Posted by: Paul | February 16, 2011

The Spurs go marching on

What’s that you say? A skeleton Spurs side, beating Serie A leaders AC Milan? In the Champions League? At the SAN SIRO?! I don’t believe you.

Well that’s what I would have said two and a half years ago, with Spurs propping up the Premier League table with just 2 points from 8 games. What a magnificent turnaround the Harry Redknapp era has marked. Last night’s display against AC Milan was equal to the incredible victory over their rivals Inter at White Hart Lane last October, and far exceeded our almost-comeback against them at the San Siro.

In the face of incredible provocation – denied a blatant penalty in the first minute, Flamini’s awful ankle-breaker of a tackle on Corluka (he was lucky not to lose a leg to that one), the overall behaviour of Genarro Gattuso – we held firm, scored a sensational away goal and cleared our lines at the crucial times.

Particular mention must go to goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, for making two brilliant reaction saves at full stretch which kept us well and truly in the tie. Aaron Lennon also had an excellent game down the right wing, skinning the Italians’ left back at every opportunity, and defensive central midfield pairing Sandro and Wilson Palacios had what can only be described as pretty much career-best performances, certainly in Sandro’s case. They stood tall, put out fires, won the ball and kept our normally-fragile defence out of danger for much of the game.

In terms of defence, what a match to mark the return to action of long-term absentee Jonathan Woodgate, scorer of the winner in the 2008 Carling Cup Final and hardly playing a game since. Great to see him back in the side, and good to know that despite our injury crises, if we can just get through next Tuesday’s away match at Blackpool we’ll have a bit of a fixture gap and start to get some crucial players back – Gareth Bale, Luka Modric will be fully fit again, Younes Kaboul, and maybe even Tom Huddlestone. Just what you need at this stage of the season if we are to consolidate our current position in the top four. It’s doable, particularly without the extra fixtures the FA Cup would mean – but we have a long way to go yet.

I can’t wait for the second leg of this game at White Hart Lane on 9th March. Come On You Spurs!

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