 82nd minute through Davide Merola, before the impressive Facundo Colidio put the game to bed with Inter Milan’s fourth of the game five minutes later. That disappointing defeat for Matt Wells side has now turned the tables in group B. Whilst Spurs still remain in second place and are still set to qualify, they have to go to Spain for their final game to face group winners Barcelona. A win would book our place in the next round as runners up, however if we don’t win and PSV beat Inter Milan in the other game, then we will be eliminated from the competition. However, Barcelona may not field a full strength side for that final group game, due to the fact that they have already won the group.

Matt Wells didn’t opt to go for the usual 4-3-3 formation for Wednesdays European match, instead he opted to go for the 4-2-3-1 formation. Captain Brandon Austin started in goal whilst a back four of Hinds, Eyoma, Binks and Brown lined up in front of him. Jamie Bowden and Harvey White started the game as the two central midfielders, with Markanday, Roles and Maghoma lining up behind lone striker Troy Parrott who led the line. Spurs got the game underway at a very windy Hotspur Way and it didn’t take both sides long to find their feet in the game. After Tibo Persyn whipped a dangerous ball across the face of Brandon Austin’s goal after he had skipped past Brown down the right wing, Jamie Bowden tried to play Roles through on goal with an ambitious pass. Bowden picked the ball up in the middle of the park before playing a long searching ball towards the Spurs forward inside the Inter Milan penalty area, which Roles was unable to latch onto. Inter Milan were playing with a lot of width during the opening stages of the game. Thomas Schiro came close to giving the visitors the lead after he met Persyn’s cross inside the Tottenham penalty area however, he side footed an effort over Austin’s crossbar on the half volley. It had been a lively start to the game as both sides tried to get that all important opening goal. Right winger Dilan Markanday fired a low effort at goal which was saved by Vladan Dekic, after Markanday had picked up Harvey White’s header on the edge of the Inter Milan box. TJ Eyoma did well to clear Tibo Persyn’s cross before Spurs almost managed to take the lead at the other end following a good run from Markanday. After picking the ball up on the right flank Markanday cut inside before going on a jinking run across the Inter Milan box all the way to the opposite flank, before pulling the ball back across goal as Parrott tapped narrowly wide at the back post. Armando Madonna’s side then took the lead in the 12th minute through Tibo Persyn.

The goal came from a good ball over the top of the Spurs defence from a Nicholas Rizzo pass, which Facundo Colidio was able to run onto down the left side of the Spurs penalty area. Colidio squared the ball for Persyn to tap home from close range at the back post despite Brandon Austin’s best efforts, 0-1. Spurs responded through the lively Dilan Markanday who received Jack Roles’ pass on the edge of the Inter box before dragging an effort wide of goal. A dangerous corner kick from Harvey White shortly afterwards was cleared out to Markanday who ended up volleying well wide of the Inter Milan goal. Matt Wells were starting to improve by every passing minute, and a good passing move from the hosts almost saw them draw level. Jack Roles passed the ball to White who played a pass over the top for Parrott who passed to Brown down the left side of the Inter Milan box. However, the fullbacks effort on goal was blocked by the sliding Ryan Nolan. The increasingly threatening Spurs side did manage to draw level a couple of minutes later thanks to an unstoppable strike from Troy Parrott. Jamie Bowden did well to win the ball out on the left flank as he battled with Persyn who almost pulled Bowden’s shorts down as he attempted to move inside. Bowden then passed the ball to Roles who played a short pass to Parrott on the edge of the Inter penalty area. Parrott controlled the ball as he stepped inside his man before powerfully curling a sublime effort into the top right hand corner of Vladan Dekic’s goal, it was a truly wonderful strike, 1-1. Spurs continued their comeback in excellent fashion by taking the lead for the first time in the game less than a minute after they had drawn level. Harvey White passed the ball to Brown down the left side of the Inter penalty area. The left back’s powerful effort was palmed away by Dekic but only for Jack Roles to nod home from close range, 2-1. The Inter Milan defence had been stunned by the sudden burst of energy from Matt Wells side.

