Spurs under 19’s 2-0 Barcelona: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 2-0 Barcelona: (match report)

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An assured and dominant performance from Matt Wells classy under 19 side saw them overcome UEFA youth league holders FC Barcelona at the Mini Estadi on Tuesday afternoon, to book their place in the next round of the competition. Played only a matter of hours before our first teams decisive UEFA Champions league game, Wells side had a mammoth task of their own in which they needed to overcome in order to progress out of the group stages. Only a win would do for Spurs following Inter Milan’s 3-0 win over PSV earlier in the day. And after putting one of the most mature performances that your ever likely to see at this level, Matt Wells young lads dominated the Catalans with their superb attacking football. They played and beat Barcelona at their very own passing game. With the presence of TJ Eyoma and Harvey White at the back Spurs were imperious in defence and they were able to neutralise the attacking threat of Barcelona’s forwards. We also attacked really well, and with the skill and unpredictability of wide men Dilan Markanday and Jack Roles, combined with the link up play of Maghoma and Parrott we proved to be far too much for the Barcelona defence. It was an excellent team performance from our youngsters who were so, so mature in the way in which they dealt with what was a very talented Barcelona side. After an impressive start to the game Spurs took the lead inside the 17th minute through the inform Troy Parrott who slotted home Paris Maghoma’s cut back from inside the six yard box following a sharp passing move. Chances came and went for both sides as the game progressed but our defence was resolute throughout. After dominating for large periods of the game Spurs finally sealed the win in style in the 89th minute. It was another good move from Spurs which culminated in substitute Rodel Richards turning home Jack Roles’ shot to spark jubilant scenes of celebration in the Catalan capital as our young lads booked their place in the play off round of the competition, defying the odds that had been against them. Matt Wells opted to go for the 4-2-3-1 formation for our must win game against group winners Barcelona on Tuesday.

The skipper Brandon Austin started in goal, while a back four of Hinds, Eyoma, White and Cirkin lined up in front of him. Jamie Bowden and Tashan Oakley-Boothe started in central midfield and the attacking trio of Markanday, Maghoma and Roles all started behind lone striker Troy Parrott. Before the start of Tuesdays UEFA youth league game both sides observed a poignant minutes silence for former Barcelona president Josep Lluís Núñez who recently passed away. Spurs got the game underway at the Mini Estadi and it didn’t take long before both sides started to get involved in the game. TJ Eyoma was forced into putting behind Oscar Mingueza’s dangerous cross before then clearing the following corner kick away from danger. Jamie Bowden tested Barcelona goalkeeper Arnau Tenas from long range a couple of minutes later after he received Jack Roles‘ pass. However, Bowden’s speculative effort was easily gathered by the Barcelona goalkeeper. Spurs had a penalty shout shortly afterwards when Oakley-Boothe was brought down from behind by Antonio Sola inside the penalty area after he was picked out by Roles. However, the referee waived away the Tottenham midfielders claims. It had been a fast paced start to the game from both sides. After being found down the right wing by Mingueza Barcelona forward Konrad De La Fuente whipped a low cross into the Spurs penalty area. The young Americans delivery was met by Anssumane Fati whose first time effort was superbly blocked by TJ Eyoma. A couple of moments later Nicolas Gonzalez and Alejandro Marqués almost pulled off a clever one two inside the Tottenham penalty area before Spurs broke dangerously down the other end of the pitch. Roles found Parrott but the Dubliners effort from range was blocked by Alejandro Marcos Lopez. The same players poor throw in had Barcelona goalkeeper Arnau Tenas in a panic as he hurriedly prevented it from creeping into the goal a matter of minutes later as the game continued to be played at a fast pace.

