Are Spurs serious contenders?

by Simon Baystead

Saturday, August 21st, 2010
 

Stoke City V Tottenham Hotspur – 21-08-10

A tough away game at Stoke is never one to look forward to and with memories of 2008 still lingering around the Spurs dressing room, they knew today would be no easy ride. Considering the long list of injuries for Spurs, the team was completely revamped and Stoke were without record signing Jones, who of course was once a Spurs target.

Spurs kicked off at the Britannia Stadium and looked to play their possessional game early on. The visitors were patient in their approach knowing that the Stoke defence would not be easy to break-down with a strong defensive wall backed up by their strength in numbers. It wasn’t long till the first goal was in however. Gareth Bale gave Spurs the lead on the 20th minute as a fantastic run by Lennon on the left-hand side saw him duck inside and dink a ball over for Bale, beating the offside trap to shoot into Sorensen, with the ball flying up for Crouch to head toward goal, before it was blocked on the line onto Bale’s head and into the back of the net. The Welshman’s first of the season was a sloppy and very fortunate one but he wouldn’t care as the away fans celebrated.

Stoke soon equalised however, with Ricardo Fuller finding the back of the net after poor set piece defending from Spurs saw the ball fall kindly for the Jamaican forward to poke home on the 25th minute. Sadly for the home fans though, their glory only lasted five minutes as Bale struck again on the 30 minute mark to fire Spurs back into the lead with a peach of a goal. Lennon was involved again with a great run once more showing his pace and skill as he crossed this time from the right- hand side, just too high for Crouch but perfect for Bale to smash home on the volley into the top corner past Sorensen leaving the Dane no chance of making a save. A wonder goal from Bale and an early contender for goal of the season, which had put the Yids back in front and stunned the formidable home crowd.

Few chances followed before half time with Spurs the much happier team at the break.

Half Time – Stoke City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs started the second half strong, as did Stoke who soon gained control of the game and by the hour mark were in full control of a very tired looking Spurs team. Sloppy play became a firm feature of the Spurs play and Stoke began to take the initiative and press them back going into the final phases of the game with few chances and a big midfield battle. Tuncay came on and looked bright forcing a super save from Gomes after a big looping deflection nearly levelled the tie. The 2,000 Spurs fans whom had been so loud throughout the game were suddenly silenced as Stoke continued to pile on the pressure with the Britannia stadium alive with home support.

Six minutes were held up to the delight of the home crowd as Stoke used stoppage time to continue mounting testing attacks for the Spurs defence. The whole game was soon covered in controversy however as a Stoke corner was poorly dealt with by the Spurs defence and the ball seemed to be on its way in as Gomes tipped the ball onto the underside of the bar after being pushed by Robert Huth.

The ball was still knocking about as it fell in the area and was headed toward goal by Walter and saved by the stomach of a diving Peter Crouch in a moment of madness. The ball seemingly crossed the line as the England man saved it but the ball was eventually cleared out. It was difficult to see if the ball had fully crossed the line and for a moment it seemed that the referee would give the goal, but he let it slide causing a lot of controversy but even with the advantage replays it’s incredibly difficult to see if the ball did in fact cross the line.

The game was in disarray and inevitably the game ended with Spurs going away with all three points. But yet another case of goal-line technology has been brought up and FIFA will surely continue to ignore it.

Final Score: Stoke City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

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  • pad

    No one……and I mean no one has proved that the ball crossed the line!!! So…..spot on the referee..

  • gettingthereslowly

    All the ball neded to cross the line and i don’t think it did,and as it has been pointed out the keepr was pushed !so all in all right result.

  • Sean

    No, no-one has proven that the whole of the ball crossed the line, and, given how close to being flush on the line Crouch was and how fast the ball was pinged in and came flying back out, I really do believe it was very hard to Foy to see, despite his positioning.

  • Simon

    I still don’t think it went in 🙂

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