Match Report: Spurs 2 Marseille 0 (another notch on our belts)

Match Report: Spurs 2 Marseille 0 (another notch on our belts)

Before I start, here is some other European news. Liverpool were thrashed by Napoli in their first Champions League Group A game on a night they will probably wish to forget in Italy. Jurgen Klopp’s side were 3-0 down at halftime, but it could easily have been more as Alisson saved a penalty and Virgil van Dijk made a goalline block. The previous night (Tuesday), two-time winners Yankee-Chelski began their Champions League campaign with a shock defeat at Dinamo Zagreb, which prompted the Yankee board to sack their manager Tommy Tickle-Tuchel. Yes, after winning three major trophies (including the Champions League), he was punched in the nose and kicked out.

After being undefeated in the Premier League, we finally entered the arena of Champions League football. We showed the footballing world that we weren’t going to roll over and lay down just so that the other teams in that competition could roger us in their quest for Champions League gold…

Some fans have commented on the match that we were poor, forgetting that the other team didn’t just arrive at our Tottenham stadium to roll over and allow us to run amuck, no, they wanted, themselves,  to put a notch on their belts in their quest for European Glory. We all want the same… to lift that Champions League trophy at the end of the season, and it isn’t going to be easy.

Granted, they didn’t make it easy for us, but it was us that walked away with the spoils, not the French. For our victory, their travelling morons decided to kick off, abuse our hospitality, and kick the shit out of everything/ everybody that they came into contact with. However, we shouldn’t be surprised at what the French are capable of. Just look back to the Champions League final, which they hosted. They tried to bury the Scousers under tons of shit in the hope that it would be them who came up smelling of roses. Ultimately, the shit stuck with the French as they were exposed to incompetence.

This trip to the ground was a very long day for us (Mel, Janette and myself). We left Cheltenham at 1 am, picked up Mel, and then drove to Tottenham, reaching the stadium at 4.45 pm.

A bit of a rant here. I am a programme collector; all my programmes are put into binders. I haven’t met anybody yet who praises this monstrosity programme size (for all Champions League home games). But to the wisdom of Tottenham money grabbers, they decided to make our programmes A4 size and increase the price. It is done to get a few more pennies from the Champions League competition, nothing more, nothing less. And, of course, the purchaser of such oversized programmes now has to find extra space in their houses to put their champions League programmes in… totally madness. Rant over!

The Arena

It all started with the usual fanfare, lights, music, previous film clips of past European glories etc. Then the players walked out to the roar of the Tottenham fans. As they walked out, the lineup was flashed on Tottenham’s big jumbo screens… screams of joy were louder or quieter depending on the player’s popularity as each individual came into focus.

The Game

Richarlison’s first goals for us broke Marseille’s dogged resistance as we made a winning return to the Champions League.

Marseille’s players frustrated us for large parts of the game, even after being reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Chancel Mbemba was sent off for a professional foul on Son.

Granted, we kept fighting until Richarlison powered home a header from Ivan Perisic’s cross with 14 minutes left. He added another with an even better header five minutes later, meeting Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s delivery at the far post to beat their goalkeeper Pau Lopez and seal the points for us.

Thoughts

Richarlison

He joined us in order to sample the Champions League competition. He is a huge addition to our front line that has Harry Kane, Son and also the brilliant Dejan Kulusevski. Granted, Richarlison has had to bide his time, but his early contributions has made a difference. And he has won over the fans. Now he bolstered that status here with two vital goals, which ensured we came through a night of hard work with an important victory.

Richarlison has the quality, and the two headers against the French made the difference, demonstrating exactly what he brings to the team.

Luck also plays an important part… which we’ve had under Conte. We may not have been pleasing to the eye at times this season, but Conte has inserted steel into the side, which means we can get the job done even when we are not at our best. And that is what it is all about… the difference between a team that is challenging for trophies/ titles and those that are also-rans.

As usual, Conte celebrated wildly on the touchline every time Richarlison headed the ball over the French side’s goal line.

We are a totally different team from Nuno’s lacklustre style. You can see in the players’ eyes they want what Conte offers… while under Nuno, doubts grew, with even Kane wishing to leave for a more ambitious team… now it looks like he will stay.

I predicted we would win 3-2, but in the end, it was just a 2-0 victory over a 10-man team. We are now joint top of Group D with Sporting Lisbon, who we face next week (and in which I am going). Before that, another test of our newfound abilities under Conte, an away match against Premier League Champions Manchester City. City and us are the only two undefeated teams in the league. Don’t forget that on their way to winning the league title, they only suffered three defeats, once to Crystal Palace and twice to us.

The heavens opened…

When we finally left the stadium, we were greeted by a downpour. Janette took the keys and made a dash with Mel to where my car was parked while I had to hobble in the pouring rain to my vehicle. Once in the dry, we started on our three and a half hours journey home.

After dropping Mel off, Janette and I finally got home at 2.30 am. Sadly Janette had to go to work the next day, getting up at 7.30 am.

Onwards and upwards.

COYS!

Glenn

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