(Genuine!) Analysis of the goals conceded against Portsmouth
I’m not a person that likes to make excuses, but I did feel that there was some genuine injustice in the game yesterday, hence my post earlier this morning.
It wasn’t a good performance from Spurs – we seemed to play within ourselves, perhaps trying to conserve energy for the tough run of games coming up. Three of our key players – Modric, Defoe and Dawson – were all well under-par, although in the case of Dawson and Defoe, it could be argued that they were half-fit. Huddlestone also looked far from 100%.
All this said, we still managed 35 shots on goal, and dominated possession – it could have been so different, but for the Wembley pitch, and an inept performance from Alan Wiley. A frustrating game to say the least.
Portsmouth are awarded a questionable free-kick some distance out, which is floated in.
Kevin Prince Boateng beats Bassong in the air all too easily – he out-muscles him.
Then the vital moment. Michael Dawson loses his footing on the (now infamous) Wembley turf.
This leaves Piquionne with the simple task of beating Gomes, who is admittedly in no man’s land.
Dindane leads a counter, as Spurs are pressing for an equaliser. Palacios admirably tracks him and, despite not looking like making up the ground, he gets side on, and makes a challenge. I must admit, from my angle up the other end of the pitch, it looked like a nailed-on pen.
But Palacios clearly takes a healthy chunk of the ball.
You could argue that he goes through the player first, but I think this picture illustrates nicely that he doesn’t – he stretches a leg in to take the ball. Referees often rely on the direction the ball travels in these situations but, unfortunately for us, it gets caught in Dindane’s feet, and doesn’t move the way that you would expect it to.
And this, the moment that we’d been hoping to avoid for 9 matches – he was even rested for 2 of them! His 10th yellow of the season, which means that he misses the Arsenal and Chelsea games. A nightmare at the best of times, but with Huddlestone half-fit, and Jenas not having played since the 10th Feb, it will leave us desperately short in the centre of midfield (again).
A well placed penalty from the entirely dislikable Boateng. Why did it have to be him?
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What Portsmouth lacked in skill compared to us, they made up for with good tactics and spirit, which I think we are severely lacking in, particularly when things are not going our way.
What is the story with the rule people have been mentioning on blogs for the past week about the second yellow card being excused after a certain date, and a warning being issued instead?
Hudd was so obviously unfit that we shoud have had Ekotto with Bale in midfield.
Shame man City have made up all that goal difference in 2 games...Europe has gone for Spurs, Arsenal will stuff you then its all there for Man City to take...lets face it after the Pompey game could you see Spurs getting 14 goals in 3 games like Man City..I think not...
But lets just dust ourselves off and ge on with the season. Wilson's foul and booking could have ended our season on both fronts.
Realistically we need four points from the next three games, and for city to lose against United and Arsenal. Failing that we need Villa or West Ham to get a lucky result, or to smash them at Eastlands.
Still plenty of twists and turns to come
Neither decision though incorrect can be argued as totally ridiculous and to claim that we were robbed by the ref is off the mark.
I notice that Harry criticises the pitch and not the referee.
There are a host of niggling decisions by the ref, including the free kick that led to the goal but that's because we are only looking at things from our point of view.
The penalty would have been 'nailed on' if it had occured at the other end. Dawson made several poor challenges for the ball but was not penalised.
FWIW I don't think we underestimated Portsmouth like many fans are saying - I would argue that we showed them TOO MUCH respect, and didn't try to play to our usual quick tempo.