Our own fault: Spurs 3 The Spammers 3
The spammers came back from three goals down with under 10 minutes to rescue a point. Manuel Lanzini’s long-range strike in injury time levelled the scores after we had taken control with three goals in the opening 16 minutes. We were gobsmacked. Just stunned. My Spurs Whatsapp group was frantically scribbling away, they were going apoplectic; from heaven to zero in minutes. The steam was ascending from my phone.
How did we go from two goals, from Harry Kane and one from Son, then out of the blue (or is that maroon) Fabian Balbuena’s header began the opposition’s fightback, with Davinson Sanchez’s own goal giving, even more, hope to the opposition with five minutes to go. No matter how many times I repeat these horrors in print, nothing changes.
Gareth Bale eventually came on as a substitute, but that didn’t change anything. He missed a great chance in stoppage time. Then the whistle went, our heads dropped, and I went to bed, in the hope I would wake up in a different twilight zone, and it had all been a dream. But no, it was what it was.
What went wrong?
We looked commanding in the beginning (yes, we felt we were going to run away with it). We seemed to be going from our 6-1 win over United to even greater heights. Kane’s exceptional pass from inside his own half set up Son’s opener after only 46 seconds (46 seconds, can you Adam and Eve it?). Son then returned the compliment by assisting Kane for the second after just eight minutes (our eyes were spinning in our heads). His exceptional close control was followed up by a shot past Lukasz Fabianski. But that wasn’t the end of Kane’s magic. He nodded in from a cross by Sergio Reguilon (God! This was going to be a massacre). We looked set to move up into second place ahead of the Sunday night game between Leicester v Aston Villa (which Villa won 1-0 to go second).
But Kane’s talents didn’t stop there (oh, no!). He was involved at the other end as well, making a great block to deny Vladimir Coufal’s shot just before half-time (was there no end to this guy’s talents?). But when the second half came, we seemed to have gone asleep. The introduction of Bale with 18 minutes left should have inserted even more firepower (put us back on track). Our defence started to go wobbly and then collapsed when coming under pressure.
As for Bale:
Bale was back, if only fleetingly. Mourinho had been coquettish about the possibilities of Bale playing his first game for us against the Spammers. He did eventually play but started off on the bench (as I predicted). Instead, Steven Bergwijn lined up alongside Kane and Son as our front three. My predictions – before this game – was that he will get his first full game on Thursday when we face on LASK in the Europa League. The bubble blowers game was just a warm-up for him.
Bale’s first touch upon coming on was for a free-kick, which went straight to their goalkeeper. . But he didn’t look 100%, to be fair, he hadn’t played for a while. His last game was for Wales. He did have a brilliant chance to get the winner, but his shot went just wide and left West Ham with a slight chance, which they eventually took.
Mourinho’s comments after the game, “Giving credit to West Ham and try not to analyse our responsibilities on this result. It is easy for me to praise West Ham. They were losing 3-0 for the majority of the game. The game was controlled, they didn’t have chances, and then late in the game, they score and increased their belief. They were lucky, but maybe they deserved that luck. We were unlucky, but maybe we deserved that. Harry Kane hit the post. It could be 4-0. Bale can score the fourth and kill it. Out of context, based on free-kicks and second balls, they found a style. We should be stronger. In the second half, they risked quite a lot, pressing up and gave us more space. We should get an occasion to win the game. I don’t know if it was us inviting them or with them with the extra motivation of getting in the game. I cant identify us or them, maybe both.”
After that, the commenter asked: A lesson for players? His laconic reply was “For the team, yes. For individuals, no.”
West Ham are the first team in Premier League history to avoid defeat in a game having trailed by 3+ goals as late as the 81st minute.
We (D1 L2) have failed to win any of our opening three home games of a Premier League season for just the fourth time (and first time since 2017-18), conceding stoppage time equalisers in each of their last two.
We were 3-0 up within 16 minutes against West Ham, the earliest we have scored three times in a single Premier League game since August 2007 v Derby County (14 mins).
Since Jose Mourinho took charge in November 2019, Harry Kane (33) and Son Heung-Min (30) have had a direct hand in more goals in all competitions than any other Premier League players.
Gareth Bale came off the bench to appear in his first Spurs match in 7 years & 152 days, since scoring the only goal of the game v Sunderland in May 2013. Indeed, it is the longest gap between appearances by a Tottenham player in the Premier League.
What’s next for us?
We host LASK in the Europa League at 20:00 BST on Thursday, 22 October, then travel to Turf Moor to play Burnley in the Premier League at 20:00 BST on Monday, 26 October.
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Best regards, Glenn