February 28, 2014
Zozulya’s goal – Zozulya runs across our defensive line to get on the end of a whipped free-kick.
Dnipro have a free-kick midway into the Spurs half, which is sent in relatively low and flat.
This angle shows how Spurs are holding the line on the edge of the box – Adebayor is a bit deeper than everyone else, though, so when Zozulya makes a run across the defence, he is played onside.
Zozulya meets the delivery and directs his header into the far corner.
This image shows how Vertonghen ended up “marking” (I use the term loosely!) two players.
I’d previously been pretty impressed by our defending of set pieces under Sherwood, so it was disappointing to see us concede in this fashion. However, our subsequent comeback was very encouraging – the spirit and desire in that second half spell was very pleasing, and we’ll need plenty more of that to progress in this competition.
February 24, 2014
Snogdrass’ goal – Bentaleb loses the ball on halfway, and Norwich are quick to pounce. Johnson receives the ball from van Wolfswinkel and finds Snodgrass with a through-ball. He expertly curls a shot past Lloris.
Bentaleb is robbed of possession by Ricky van Wolfswinkel out on the touch-line. Losing the ball unexpectedly can cause a team all sorts of problems, as they are not set up to defend – this is certainly the case here. There are two key issues that lead to Norwich scoring, though.
Van Wolfswinkel plays the ball inside to Johnson, in acres of space. Rose is tracking Snodgrass, here. It’s not so easy to tell from the stills, but Rose does not track him at anything like full intensity. Paulinho is caught in two minds – continue filling in for Rose, or get back into the midfield.
Bentaleb tries to get across to press the ball (presumably seeing that Vertonghen wants to play Snodgrass offside), with Paulinho just getting back into position without any real intent. Notice Dawson, though. He panics and wants to move towards his own goal, whilst Vertonghen has held his line. If Dawson steps up with Vertonghen, Snodgrass is offside. The gap between Rose and Snodgrass has grown – Snodgrass is a pretty slow and cumbersome player, whilst Rose is rapid.
He receives the ball in space and Dawson’s decision-making is totally exposed, as he’s left with no-one to mark anyway.
It’s a cracking finish from Snodgrass, curled perfectly into the corner. But a very frustrating goal to concede, because the actions of Dawson, Rose, Paulinho and particularly Bentaleb, are naive and avoidable.
February 20, 2014
Konoplyanka’s goal – Matheus burst through the middle of the pitch as Dnipro launched a swift counter, and Vertonghen brought him down from behind. Yevhen Konoplyanka scored from the spot – in off the post.
As soon as Capoue gives the ball away around the edge of the Dnipro box, Spurs have a problem. He tries to track back as Matheus bursts forward. Dawson comes out to meet Matheus.
Dawson’s challenge is a poor one – if he’s not going to take the ball, the cynical side of me says that he must at least take the man (and a booking).
But Matheus wriggles past Dawson and plays a one-two. Only now does Rose realise that he might need to start tracking back.
Matheus now has just Vertonghen ahead of him, with Rose approaching from the side.
Vertonghen tries to slow Matheus up and allow Rose to make a challenge, but he just keeps running.
He runs past Vertonghen as if he’s not there, and approaches the box. Vertonghen makes a last-ditch lunge – outside the box.
It’s not easy to tell for sure but this seems to be the final contact from Vertonghen, and it occurs outside the box.
This shot appears to show that Vertonghen clips Matheus’ heel outside the box.
Yevhen Konoplyanka – top class all evening – makes no mistake from the spot, sending it in off the post.
On the whole this was a very poor performance from Spurs, for whom the only player to emerge with any credit was Friedel. He deserved a clean sheet after making a string of good saves, and coming off his line well. Paulinho and Soldado also did well in patches, but Soldado’s miss came at a crucial time. The pitch certainly played a part, and Spurs seemed to go long far more than usual – possibly due to the surface.
February 1, 2014
Long’s goal – Shane Long deceives Jan Vertonghen in the air, and then dashes past him to get on the end of a pass from Nikica Jelavic (or an attempted clearance from Danny Rose!), and beats Hugo Lloris.
A long kick from goalkeeper, Steve Harper, is attacked by Jan Vertonghen and Shane Long. In committing himself to this, Vertonghen has pushed rather a long way up the pitch.
Long seems to outmanoeuvre Vertonghen, lets the ball bounce, and is on his toes quickly.
Danny Rose and Nikica Jelavic compete for the awkwardly bouncing ball, and it appears that it’s actually Rose who inadvertently hooks the ball on. Note Dawson, having pushed up to cover for Vertonghen’s charge forward. Kyle Walker has not clocked the danger, and is caught on his heels.
The accidental through-ball confuses everyone, and Long continues his run to burst through the centre of our defence. Walker’s delay in covering round means that he’s now got no chance of making it to the ball first.
Long shows enough pace to get ahead of Walker and Vertonghen…
…and lifts the ball over Lloris.
This was a very patchy performance from Spurs, where our passing was often sub-standard amidst lots of pressure from a highly motivated Hull side. Our central defenders in particular showed a lack of patience, and ended up with very low pass completion rates (Dawson 63%, Vertonghen 77%).
The first half was particularly disappointing although Spurs improved significantly after the break. However, despite dominating possession, we didn’t trouble Hull’s defence enough, especially after getting our slightly fortuitous equaliser.
Personally I felt that David Meyler should have seen red in the second – his first challenge on Bentaleb was a borderline red card in itself, but his second foul on the same player should certainly have seen him shown his second yellow rather than his first.
Sherwood’s reluctance to use his substitutes was a real frustration. Aaron Lennon was largely woeful, often failing to show for the ball or get upfield to support his teammates, yet he was left on the pitch for the whole 90 minutes. Likewise, Soldado had a very disappointing match but was not replaced.
A draw away at Hull – who beat Liverpool, and have only conceded 9 goals at home (the same number that Chelsea have conceded at Stamford Bridge) – is not the end of the world. But it did feel like the match was in our hands after we equalised, and Sherwood’s lack of action from the bench has left many questioning his ability to change a game.
January 20, 2014
Bony’s goal – A long ball is half-cleared by Dawson, half-cleared by Rose, and half-cleared by Bentaleb, before Davies starts a positive run into the box. He attempts to play a one-two with Bony, which Chiriches heads wide to Lamah. The winger miscues his cross perfectly into the path of Bony, who adjusts his body and steers the ball into the corner of the net.
I’m starting this quite late into the move as otherwise this will be an overly long and complex analysis, but just prior to this still, Dawson has half-cleared a long ball. Rose gets his chest to the loose ball, and tries to cushion it down for Bentaleb.
It’s a risky piece of play from Rose – primarily because he has a better view of the pitch than Bentaleb. Bentaleb really needs to just swing a right-foot at this to clear first time. Instead, he tries to poke it to Walker with his left foot, and Lamah gets something on it to stop it finding its target.
The loose ball wouldn’t be an issue, except that Lennon has totally failed to track his man, Davies, who follows up and pushes forward with intent. Bony drops off Dawson to show for the ball, and they attempt a give-and-go.
Chiriches does pretty well to clear Bony’s lobbed pass but Walker has had to follow Lennon’s man, leaving Lamah unmarked, as Lennon is stood still.
In making the clearance, Chiriches knocks Davies to the ground.
As the ball drops kindly for Lamah, Chiriches has to awkwardly step around Davies. Lamah’s miscued cross would probably have been cleared by Chiriches were it not for Davies being in his path.
Instead, it goes through to Bony – but what follows is a pretty special finish. He has to quickly and awkwardly adjust his body shape…
…but he beautifully guides it into the corner, giving Lloris no chance.