After Jamie Bowden passed the ball to Maghoma the attacking midfielder embarked on a surging run through the middle of the park before unleashing a powerful low effort at goal which was stopped by Tenas. After a relatively even start to the game Matt Wells side found themselves ahead after Troy Parrott broke the deadlock in the 17th minute of time following a good attacking move. Tariq Hinds passed the ball to Oakley-Boothe down the right flank however, he was fouled by Marcos Lopez. The referee waived play on and Hinds picked up the ball again before darting forward and passing the ball to Maghoma down the right side of the penalty area. Maghoma showed excellent awareness as he unselfishly cut the ball back to Parrott in the centre of the penalty area for the 16 year old to slot past Tenas and into the middle of the goal, 1-0. Spurs came desperately close to doubling their advantage shortly after the restart after Parrott passed the ball to Maghoma who traveled with the ball before giving it to Markanday on the edge of the Barcelona penalty area. The winger cut in onto his left foot before curling a wonderful effort a fraction wide of Arnau Tenas’ goal. Alejandro Marqués came close to getting something on De La Fuente’s dangerous whipped cross at the other end, as Barcelona looked to draw level. Spurs were dictating the tempo of the game as they dominated possession. After receiving Tariq Hinds’ pass on the edge of the Barcelona penalty area Dilan Markanday cut inside onto his left foot before seeing his resulting shot blocked by Antonio Sola. Jack Roles pounced on the loose ball before forcing Tenas into making an easy save to stop his scuffed effort. A couple of minutes later Markanday whipped a dangerous ball right across the face of the Barcelona goal as Spurs continued to push for that all important second goal. Shortly afterwards Brandon Austin made his first save of the game when he comfortably gathered Anssumane Fati’s effort, courtesy of a big deflection off of Hinds. The Catalan side then came desperately close to drawing level courtesy of some really intricate football.

The move was started by Antonio Jesús who picked out Alejandro Marqués inside the Tottenham penalty area. Marqués did well to hold off Eyoma before cleverly back heeling the ball for Fati who dragged the ball across the face of Austin’s goal. Spurs’ left back Dennis Cirkin made an excellent sliding challenge on De La Fuente inside the penalty shortly afterwards as he put the ball out of play, hurting himself in the process. Oscar Mingueza’s resulting corner kick was met by José Martinez Marsà whose powerful header was blocked by Hinds before it came back out to Martinez Marsà who fired over with a wild effort. This was a game which you couldn’t afford to take your eyes off such was the intensity that it was being played at. Wells side looked to respond following a bright spell in the game for the home team. A sharp attacking move resulted in Jack Roles finding Troy Parrott down the left side of the Barcelona box. The 16 year old unselfishly cut the ball back to Maghoma on the edge of the area but the midfielders first time effort flew well wide of the mark, much to the relief of Barcelona’s goalkeeper Arnau Tenas. Harvey White was harshly given a yellow card a couple of minutes later for a late challenge on Anssumane Fati as Barcelona continued to improve as the half went on. However, the final chance of the first half fell to Matt Wells side and it was a golden one for the visitors. After doing well to win the ball off of Nicolas Gonzalez inside his own half Paris Maghoma played a perfectly weighted pass through to Parrott who darted inside the Barcelona penalty area. However, instead of opting to shoot Parrott unselfishly attempted to pass the ball to Maghoma who had also made the run into the box, but it was snuffed out by the Barcelona defence. Barcelona got the second half underway at the Mini Estadi as Denis Silva’s side attempted to draw level. Soon into the half Dennis Cirkin conceded a free kick out on the right flank following a foul on De La Fuente. However, Barça captain Jandro Orellana’s resulting delivery was confidently claimed by Brandon Austin.

