We are through to the knock out stages; LASK 3 Spurs 3
A poor start, a poor first half, but Bale rescued us with a penalty. The second half was a different kettle of fish with four goals, two for us and two for them. Making it 3-3 and a draw. We are through (just!). How we got there, well that is for the football pundits to discuss until their heart’s content. The team’s job is to get through every round, and they did that. That is thanks to Bale, Son and Alli. Now we can concentrate on our match against the arse-wipes this Sunday. And I must add that the team on Sunday will be a different one that played against LASK.
Yes, we should have expunged them off the pitch, but it is about the end result and what that result achieved.
Me personally; I was at the end of my seat with different emotions going through me. First, despair, then elation, ecstatic, then depressed and then relief. Those bastards fought us all the way.
We brought on our misfit Dele Alli, and he scored from the spot to secure us a place in the Europa League knockout stages as we drew against LASK. Alli was named on the bench despite Jose Mourinho making eight changes, but he made no mistake with a penalty four minutes from time. The relief must have been shown on all us Spurs supporters’ faces, I know it was on mine. It was our second spot-kick of the game after Gareth Bale levelled in the first half.
But full credit to LASK, as they weren’t there to roll over and play dead, they wanted it as much as we did (and some have suggested, more so on the night than we did, going by the way we played), anyway, they earned themselves a deserved draw from Mamoudou Karamoko’s late effort. LASK’s Peter Michorl opened the scoring for them, and Johannes Eggestein smashed in a second late on.
Son put us ahead shortly after the break with a smart goal before the dramatic finish in Austria. Which means we are through with a game to spare but will need to beat Royal Antwerp at home next week if we are to progress as group winners. Hopefully, with fans being allowed in, I will be there (sadly the odds are against me, but I can still dream). What I can tell you though, I didn’t get a ticket for the Arsewipes game. I could have strangled the cat (even though I haven’t got one; lucky cat).
Jose Mourinho made eight changes to the side that drew 0-0 at Chelsea, but Alli and Harry Winks were still only on the bench. Those that were given their chance did little to influence the game and a sluggish start on a freezing night in Linz meant a string of saves from Hart were needed to keep us sitting second in the Austrian Bundesliga at bay.
LASK’s pressure eventually showed as the hosts broke following Matt Doherty’s blunder and Michorl’s long shot beat Hart. We continued to struggle to thread a pass together before our first move of any importance saw Tanguy Ndombele’s shot hit Andres Andrade’s arm and Bale converted from the spot for his second Spurs goal since returning on loan.
Two of the three players who kept their places from the goalless draw at Stamford Bridge then worked together to put us head ahead as Ndombele seized on an error in the LASK midfield to slide Son in on goal.
Bale and Son turned the game to our advantage and almost combined for a third, only for Bale to place his pass behind Son.
As for Alli, well he has found himself out of favour under Mourinho this season and has only featured twice in the Premier League. It has been heavily suggested that he will be moving soon, either in the January transfer window or the Summer. Nevertheless, he did get his chance with eight minutes remaining, but LASK were level moments later when Eggestein, who hit the post in the first half, beat Hart from the edge of the box. Alli was given a chance, which he took with relish. He kept his nerve and scored from the penalty spot with four minutes to play. Those last four minutes kept us all on the edge of our seats.
But it still wasn’t over, in injury time LASK managed got an equaliser. And to be fair, they deserved their hard-fought draw.
We conceded three goals in a game for the first time since October’s 3-3 draw with West Ham – we had only conceded three times in our previous nine games before tonight.
This was only the second time an Austrian side has scored 3+ goals in a major European match against English opponents, with FC Red Bull Salzburg losing 4-3 against Liverpool in last season’s Champions League.
Son has scored 12 goals in all competitions this season – among Premier League players, only Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (13 each) have more.
Only Leicester City (8) have scored more penalties in all competitions among Premier League teams than Spurs this season (7).
Gareth Bale scored his first European goal for Spurs since March 2013 against Inter Milan.
This was his first away European goal for the club (excluding qualifiers) since his hat-trick at the San Siro against Inter in the Champions League in October 2010.
Of Bale’s 200 goals, 57 have been scored for Spurs, with the other 143 coming at Southampton (5), Real Madrid (105) and Wales (33).
So, what is next for us?
We’ve got the Gooners on Sunday 6 December at 4.30 pm. Which will be then followed by our last Europa League game in the league-competition. Then we face Royal Antwerp, and if we beat them, we will go on top. Next year it will be the knock out stages.