Inter Milan weren’t perturbed by Spurs’ quick turn around and the Italian club started to reshape as they looked to draw level. Marco Pompetti’s pass over the top of the Spurs defence was met by Facundo Colidio down the left side of the penalty area. However, the young Argentine dragged a low effort narrowly wide of Austin’s left hand post. TJ Eyoma got a yellow card shortly afterwards after he brought down Salcedo Mora on the edge of the Spurs box in a desperate attempt to prevent the pacy winger from breaking through on goal, after Luis Binks had failed to clear Nicholas Rizzo’s dangerous pass. Colidio’s resulting curling free kick was tipped over the bar by the alert Brandon Austin. Spurs had now managed to attain control of the game and they were desperately pushing for that all important third goal. Harvey White’s short corner to Hinds resulted in the right back whipping the ball into the box. The fullbacks cross was met at the back post by Eyoma who headed the ball into the side netting from an acute angle. A good one-two between Markanday and Maghoma down the left side of the penalty area resulted in Markanday forcing Dekic to tip his powerful effort over the bar. A sloppy pass from Maj Roric was intercepted by Jack Roles shortly afterwards, the Cyprus under 21 international slipped the ball into Parrott down the left side of the penalty area. However, the Dubliner’s powerful low effort was well saved by Dekic who could only parry the ball. Parrott picked the ball back up and came desperately to close to picking out Markanday with a lofted pass at the back post. Brandon Austin comfortably gathered Salcedo Mora’s cross at the other end before Spurs responded through Jamie Bowden. The 17 year old played a nicely weighted through ball down the left flank to Brown who ended up the firing the ball into the side netting of Dekic’s goal. Jamie Bowden had another clever pass snuffed out by Nicholas Rizzo a couple of moments later, as the Inter defender header the ball back to Dekic.

Spurs were dominating possession but they were not putting their chances away. An in swinging free kick from Marco Pompetti went behind for a Tottenham goal kick. Matt Wells side then came desperately close to extending their lead right on the stroke of half time. After Markanday received Eyoma’s pass out on the right flank, the tricky winger embarked on a typically excellent mazy run across the Inter Milan box. Before forcing a fine low save from Dekic to prevent his curling effort from nestling inside the bottom right hand corner of the goal, bringing to an end an eventful first half. Inter Milan got the second half underway as Spurs looked to put the game out of sight. A good passing move which was initiated by Maghoma saw the 17 year old exchange passes with Roles before forcing a decent stop out of Dekic from range. Luis Binks produced an excellent block at the other end to thwart substitute Samuele Mulatierri’s powerful low effort on goal. Dilan Markanday made a cynical foul from behind on Roric a couple of minutes later to prevent him from breaking down the left wing. Comically the referee pulled out a yellow card and booked Tariq Hinds to the fullbacks amazement, before his assistant informed him that it was actually Markanday who had made the foul, he then corrected himself by booking the winger. Surprisingly the quietly influential Jamie Bowden was replaced by Tashan Oakley-Boothe in the 55th minute. The newly introduced Oakley-Boothe played a pass into Markanday who cut in from the right side of the Inter penalty area before forcing a decent stop out of Dekic. Luis Binks then blocked Colidio’s effort on goal, before White made a vital interception on Roric inside the Spurs box. However, the Tottenham defence were unable to prevent ‘ La Beneamata ’ from drawing level in the 63rd minute of the game through Maj Roric. It was a poor goal to concede from Spurs as Roric ran onto Gabriele Zappa’s delivery before poking home the fullbacks low cross from the centre of the Spurs penalty area, 2-2. Harvey White tried to respond for Matt Wells side after the restart but his shot was blocked by Nolan on the edge of the penalty area. 

By this period in the game both sides were really pushing hard for the win and this meant that the sides were quite vulnerable at the back, particularly Spurs. After receiving Colidio’s pass out on the right wing Persyn Tibo’s low drive was blocked superbly by Binks on the line. Brandon Austin then did well to stop Facundo Colidio’s low strike on goal from close range. Spurs then came close to regaining their lead through danger man Troy Parrott. A well worked move from the boys from Bulls Cross saw Hinds pass the ball to Roles, who then shifted the ball out to Markanday on the right flank. The winger cut inside onto his left foot before entering the penalty area and laying the ball off to Parrott. The 16 year olds first time effort was scuffed however, and this made it a relatively comfortable save for Dekic to make. Matt Wells brought off Jack Roles for Armando Shashoua as the rain started to fall down. The 18 year old made an important defensive contribution shortly after coming on when he cleared Nicollo Corrado’s low cross. Spurs then broke down the other end through Markanday who went on an excellent run down the right flank, before passing the ball to Maghoma who gave the ball to Parrott inside the penalty area. The Dubliner took a couple of touches before powering an effort off the upright before it bounced wide, much to his disbelief. The dangerous Corrado whipped a menacing ball across Austin’s goals at the other end, before Binks and White managed to crowd out Roric inside the Spurs box before he could get a shot away. Thomas Schiro then blazed an effort over Brandon Austin’s crossbar as Inter started to up their tempo. A clever ball from Armando Shashoua a couple of minutes later almost managed to set Maghoma through on goal. However, Inter Milan were looking the more likely of the two teams to score and they found the back of the net in the 82nd minute through the newly introduced Davide Merola. After receiving Colidio’s pass down the right wing Gabriele Zappa found Merola inside the six yard box with a powerful whipped low cross, which the substitute cleverly managed to flick beyond Brandon Austin, 2-3.

