Match Report: AC Milan (out of the Champions League) & N.Forest (3-1)
Our first Cup competition of 2022/23 was playing in the League Cup (the only competition we won under Daniel Levy’s control… and that was 15 years ago). In that contest, we faced Nottingham Forest (struggling Forest); where we were ceremoniously knocked out of that Cup (2-0). Next up was the FA Cup; our first crack of the whip was against Portsmouth. We scraped through that game 1-0 at our Tottenham Stadium.
Following that victory over Portsmouth, we next travelled to Preston North End, where we won 0-3. Was this our season to finally win a trophy? Things were looking up. Next, we were drawn against Championship side Sheffield United… it looked like the Gods were on our side (easy-peasy, we thought). As we travelled to Sheffield, we were in high spirits. But, no… it wasn’t to be… we were humiliated 0-1 and sent packing… But there was always the UEFA Champions League…
After getting through the earlier rounds, we faced AC Milan in the knock-out stages. The first round was in Italy. In that game, the only goal came from the Italian side… The return leg was at home… With 60-odd thousand roaring supporters behind us, how difficult could it be? We only had to overturn a 0-1 deficit. And we had Conte and Levy on our side (I throw this in for a bit of humour to add to our misery).
UEFA Champions League: Spurs 0 AC Milan 0 (0-1 on agg)
We paid the price for another passive start that allowed Milan to settle into their routine. On top of that, Cristian Romero was sent off late on after receiving a second yellow card for a wild challenge on Theo Hernandez. To cut a long story short, we disappointingly ended our Champions League campaign as we failed to overturn a first-leg deficit in the last 16 against AC Milan.
That game, I took Janette with me… and she ended up as annoyed as the rest of us over our performance.
The lack of determination that has marked so much of our season has never been starker than in the first 45 minutes when we played as if we were barely aware that we needed to score to keep our hopes alive.
Not even the return of Conte made any difference.
What this means for Conte’s long-term future remains to be seen, with growing uncertainty surrounding his position and his contract up at the end of the season. If I were Levy, I would say to Conte, either sign or fuck off… we need to prepare for next season… this speculation over whether he stays or goes is damaging the club.
Over 23 years, we’ve only won one competition: the lowly League Cup. And now this is another competition we’ve been knocked out of under Levy’s control… How many managers has he gone through to try to get another trophy to go with his only other trophy?
All we’ve got to look forward to now is hopefully a top-four place. At the same time, Arsenic are at the top of the tree, challenging for the Premier League title. If it wasn’t for Chelski, Liverpool and Newcastle United having an indifferent season, we might be much lower down the table than we currently are. As for United… they’ve been huffing and blowing but maintain their third position (even though they got thrashed by Liverpool 7-0, the same Liverpool side who got beaten by Bournemouth 1-0 recently). Oh, the joys of Premier League football!
As I said, we now have only that top-four place to fight for, and on our current form, you would not back us in achieving it. Despite our indifferent form, we have scrambled through much of this season, but there was to be no reprieve against AC Milan in the second leg, and we did not deserve one.
Spurs 3 Nottingham Forest 1
Our inconsistent season continued with the visit of Nottingham Forest to our stadium. After wins in the league over the struggling Spammers and stuttering Chelski, we suffered two defeats in a row (Sheffield United and Wolves) and then drew against AC Milan. You couldn’t make it up.
Harry Kane scored twice in a comfortable victory over Nottingham Forest as we strengthened our place in the Premier League’s top four. Nevertheless, we’ve still got the Scousers and Geordies breathing down our necks (and they’ve got games in hand).
Jurgen Klopp Scouser’s surprise defeat at Bournemouth earlier on Saturday means we are six points clear and in fourth and seven points above Newcastle, who have played three games fewer.
Kane broke the impasse with a header from Pedro Porro’s delivery before netting his 20th league goal of the season from the penalty spot following Joe Worrall’s foul on Richarlison. Who was restored to the starting line-up after appearing to criticise Conte following Wednesday’s goalless draw with AC Milan. He thought he had given us the lead after just three minutes, but the video assistant referee disallowed the goal for offside.
Son then increased our advantage in the second half when he steered Richarlison’s cross into the bottom corner before Worrall pulled a goal back for Forest with a powerful header.
Forest were denied a second goal by Fraser Forster, who saved Andre Ayew’s late penalty after Dejan Kulusevski’s handball.
Conte made three changes to the team that drew with AC Milan. The most notable was a recall for Richarlison, who was called “selfish” by Conte following an interview with Brazilian TV in the aftermath of that stalemate. To his credit, he repaid Conte’s faith with a good display but was denied his first league goal for us by the video assistant referee, who ruled that he had strayed marginally offside from Oliver Skipp’s pass.
We didn’t have to wait long for a breakthrough, as Kane laid the foundation for a routine victory with an objective first-half double.
Kane is only the third player in Premier League history – after Sergio Aguero and Alan Shearer – to hit 20 top-flight goals in six separate seasons.
Forest did improve after the restart, but Son’s finish following more fine work from Richarlison left them with too big a mountain to climb.
If we can overcome Southampton next Saturday, it would lift us nine points clear of the Scousers, whose next Premier League game is at Manchester City in three weeks after the international break.
As for Forest…
This was the latest in a string of poor displays away from the City Ground for Steve Cooper’s side; thank God for that, we shouted! Forest have won just once away from home in the league all season and remain the lowest scorers on the road, having registered only four goals on their travels. They have also failed to score a first-half goal in 18 of their 26 top-flight games. Only Everton have a worse record in the opening 45 minutes of games. I am sure we were glad of that after our three poor performances.
As I said, next up before the International break will be struggling Southampton, who are at the bottom of the table. Nonetheless, because of our unpredictable performances, I am sure the Saints will be up for it… as most struggling teams seem to be when they face us. Just ask Forest (League Cup), Wolves (League), Villa (League), Leicester (Premier: 4-1) and Sheffield United (FA Cup).
When we return from the break, we face Everton away… another potential banana skin… Oh, the joys of following Spurs under Levy’s gaze and firm grip. But to be fair… he has enriched himself; the stadium being his main golden shower source. After all, isn’t that what it is all about for millionaire entrepreneurs
(Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
In the rich man’s world).
I think ABBA hit the nail nicely on the head!
My name is Glenn Renshaw.
I am currently a Premium Season Ticket holder (West Stand) in the new stadium. Before that – at White Hart Lane – a season ticket holder in various parts of the ground (mainly in the North stand).
Before becoming a season ticket holder, I stood on the shelf and various other parts of the ground since the 1960s (the season of the double). In 1987 I became one of the first to hold a Spurs Membership card. I was also a life long member of the Spurs supporters club (now defunct).
I go to all home, away and abroad matches.
I was born in 1955, Edgware, London. I currently live in Berkshire.
I also collect all Spurs books, Spurs handbooks, Spurs programmes etc.
Previously, I wrote for Spurs Fanzines: The Spur, Spur of the Moment, My Eyes have seen the Glory and various other Spurs fanzines’. I also wrote for the SpursWeb app & its website.
I currently write and work for spursnetwork.com and its website. I write its Reviews & Match reports and a lot more.
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I have been writing blogs/ articles since 1989
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