Troy Parrott curled an effort over the Barcelona goal on the turn shortly afterwards, when he received Paris Maghoma’s pass inside the penalty area. Following a pass from Bowden which was snuffed out by the Barcelona defence Oakley-Boothe picked up the ball before passing it to Parrott whose powerful shot was parried by Tenas. The ball came back out to Markanday on the edge of the penalty area however, the 17 year old had two shots blocked by Jandro Orellana in quick succession before Barcelona cleared the ball. After winning a free kick out on the right wing Harvey White whipped an inviting ball into the danger zone. It was attacked by Troy Parrott whose powerful header was tipped over by Arnau Tenas. Barcelona looked to respond through Moriba Kourouma Kourouma who forced a decent save out of Brandon Austin with a powerful low effort on goal. Shortly afterwards De La Fuente fed the ball into Mingueza inside the Tottenham penalty area. The Barcelona right back sorted his feet out before testing Austin who comfortably gathered the Spaniards shot after it had taken a hefty deflection off of Eyoma. Austin made a superb stop with his feet to stop Antonio Sola’s header after he’d met Mingueza’s cross a couple of minutes later, however the linesman had flagged for offside. The game had developed into a much more even contest during his second half and Matt Wells side would have to gamble if they wanted to strengthen their lead. After latching onto Arnau Tenas’ poor goal kick Jamie Bowden passed the ball to Parrott who found Jack Roles down the left side of the Barça penalty area. However, the Cyprus under 21 internationals powerful low effort across goal was excellent stopped by the diving Tenas. Tariq Hinds then had a promising cross blocked by Marcos Lopez as Spurs continued to put pressure on the Barcelona defence. Although we were in control of the game danger was never far away as Kourouma Kourouma demonstrated after he robbed Markanday of the ball before driving forward and blasting an effort over Austin’s crossbar. The slightest lapse in concentration against such a well drilled opposition could have proved to be fatal for Matt Wells side.

Alejandro Marqués had an effort on goal blocked by Troy Parrott on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area before TJ Eyoma cleared De La Fuente’s cross. Armando Shashoua replaced Paris Maghoma shortly afterwards as Wells and his coaching staff looked to bring on fresh legs for the final stages of the game. Hardworking fullback Dennis Cirkin did well to block Kourouma Kourouma’s shot from inside the Spurs box as Barcelona continued to threaten the Tottenham defence. A good move from Barça soon afterwards resulted in Mingueza shifting the ball out to De La Fuente on the right wing. The young American did well to pick out Fati inside the penalty area and the Guinea Bissau born winger flashed a first time effort narrowly wide of Austin’s goal. By this stage in the game Spurs has slowed down and they were keeping the ball inside their own half with short and simple passes as they began to tire. After Jamie Bowden lost the ball in a dangerous area to Kourouma Kourouma the substitute advanced into our penalty area before playing a quick one two with Marqués before Bowden had managed to get back to help Eyoma win the ball back before clearing it away from the danger zone. Dennis Cirkin was given a yellow card shortly afterwards before our goalscorer Troy Parrott was replaced by Rodel Richards for the final minutes of the game. And the 18 year old made an instant impact for Matt Wells side when he netted our second goal of the game a matter of moments after entering the field. It was a deserved winner for Spurs who had outplayed Barcelona for large periods of the game. The move stemmed from some good work by Jamie Bowden to win the ball off of Kourouma Kourouma down the left wing. The Tottenham midfielder then passed the ball to Roles who took the ball into the penalty area before going for goal. Roles’ effort deflected off of Alejandro Marcos Lopez but the substitute Rodel Richards had made a good run into the box and the forward bravely attacked the ball and got to it before Tenas to bundle it home, 2-0. This sparked scenes of jubilation amongst the Tottenham players and substitutes who all gathered together around one of the corner flags to celebrate Rodel Richards late winner. Defender Luis Binks came on for Dilan Markanday to bolster our defence for the final few seconds of the game however, it wasn’t to matter as the Finnish referee blew for full time shortly afterwards as Spurs secured a famous win out in Barcelona to book their place in next Monday’s play off draw. After the end of the match the Spurs players went over to our travelling supporters to applaud them, each and everyone of those players had broad smiles across their faces and they so should have, they were absolutely outstanding.