Spurs made two substitutions in quick succession following Merola’s goal as Wells brought on Cirkin and Richards in the place of Binks and Maghoma. The potent Facundo Colidio powered an effort across goal shortly after the restart, after he received Zappa’s long pass out on the left wing. Inter Milan caught the Spurs defence out again and they managed to put the game to bed in the 87th minute of the game, through their best player Facundo Colidio. The Argentine managing to fire home Davide Merola’s through ball from inside the Tottenham penalty area, 2-4. Armando Madonna’s side unsurprisingly switched to an ultra defensive formation for the final minutes of the game. TJ Eyoma flicked a free kick from Harvey White wide of goal, before Troy Parrott had a shot on goal deflected behind for a corner by Schiro. That brought to an end an incredibly frustrating game from Spurs’ point of view. Despite our dominance we were unable to make our chances count, and that combined with some rather sloppy defending cost us on the day. Matt Wells side remain in second place in the group going into their final game against Barcelona in a couple of weeks time when they travel to Spain. A win against Barcelona would book our place in the next round of the competition, and whilst it will be a real challenge for us I have no doubts that we can defeat the Spanish giants, and qualify from the group. That game will also be shown live on BT Sport. 

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: The Spurs captain made two saves in total during yesterday’s game against Inter Milan, and there was nothing the 19 year old could have done to prevent any of Inter Milan’s goals. Austin dealt very well with crosses and set pieces, and he would constantly give out advice and be encouraging to his teammates.
  • Tariq Hinds: The 18 year old put in quite a solid performance for the majority of the game although he did get caught out quite a few times down his side of the pitch. Hinds did allow Inter’s attacking fullback Niccolo Corrado a lot of space which the Inter Milan player made the most most of. Although, Hinds did go on some decent attacking runs during the latter stages of the game.
  • TJ Eyoma: The centre half started yesterday’s game at rcb although he would often help out on the right flank. Eyoma made some important blocks, clearances and interceptions and the England under 19 international also did well in the air. Perhaps at times him and Binks didn’t compliment one another a lot due to their different styles of play. Eyoma’s lack of pace left him vulnerable to the many passes which Inter Milan made over the top of the Spurs defence. Eyoma was however, very good on the ball.
  • Luis Binks: Operating at lcb, young Luis Binks made three hugely important blocks during his 84 minutes of pitch time. The 17 year old was quite confident and assured in his defending and he didn’t play about with the ball at his feet. Binks made some good cross field passes and on the whole I thought that he read the game very well. A vocal member of the side Binks was a leader within the team, and were it not for those three excellent blocks that he made in the second half then Inter could have put the game to bed a lot earlier on.
  • Jaden Brown: The left back had an ok game on the whole and he managed to get up and down the left flank relatively well, despite getting caught out on a number of occasions.
  • Jamie Bowden: It was another quietly influential performance from the central midfielder, who was surprisingly brought off early on in the second half for Tashan Oakley-Boothe. Bowden didn’t put a foot wrong during his time on the pitch and I thought that he put in a really good shift. He didn’t hold onto the ball for longer than he needed to, nor did he overplay. Putting in an industrious shift alongside White, Bowden kept the ball moving in the middle of the park and this resulted in us creating more chances with him on the pitch. He gave us a nice balance in central midfield much like Winks did for our first team later that evening. He mixed his play up well and made some really intelligent and creative passes. Bowden got the third assist for our opening goal, after doing well to take the ball away from Tibo Persyn before passing the ball to Roles who would then give it to Parrott. After Bowden was replaced by Oakley-Boothe in the 55th minute we never seemed to regain our stranglehold on the game, and Bowden’s absence in the middle of the park was noticeable.
  • Harvey White: The central midfielder put in a real workman like performance alongside Jamie Bowden in the middle of the park. White was excellent in possession and his tigerish pressing and willingness to cover for other players was a big plus for the team. He made a number of important blocks, and he won a lot of balls in the centre of the park. The 17 year also played his part in our second goal of the game after picking out the run of Jaden Brown down the left flank. It was a good all round performance from the first year scholar who showed great composure throughout the game.
  • Dilan Markanday: One of our most creative and potent players on the day, right winger Dilan Markanday’s directness and dribbling ability helped to create a lot of chances for Matt Wells side. Whilst the 17 year old was at times a tad indecisive in the final third, I thought that he provided Spurs with an important attacking outlet. Markanday worked hard down the channel and he would often shift the ball onto his left foot before cutting inside, and trying his luck at goal from the edge of the penalty area. The north Londoner’s unpredictability with the ball at his feet caused a lot of problems for the Inter Milan defence.  
  • Jack Roles: The Cyprus under 21 international had another excellent game as he started as a number ten against Inter Milan. So intelligent and decisive both in and out of possession, Roles linked up well with centre forward Troy Parrott and his first rate movement helped out the Dubliner. It was a tireless and creative performance from Roles who managed to chip in with a goal and an assist during his 76 minutes on the pitch. Roles was a player that his teammates were trying to give the ball to every time we were in the final third, and it’s little wonder why. 
  • Paris Maghoma: Playing in the less natural role of left wing, Maghoma did the best he could do in that position against Inter Milan. He was constantly trying things for Spurs in the final third, with his clever little one-twos and good link up play with the other attacking players. However, I thought that the 17 year old would have been a lot better suited to the game if he was playing in a more central role. As I felt that we really missed his many driving forward runs. Maghoma worked extremely hard through out Wednesdays game and he pressed well.
  • Troy Parrott: My motm, see below. 
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The 18 year old replaced Bowden in central midfield in the 55th minute of the game, and he helped Spurs to manage the game well for periods of the second half. Oakley-Boothe also looked promising in the final third. 
  • Armando Shashoua: The 18 year old had a really positive late cameo as a cam, after he came on late in the game to replace Roles. Shashoua was confident and positive with the ball, getting around the park well and impressing with the variety and accuracy of his passing, as well as his dribbling ability and close ball control. Shashoua made an important clearance inside the Spurs box shortly after coming on.
  • Rodel Richards: N/A.
  • Dennis Cirkin: N/A.

