Spurs Under 19’s 3-0 Olympique de Marseille: (match report)

In their first group-stage game of the 2022/23 UEFA Youth League, Spurs’ Under 19 side faced French side Olympique de Marseille at Hotspur Way, on Tuesday afternoon. Wayne Burnett’s Spurs side won the game 3-0, and it was an impressive performance from Spurs in what was their first UEFA Youth League game since the 2019/20 season. Spurs lined-up with Luca Gunter in goal, while George Abbott, Alfie Dorrington, Will Andiyapan and Tyrell Ashcroft started in defence. Captain Matthew Craig and Nile John started in central midfield, as Romaine Mundle and Roshaun Mathurin started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jamie Donley. Jaden Williams led the line for Spurs. Marseille got the game underway. Roshaun Mathurin hit an early effort over from the edge of the Marseille penalty area, before Luca Gunter made a very important save at the other end of the pitch, to stop Emran Soglo’s effort from close range, inside the Spurs box. 

Nile John had a deflected effort on the Marseille goal saved by goalkeeper Jelle Van Neck. Then, after trying to meet Luca Gunter’s long kick forward, Romaine Mundle managed to get onto the ball on the left side of the Marseille penalty area, but his resulting effort went wide across the goal. Raimane Daou had an effort from the edge of the Spurs box saved by Luca Gunter, a couple of minutes later. After Lucas Boulmot’s sliding challenge on Will Andiyapan inside the Marseille box resulted in the defender getting nothing on the ball, the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Up stepped Jamie Donley, who calmly found the bottom right corner of the goal, 1-0. Emran Soglo hit an effort wide from the edge of the Spurs box, and then shortly after Lucas Boulmot volleyed wide Jores Rahou’s corner-kick. Jamie Donley received a yellow card, and then a volleyed effort from Jores Rahou from distance went wide of Luca Gunter’s goal. 

On 32 minutes Spurs doubled their lead. After George Abbott had won the ball on the right flank, the second year scholar passed the ball to Romaine Mundle, who went forward with the ball down the right flank, before showing some good skill on the ball and delivering a low cross in front of the centre of the Marseille goal, which Jaden Williams tapped into the empty goal from close range, 2-0. Rayan Hassad hit an effort wide of the Spurs goal from distance, and then some good skill from Jores Rahou, resulted in him going into the Spurs box, but his effort went into the side-netting of Luca Gunter’s goal. Mathew Craig hit an effort over from the edge of the Marseille penalty area, and then a couple of minutes later, Yakine Mmadi Said hit an effort wide of the Spurs goal, from the edge of their penalty area, in what was the final chance of the first half. Spurs got the second half underway. After Jaden Williams had won the ball off of Rayan Hassad, he tried to score a goal from distance, with a lofted effort. However, Jelle Van Neck was able to make the save. After Nile John hit a powerful effort which seemed to deflect onto the crossbar of the Marseille goal, the alert Jaden Williams ran into the centre of the Marseille box to get on the ball and finish with a first time effort, 3-0.

Luca Gunter managed to save an effort from distance, just before Spurs made their first change of the game, as Maxwell McKnight came on to replace Roshaun Mathurin. Romaine Mundle hit a free-kick effort wide of the Marseille goal, from a difficult angle on the right flank, before Emran Soglo hit an effort over the Spurs goal, at the other end of the pitch. Damola Ajayi and Mikey Moore then came on to replace Jaden Williams and Romaine Mundle, respectively. After receiving the ball on the right flank, Nile John went past Elasrar Mohamed on the edge of the Marseille penalty area. John then passed the ball to Maxwell McKnight, whose first time effort was saved by Jelle Van Neck. Spurs made more changes as Jahziah Linton came on to replace Tyrell Ashcroft, and Thomas Bloxham came on to replace Jamie Donley. George Abbott did well to block behind Esey Gebreyesus’s effort inside the Spurs box. Luca Gunter saved a late Marseille effort from distance, before a surging forward from Nile John resulted in the 19 year old sending a lofted effort over the Marseille goal. The referee sounded his whistle for full-time shortly afterwards. Spurs’ next game in this competition is on next Tuesday, when they face Portuguese side Sporting Club de Portugal. 

Player reviews:

  • Luca Gunter: The Spurs goalkeeper made a really important and impressive early save to stop Marseille from scoring, and overall he had a solid game on his UEFA Youth League debut. Luca Gunter was very vocal throughout the match. 
  • George Abbott: My man of the match, see below.
  • Alfie Dorrington: Like George Abbott, central defender Alfie Dorrington was good in defence, alert, and commanding throughout the match. He impressed alongside Will Andiyapan.
  • Will Andiyapan: The versatile defender and Wales youth international also impressed on his UEFA Youth League debut. Will Andiyapan read the game well, and he also got forward to win the penalty that was awarded for Spurs during the first half.
  • Tyrell Ashcroft: Reading the game well and also defending well as he helped Spurs to keep a clean-sheet, Tyrell Ashcroft had a good all-round game in the left-back position.
  • Matthew Craig: The Spurs captain had an assured game in central midfield, and he also used the ball well, and got forward well on occasions.
  • Nile John: The central midfielder created some good chances during the game, and he was always looking to go forward with the ball.
  • Romaine Mundle: The winger started the game out on the right flank and he went on some good forward runs. Romaine Mundle got the assist for Jaden Williams’ first goal of the game, after some good work from the second year professional. 
  • Jamie Donley: The Spurs CAM took the penalty kick well during the first half to score a goal. The second year scholar worked well off the ball and he linked up well with Jaden Williams.
  • Roshaun Mathurin: The winger started the game on the left flank, and during his time on the pitch he was always trying to go forward with the ball, whenever he got on the ball. 
  • Jaden Williams: The centre-forward made some really good runs off the ball during the game against Marseille, and he worked so hard off the ball. A good all-round performance resulted in him scoring two goals, during his time on the pitch.
  • Maxwell McKnight: The second half substitute did well when he came on, and he almost scored a goal, from a chance that was created by Nile John.
  • Damola Ajayi: The forward came on in the second half, and he made a good impression on the game, moving well both with and without the ball, on occasions.
  • Mikey Moore: The second half substitute made a Luka Modrić-esque forward pass with the outside of his foot, to create a chance during his time on the pitch.
  • Jahziah Linton: The left-back came on late on in the game.
  • Thomas Bloxham: The creative forward was a late substitute during the game against Marseille.

My man of the match –  George Abbott. I was really impressed with how well George Abbott did, once again when playing at right-back. The second year scholar was defensively very good, and he defended his side of the pitch really well. The midfielder played a part in Spurs’ second goal of the game.

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