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: The skipper kept his third clean sheet of the season after our 2-0 win in Spain. Austin had a good game and the 19 year old made three saves during the match. I thought that his distribution was excellent as well as his anticipation of situations. A vocal member within the side, Austin also made a terrific stop with his feet to deny Antonio Solo’s header in the second half. Despite the fact that the Barcelona defender had been flagged for offside I still thought that Austin did extremely well to sort his feet out in time to make the save.
  • Tariq Hinds: The speedy right back protected his side of the pitch well throughout Tuesdays match. The diligent Hinds kept the tricky Anssumane Fati in check for the most part of our 2-0 win. And whilst Hinds defended well he also went on some nice attacking forays of his own down the right flank. The 18 year old played a big part in Troy Parrott’s opener after he went on the initial run down the wing before then picking the ball up again after Oakley-Boothe was fouled, and passing it to Maghoma inside the penalty area who set up Parrott for the goal. Hinds also made an important headed clearance in the first half.
  • TJ Eyoma: My motm, see below.
  • Harvey White: The first year scholar put in an excellent shift at the unfamiliar position of centre half. White formed a particularly strong partnership with Eyoma in defence. He was attentive and alway maintained good positioning throughout the game furthermore, the 17 year old was good at closing down the likes of Marqués and Gonzalez in and around the danger zone. White’s near perfect passing out from the back helped Spurs to play the way that they wanted to play and from a creative point of view the Kent born midfielder was pivotal. White made a number of important defensive interventions and he was nice and commanding in the way that he defended against the Catalan side. He also whipped some nice balls into the oppositions six yard box.
  • Dennis Cirkin: This was Cirkin’s first start in the UEFA youth league and he was the youngest member of Matt Wells side, but the left back later looked so assured in his defending against Barcelona’s talented right winger Konrad De La Fuente. The Dublin born defender did an excellent job at keeping the speedy American in check and his one on one defending against De La Fuente down the left flank was superb. Cirkin got up and down the pitch well but he always maintained good positioning throughout. The 16 year old made a perfectly timed sliding challenge on the American inside the Tottenham penalty area as well as a number of other important interceptions and blocks. Cirkin was nice and composed but he also played with real confidence and he kept onto the ball in tight spaces in a very Walker-Peters-esque way.
  • Jamie Bowden: The central midfielder returned from injury in time to start our all important UEFA youth league clash. And the Irish Londoner put in another sterling performance in the middle of the park. Bowden used the ball intelligently with his simple but efficient passes and alertness to danger, the 17 year old slotted in really well into the holding midfield role. Bowden mixed up his passes as well as his play but what he didn’t do was hold onto the ball longer than he needed to, and this was important as it helped to keep things ticking. He was very positive in possession and his passing wasn’t negative in any way what so ever. Bowden played a big part in creating our second goal of the game. After showing the hunger to win the ball off of Kourouma Kourouma down the left wing Bowden travelled with the ball before passing it to Roles on the edge of the penalty area. And of course the Cyprus under 21 internationals resulting effort set up Rodel Richards for the winner.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Like his slightly younger teammate Jamie Bowden, Tashan Oakley-Boothe was effective in central midfield. He held onto the ball well and he was adventurous, going on some lovely little driving runs through the middle of the pitch. Oakley-Boothe was tricky and it was his skill and ability to change direction so easily which helped him to get the better of the Barcelona players. The 18 year old would often drift out to the right wing and he always showed a real willingness to take on and beat players. His passing was also of a good standard.
  • Dilan Markanday: The 17 year old played out on the right wing against Barcelona. And Markanday had another good game, and with his many twists and turns and searing runs he helped to create a lot of chances for the team. Hardworking and always willing to track back after him, the north Londoner showed a real desire to take on and beat Barcelona’s fullback José Martinez Marsà and he caused a lot of problems for the young Spaniard. Markanday was difficult to defend against because he was so unpredictable. The weight of his passes were sublime as was his first touch. In addition the second year scholar would often cut inside onto his left foot and look to test the Barcelona goalkeeper Arnau Tenas from range. One such curling effort flashed inches wide of the goal during the first half. You couldn’t fault Markanday’s performance in any way.
  • Paris Maghoma: One of our best players on the day, attacking midfielder Paris Maghoma was so effective as a number ten. He was such a threat going forwards and the 17 year old made more successful take ons than any other Tottenham player against Barcelona. Maghoma was extremely positive with the ball at his feet and his trademark slaloming runs helped to open up the Barcelona defence. Maghoma was always on the move and constantly looking to make runs into the six yard box. He impressed with his passing and awareness and it was the awareness and the intelligence that he showed to cut the ball back for Parrott to score our opener which was his major contribution to the game. Maghoma is such an influential player and he really is a joy to watch. Maghoma linked up really well with centre forward Troy Parrott throughout the game and both players complimented each other.
  • Jack Roles: The 19 year old played the entirety of Tuesdays 2-0 win out on the left wing. Roles worked exceptionally hard to make his mark on the game and he showed real guile. The Cyprus under 21 international got back at every opportunity to help out Cirkin down the left flank. Roles was heavily involved in the final third and he got the assist for Rodel Richards late goal.
  • Troy Parrott: The 16 year old led the line superbly on Tuesday afternoon and he played well beyond his years. Parrott was a thorn in Barcelona’s side with his razor sharp movement, relentless pressing and willingness to go out of his way to help out the Spurs defence. The strikers goal was a simple but clinical finish to convert Maghoma’s unselfish pass. However, Parrott could have had more goals if he had been a little more selfish himself. He would peel off the Barcelona defenders and this made him a real aerial threat. In addition, he held the ball up extremely well and he was always aware of those around him. While he was excellent going forward it was his defensive work which left just as much of an impression. Parrott could often be seen helping out the Tottenham defenders inside our own half and he made a number of important blocks and interceptions.
  • Armando Shashoua: After replacing Paris Maghoma in the 76th minute Shashoua brought with him a different energy. He got involved in the action and he helped Spurs to manage the game. Shashoua pressed aggressively.
  • Rodel Richards: The forward made an instant impact after he came on for Troy Parrott in the 88th minute. An excellent late run into the penalty resulted in the 18 year old bravely turning home Jack Roles’ low effort. Richards really threw himself at the loose ball and it was that determination which resulted in him netting his fourth goal of the campaign.
  • Luis Binks: The defender replaced Dilan Markanday during the final moments of the game and he helped to bolster the Spurs defence.

My man of the match: TJ Eyoma. The 18 year old centre half was flawless against Barcelona on Tuesday afternoon, and the Londoner was outstanding at RCB. Eyoma was always in position and it was his cautious no nonsense approach, which helped to quell the threat that Barcelona forwards posed. The England under 19 international anticipated danger to perfection, and some of the blocks and interceptions that Eyoma made were excellently timed. He never took unnecessary risks and rarely did he lunge in to try and win the ball. He was good in the air and on the ball, and as defensive performances go TJ was superb in every aspect of his game. He also put in a similarly excellent performance in the reverse fixture at Hotspur Way earlier in the season.

Barcelona: Tenas; Mingueza, Lopez, Sola (Bravo 74), Marsa; Gonzalez (Kourouma Kourouma 46), Jesus, Orellana (c); De La Fuente (Serrano 82), Marques (Peque 46), Fati (Mortimer 82). Substitutes (not used): Bano, Jardi.

Spurs: Austin (c); Hinds, Eyoma, White, Cirkin; Oakley-Boothe, Bowden, Maghoma (Shashoua 74); Markanday (Binks 90+1), Parrott (Richards 88), Roles. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Clarke, Pochettino, Okedina.

UEFA Youth League, Group B.

Goals: Spurs – Parrott 17, Richards 90.

Yellow cards: Barcelona – Mingueza 88; Spurs – Oakley-Boothe 6, White 34, 

Cirkin 85.

Referee: Antti Munukka (Finland).

Venue: Mini Estadi, FC Barcelona.

Spurs under 19’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 3

Jack Roles – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Assists: Jamie Bowden – 3

Troy Parrott – 2

Jack Roles – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

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