My man of the match: Troy Parrott. The 16 year old centre forward had a fine game for Matt Wells side on Wednesday afternoon. The lone striker led the line well and managed to put in an impressive all round performance on the day,  that our legendary former striker and Dubliner Robbie Keane announced his retirement from the game as a player. Parrott scored an excellent leveller for Spurs in the first half after he received Jack Roles’ pass on the edge of the six yard box. Parrott took some nice touches before arrowing the ball spectacularly into the top right hand corner of the goal. There was a lot more to Parrott’s performance and he could easily have been celebrating scoring a brace after smashing the woodwork in the second half, again showing good first touches before opening up his body and striking the ball. The Ireland under 19 international really impressed me with his movement especially in the oppositions six yard box, where he did well to create space for himself. He also worked so hard for his teammates, and he would often come deep in order to pick up the ball and start a move of his own. The first year scholar also impressed with his Kane-esque hold up play. Parrott’s goal against Inter Milan on Wednesday was his tenth of the season in all competitions for Spurs.

Spurs: Austin (c), Hinds, Brown, White, Eyoma, Binks (Cirkin 84), Markanday, Bowden (Oakley-Boothe 55), Parrott, Roles (A Shashoua 76), Maghoma (Richards 84). Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Clarke, Pochettino.

Inter: Dekic, Zappa, Corrado, Pompetti (Demirovic 66), Nolan (c), Rizzo, Persyn, Roric (Merola 76), Colidio (Grassini 90+3), Schiro, Salcedo (Mulettieri 46). Substitutes (not used): Stankovic, Adorante, Ntube.

Goals: Spurs – Parrott 24, Roles 25; Inter – Persyn 12, Roric 62, Merola 82, Colidio 87.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Eyoma 29, Markanday 53, Brown 81; Inter – Rizzo 31, Schiro 34.

Referee: Alex Troleis (Faroe Islands).

Venue: Hotspur Way, Enfield.

Attendance: 243.

Spurs under 19’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 2

Jack Roles – 2

Rodel Richards – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Assists: Jamie Bowden – 3

Troy Parrott – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Jack Roles – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 1

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