Some notes on Spurs loanee Anthony Georgiou’s performance against Hércules CF:
It was a very special day for Tottenham youngster Anthony Georgiou on Sunday in so many ways. Georgiou made his first start for his loan club Atlético Levante in their 1-1 league draw against Hércules in the Spanish Segunda Division B group III. The Cyprus international played the game out in his natural position of left wing, a position from which he scored his first ever goal in competitive mens football, after he put Levante ahead during the first half with a drilled finish from close range. And to top it all off it was Anthony’s 22nd birthday on Sunday! The Lewisham born winger completed 78 minutes of the ‘ Granotas ‘ 1-1 draw against Hércules, and it was a performance of real quality from the Tottenham youngster who caused havoc for the opposition down the left hand side of the pitch. Georgiou played with flair and confidence about him against Hércules, and the former Watford schoolboy wasn’t afraid to run at their defence. Before I get into my review of Anthony’s excellent performance on Sunday, I’d just like to apologise that I will have to refer to a number of players by their number because I was unable to find a team sheet of any sort. Georgiou started the game out on the left wing in a 4-2-3-1 formation at the ‘ Granotas ‘ Ciudad Deportiva De Buñol. After a bright start to the match from the home side, Anthony’s first involvement in the game came shortly after the second minute. After doing well to keep in Shaq Moore’s overhit cross on the left flank, Georgiou whipped a menacing cross into the danger zone, but it was cleared away by Pablo Íñiguez. A couple of minutes later Georgiou received Rulo’s pass out on the left wing, he then whipped a quality first time cross into the Hércules penalty area. Levante’s number nine attempted to make contact with the ball at the near post, but Hércules’ Diego Benito managed to get across his man to put the ball behind for a corner kick. Anthony continued to be heavily involved in the game during the opening stages, and he could constantly be seen asking for the ball out on the left flank. A couple of minutes later Georgiou received Pablo Serrano’s pass out on the left wing, he did well to hold off Hércules’ Álvaro as he darted forward however, his pacy cross into the danger zone was cleared once again by a Hércules defender.
Luis Tevenet‘s side were starting to realise that Georgiou’s pace and skill was causing the oppositions defence so many problems, and they would look to shift the ball out to the young Cypriot out on the left wing, at every possible opportunity. After the 22 year old winger had received Pablo Serrano’s pass he sped forward down the left hand channel, completely outmuscling Hércules’ Samuel who he brushed past before passing the ball back to Serrano on the edge of the penalty area. Georgiou had managed to create space for himself down the left side of the penalty area but Serrano chose not to pass the ball to him and in the end the move amounted to nothing. Anthony continued to try and make things happen for the home side, he was being positive in possession and working hard to get into promising positions down the left flank. After Levante had won a free kick on the left hand side he whipped an inviting cross into the danger zone but it was headed away by Pablo Íñiguez. Chechu fired a free kick into the Levante wall before Hércules‘ number seven fired narrowly over Cárdenas‘ crossbar. After doing well to hold off both Hércules’ number 11 and Álvaro, Anthony attempted to send a cross into the danger zone but he lost his balance and he was unable to get his feet sorted out in time, to get the cross away. Eneko curled an effort narrowly wide of Hércules’ goal a couple of moments later as both sides continued to test each other’s back four. After he had received Fran Manzanara’s pass down the left wing Georgiou sprinted past Hércules number 11 before swivelling around Álvaro and passing the ball back to Manzanara who ended up pumping the ball into the danger zone. Soon afterwards Georgiou had two crosses blocked by Samuel in quick succession, before he had a further whipped cross blocked by the sliding Álvaro. All of Anthony’s hard work during the first half was rewarded right on the stroke of halftime when he gave Levante the lead in the 42nd minute. After the ‘ Granotas ‘ number ten had went on a surging run down the right wing he sent a low cross into the penalty area. However, Levante’s number seven was unable to make any real contact with the ball, and it rolled into the feet of Georgiou who was waiting in the middle of the box.
The Cypriot international kept his composure in front of goal, he steadied himself before shifting the ball onto his left foot, and rifling a low and unstoppable effort under the body of Hércules goalkeeper Falcón and into the back of the net. That goal was Anthony’s first competitive one in men’s football and it was what separated both sides at the break. The Spurs mans first involvement in the second half came from a corner kick. Instead of whipping the ball into the box, Georgiou played the ball short to Pepelu who travelled into the penalty area before seeing his resulting pass cut out by a Hércules defender. Georgiou received the ball in a promising area of the oppositions six yard box after being given the ball by Eneko down the left side of the penalty area. However, Georgiou slipped just as he was about to test the goalkeeper. Cárdenas made an important save to deny Diego Benito’s effort at the other end of the pitch before Levante threatened the Hércules defence once again. Joan managed to pick out Georgiou inside the penalty area from his free kick. Anthony darted down the left side of the six yard box before attempting to pick out number seven at the back post, with a clever cross. However, it was cleared in the nick of time by Pablo Íñiguez, before the Levante man could convert. Anthony continued to test Hércules‘ right back Álvaro during the remainder of his time on the pitch. After the home side had won a free kick, Georgiou delivered another excellent ball into the oppositions penalty area however, it ended up being cleared by a Hércules defender. Levante’s man of the match was replaced in the 77th minute by Alex Blesa Pina. Soon after Anthony had left the field Hércules had drawn level through Marca Benja, the final score was 1-1. It was an absolute pleasure to watch Anthony make his full debut for Levante on Sunday, it was a performance of real quality from the the young Cypriot who really seized his opportunity with both hands.
Georgiou completed more successful take ons than any other player on the pitch, he created numerous chances for the home side while also covering for Pablo Serrano at left back. Anthony’s performance reminded me of his one against Liverpool for our under 23 side last month. He was so sharp and intelligent down that left hand side, always looking to work the Hércules right back Álvaro and whip the ball into the danger zone. He was so positive and direct with the ball at his feet, but there were so many other aspects of his game to appreciate. He was very strong on the ball and he never lost possession, he was also disciplined and he got up and down the left flank well to help out the team at both ends of the pitch. His movement on the day was class and he constantly managed to find pockets of space for himself throughout the match. But above all else Georgiou’s performance was a very intelligent one, and in my eyes he was a cut above anybody else on the pitch. With his pace and skill, quality deliveries into the danger zone, and his well taken goal on the stroke of halftime, you couldn’t have asked for much more from the left winger. This was a very good performance from Georgiou which was topped off by him netting his first competitive goal in men’s football. This will do his confidence the world of good and it should also see him cement his place in Luis Tevenet’s side over the coming games. I was very proud of how the young man from Lewisham conducted himself on the pitch on Sunday, and it made my day to see him find the back of the net. At times on Sunday it looked as if Anthony was a man who was playing against boys. Atlético Levante’s next game is against Castellon on Sunday the third of March.
Anthony Georgiou for Atlético Levante this season: