Spurs under 19’s 0-2 Crvena zvezda: (match report)
In game weeks four of this seasons UEFA youth league group stages, Ryan Mason’s Spurs under 19 side travel to Belgrade, to face Serbian side Crvena zvezda, a side who they defeated 9-2 in the last game week. However, this time around Spurs succumbed to a two goal defeat in what was a very poor game which was played at a low tempo. Mason’s side never really got going and they massively missed the focal point of an out and out centre forward such as Troy Parrott or Rodel Richards. Spurs lacked pace and as a result the defensive opposition made it extremely difficult for them to break them down. The wide men J’Neil Bennett and Tashan Oakley-Boothe were frustrated throughout the game and were unable to create many chances. Both of Crvena zvevda’s goals came in the second half. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation on Wednesday with Jonathan De Bie starting in goal. A back four consisting of TJ Eyoma, Malachi Walcott, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Captain Jamie Bowden and Harvey White anchored the midfield while Tashan Oakley-Boothe and J’Neil Bennett operated on the flanks, either side of CAM Max Robson. Dilan Markanday operated up front although he was more of a false nine. Spurs got the game underway at the Voždovac stadium and they were knocking the ball around the park well during the opening stages of the game. The first chance of the game came Crvena Zvezda’s way. After Ilija Babic passed the ball to Borisav Burmaz on the edge of the Spurs penalty area the Crvena zvezda forward struck the ball narrowly wide of Jonathan De Bie’s goal. After J’Neil Bennett had won a free kick in a decent area Jamie Bowden’s resulting effort struck the Crvena zvezda wall before going behind for a corner kick. Goalkeeper Andrija Katic’s long kick up field came to Andrija Radulovic whose eventual dragged effort was gathered easily by Jonathan De Bie. Harvey White then shot wide from long range before Crvena zvezda attacked Spurs. Uros Blagojevic passed the ball to Ilija Babic who in turn gave it to Andrija Radulovic in the Spurs box however, he was charged down by Dennis Cirkin who made a lunging challenge, and managed to get some of the ball to prevent Radulovic from getting a clean strike on goal.
The commanding Luis Binks cleared Bojan Radulovic’s free kick before then heading a Harvey White corner kick into the arms of Crvena zvezda goalkeeper Andrija Katic. A couple of minutes later Milos Pantovic received Martin Novakovic’s pass before racing forward and dragging an effort wide of Jonathan De Bie’s goal. Martin Novakovic then had a good drilled effort from distance well saved by De Bie who managed to gather the ball in what turned out to be the final piece of action from the first half. Crvena zvezda got the second half underway. Martin Novakovic had a dragged effort from long range saved by De Bie before Dennis Cirkin was shown a yellow card for pulling back Milos Pantovic. Harvey White fired an effort wide of goal from long range for the frustrated J’Neil Bennett was shown a yellow card for lashing out at Andrija Radulovic. Dilan Markanday then became the latest Spurs player to be shown a yellow card for a challenge on Borisav Burmaz. A fine cross from Dennis Cirkin just evaded J’Neil Bennett inside the Crvena zvezda penalty area, before Harvey White’s lofted pass towards Dilan Markanday just evaded the Spurs winger inside the oppositions box. Forward Tarrelle Whittaker came onto replace Max Robson before Crvena zvezda took the lead in the 69th minute of the game. After Andrija Radulovic latched onto Vladimir Miletic’s header he burst down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area, past defender Malachi Walcott, before firing the ball into the bottom right hand corner of Jonathan De Bie’s goal, 0-1. Dilan Markanday volleyed wide Harvey White’s free kick wide of the target before Luis Binks headed Jamie Bowden’s corner kick wide of goal courtesy of a deflection off a Crvena zvezda player. Maurizio Pochettino then came onto replace Tashan Oakley-Boothe. Soon after coming on Pochettino had a cross cleared behind by Aleksandar Lukic before TJ Eyoma had a shot blocked by a Crvena zvezda defender before Luis Binks headed a cross from Jamie Bowden wide of the goal. Rafferty Pedder came onto replace Dilan Markanday. Spurs came close when J’Neil Bennett received Harvey White’s pass before coming in from the left flank and having a good powerful effort beaten away by Andrija Katic.
Crvena Zvezda then went straight down the other end and doubled their advantage. After Andrija Radulovic passed the ball to Ilija Babic inside the Spurs box, the winger back heeled the ball for Petar Piplica who slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 0-2. The referee sounded the final whistle a couple of moments later to bring an end to a game of poor quality. Spurs now have to win their next game against Olympiakos to stand any chance of qualifying from the group.
- Jonathan De Bie: The Belgian goalkeeper made three saves on the day and he had a decent game.
- TJ Eyoma: The right back generally had a solid game and he protected the right flank quite well.
- Malachi Walcott: Apart from being out paced for the opening goal the RCB had a decent game.
- Luis Binks: The LCB was one of Spurs’ best players on the day and I was impressed by his communication skills and positioning.
- Dennis Cirkin: It was quite a tenacious performance from the young left back who made an important sliding challenge during the first half.
- Jamie Bowden: The Spurs captain was always looking to make a positive pass and he looked good when he was on the ball.
- Harvey White: White generally moved the ball about well in the middle of the park.
- Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The right winger had very few touches of the ball.
- Max Robson: Despite bringing a lot of energy to the game the CAM struggled to make much of an impact.
- J’Neil Bennett: Another player who was frustrated was left winger J’Neil Bennett who apart from coming close to finding a late equaliser was pretty anonymous, although he did work very hard.
- Tarrelle Whittaker: The second half substitute barely got a look in against Crvena zvezda.
- Maurizio Pochettino: The right winger got very few touches of the ball.
- Rafferty Pedder: The 17 year old looked lively during his short time on the pitch. Pedder was alway on the move and looking to create space for himself.
Crvena zvezda: Katic, Mitrovic, Blagojevic, Matic (Miletic 67), Lukic, Milikic, Pantovic (Bacanin 70), Novakovic, Burmaz (c) (Piplica 90+2), Radulovic, Babic. Substitutes (not used): Copic, Savic, Pisar, Pesovic.
Spurs: De Bie, Eyoma, Cirkin, Bowden (c), Binks, Fagan-Walcott, Oakley-Boothe (Pochettino 77), White, Bennett, Robson (Whittaker 67), Markanday (Pedder 83). Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Lusala, Muir.
Goals: Crvena zvezda – Radulovic 69, Piplica 90+3.
Yellow cards: Crvena zvezda – Mitrovic 59, Radulovic 83, Burmaz 86, Piplica
90+3; Spurs – Cirkin 54, Bennett 63, Markanday 65.
Referee: Sebastian Gishaumer (AUT).
Venue: Voždovac Stadium, Belgrade.
Spurs under 19’s statistics:
Goals: Troy Parrott – 5
Rodel Richards – 1
J’Neil Bennett – 1
Max Robson – 1
Kion Etete – 1
Harvey White – 1
Paris Maghoma – 1
Assists: TJ Eyoma – 2
Rodel Richards – 1
Troy Parrott – 1
J’Neil Bennett – 1
Jonathan De Bie – 1
Dennis Cirkin – 1
Maurizio Pochettino – 1