Match Report: RZ Pellets WAC 1 Tottenham Hotspur 4
I predicted 4-1 and 4-1 we got. What wasn’t a surprise was the one goal we conceded. You can always guarantee that we would concede one or more. Anyway, we won, and now we are in good stead for the next round. We now have to concentrate on our game against the Bubble blowers on Sunday.
Gareth Bale scored and assisted goal for the first time since 2013 as we beat Wolfsberger in the Europa League. Bale crossed for Son to head the opener and then cut inside and shot home our second goal. Lucas Moura added a fine solo goal before half-time.
Half time came, and the chatter was on our WhatsApp group, but no drinks for me… I thought I would give it a rest for today. Then the second half commenced…
Ten minutes later, Michael Liendl’s penalty gave Wolfsberger hope, and Christopher Wernitznig hit the bar – before Carlos Vinicius probably killed the game.
Mourinho had spoken beforehand about how much he wanted to win the Trophy so named a solid team, although Harry Kane was left behind to train on his fitness.
We were superb in the first half, but things changed when we took off Son for Vinicius, where we were much less impressive.
As for Wolfsberger, well, they were inadequate opposition. But to be fair, they are sitting sixth in the Austrian league and in a European knockout competition for the first time. On top of that, they couldn’t play on their own ground or even in their own country; the game had to be played six hours away in Budapest, Hungary, because of Covid restrictions. The second leg is next Thursday at our Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where I expect an abundance of goals.
As for our fringe players;
Alli and Bale were the notable starters. Mourinho said beforehand he was worried about the result and not individual fringe players’ performances; I have no doubt that he would have been happy with what he saw in the first half of this game. Bale set up the opener when he received Matt Doherty’s pass before crossing for Son.
As I said earlier, that was Bale’s first assist for us since April 2013 against Man City, then he left for Real Madrid and the rest is history, as they say.
When Moura beat several defenders on a cazy run to score our third, it reminded me of the Ajax game. As for Alli, well, he looked in the mood to stake his claim, with a brilliant nutmeg to create a shooting opportunity, although he sadly fired straight at the keeper. But in the second half, they both dropped their guard – or run out of steam and looked less fluent in the second half before being replaced.
Moussa Sissoko carelessly conceded a penalty which Liendl scored, and the hosts looked more assured. Had Wernitznig’s powerful drive off the crossbar gone over the line instead of bouncing on it, it could have been a different tie.
As for Vinicius, well, he booked our place in the next round when he shot home Erik Lamela’s flicked header late on and scored in the 88th minute.
No team in the history of major European competition have won by three or more goals away from home in the first leg of a knockout tie and failed to progress.
We are only the second English team to score three or more goals in three consecutive away major European matches, after Liverpool between October 2017 and February 2018.
Son is our fourth player to score 20 goals in European competition (excluding qualifiers), after Harry Kane (29), Martin Chivers (22) and Jermain Defoe (20).
Jose Mourinho has been eliminated from just one of his 17 previous European knockout ties when winning the first leg, the 2006-07 Champions League semi-final vs Liverpool.
What next for us?
On Sunday the 21st at 12.00, we face West Ham at the London Stadium.
Let us hope we are on a turn.
Take care and all the best, Glenn