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  1. #2001
    Quote Originally Posted by fallenangle View Post
    I was going to go looking for the highlights so thanks for saving me the trouble again.

    Good result with the media/pundits certainly giving deserved praise to DA for his performance. But he has to do it regularly and be given the chance to do so too of course. But like with Bale what has the manager got to loose by giving him a decent run? It can't get much worse in the Premiership with the many line up mixes he's tried clearly not working consistently.
    I think Bale is bound to start against Burnley as he normally starts the Europa League matches, so being rested for Wolfsberger surely indicates he was being saved for the league match. I wasn't as sure about Dele before Wolfsberger, but I think after Wednesday's display he should get a chance against Burnley too.

    Mourinho said before (and it's a view I have sympathy for) that it's very difficult to give players a run of matches to "play themselves into form" in the PL because the matches are so tough it's hard to carry players who are out of form. And it's tough to do in one off matches, but when given the chance, you have to put in top notch displays to force him into keep you in the team. I'd also have sympathy if he'd said that before now, Bale and Dele hadn't done enough in their Europa League / Cup appearances to merit a definite start in the league.

    But now we have the combo of bad Premier League form that means we need to try something different to break the run of poor results, and Bale and Dele putting in performances that definitely do merit them being given a chance in the league (especially Bale, three good appearances in a row now). Burnley are also a team who will try to be very solid and tough to break down, so the extra creativity of Bale and Dele on the pitch might be needed.

    Edit: The Europa League draw is at 12PM today, fingers crossed we get a decent draw. We play Arsenal in the league on 14th March and the next two EL matches are on the 11th and 18th, so if we were to draw Arsenal in the EL we'd be playing them three times in a row in eight days. That would be... interesting

    I'd quite enjoy being drawn against Granada, as that would see us facing ex-Spur Roberto Soldado.
    Last edited by EJG1980; 26-02-2021 at 08:21 AM.

  2. #2002
    Luka Modric's old club Dinamo Zagreb up next for us in the Europa League.

    Can't be complacent or take anything for granted but considering we could have drawn someone like Man Utd, Arsenal, Ajax, Roma, Milan, etc., that's a kind draw. A very good chance to get through to the quarter-finals.

    Edit:

    We were drawn to play away first leg, home second leg, as were Arsenal, but UEFA rules don't allow teams from the same city to play at home on the same night so our fixtures have been reversed and we will now play the first leg at home.



    Even though most managers say that they prefer to play the second leg at home, I think this works out quite well for us as it means we get to stay in London before the North London Derby while Arsenal have to travel to Greece.

    It's been AGES (1992/93) since we last did the double over Arsenal in the league so I'll take any small advantage!
    Last edited by EJG1980; 26-02-2021 at 11:58 AM.

  3. #2003
    I've never understood that preference for a home second leg. Home advantage - meh! Never believed in it as a general rule and in these times without a crowd to raise the atmosphere I'm even less convinced.

    Away goals I assume still count in the event of a tie so if your team does not score in the away first leg and you lose 'just' 1 - 0 they only have to score once at your home to require you to score three goals to win.

    I know which side I'd prefer to be in a situation like that. Far better to play the second leg away particularly if they have scored at your home too.

  4. #2004
    I get the idea behind it, managers wanting to be at home second because you go into the match knowing exactly what you have to do to get through, having your fans behind you for the deciding leg, but I think any advantage from that is probably smaller than they think.

    I had a quick google and a few years ago there was a study that looked at just over 6,000 two legged European ties from 1955-2006. The study was weighted to take account of the fact that because of seeding, the strongest sides play home legs second more often than weaker sides do.

    For matches that ended in 180 minutes the team playing at home second goes through just under 54% of the time; if the tie goes to extra time the team playing at home second goes through 66% of the time; if the tie goes to penalties the team playing at home second goes through 57% of time time. Overall the team playing the second leg at home goes through just over 54% of the time, so an advantage, but certainly not the huge one it's made out to be. The biggest advantage seems to be getting an extra half an hour of playing in front of your own fans, if it goes to ET or pens.

    And as you mentioned any potential advantage is probably almost fully nullified this season with no crowds present. Home wins usually outnumber away wins by something like 15% to 25%, but this season it's basically 50/50 with away wins currently slightly ahead 98 to 91.

  5. #2005
    Interesting stats.

    Sunday Edit:-

    Going well but even at 4-0 with Spurs at 90 mins you can never be sure they won't blow it.

    Two goals for GB, good performances all round, can't wait to see the game on MotD.

    Yay! We just won. COYS.
    Last edited by fallenangle; 28-02-2021 at 02:53 PM.

  6. #2006
    Quote Originally Posted by fallenangle View Post
    Going well but even at 4-0 with Spurs at 90 mins you can never be sure they won't blow it.

    Two goals for GB, good performances all round, can't wait to see the game on MotD.

    Yay! We just won. COYS.
    Yup, very good today, both in the scoreline and the level of performance. Bale, Kane, Son and Lucas all combining very well together, all getting in on scoring and assisting each other, with Bale being the standout performer.

    There was one moment (hopefully they show it in the highlights on MOTD) where he did the vintage play the ball past the defender and then turn on the afterburners to blast past them. It was wonderful to see that again. I hope he can keep up the form and fitness for the rest of the season, make renewing his loan a no brainier, and next season we can have a fully fit Bale, on form, with fans in the stadium!

    Nice to get a clean sheet too, and it was a 100th clean sheet for Lloris who was virtually untroubled the whole match. Sanchez can look much better when he’s got an experienced player like Toby alongside him and they would probably be my first choice pairing for the rest of the season; Sanchez was really good today and I think he’s got more chance of coming good long term than Dier has. Rotate as little as possible to give them a chance of forming some kind of understanding.

    Gotta make the next couple of matches count, with others in the top four race playing each other and us having (on paper) kinder fixtures, great chance for us to get back into proper top four contention. Really good today, let’s keep it going.
    Last edited by EJG1980; 28-02-2021 at 03:51 PM.

  7. #2007
    Another good win, although a much tougher match than we had against Burnley. Played well in the first half and deservedly took the lead, shame we didn't add to it to make things a bit easier for ourselves. It didn't fully click into top gear but at times there was some excellent play between Kane, Son, Bale and Alli, you can see the potential in them as an attacking unit.

    It was a bit like the home match a couple of months ago as Fulham stepped it up in the second half and were on top for a good long chunk of it, we had to dig in deep and defend. We did get lucky with their disallowed goal, absolutely nothing the Fulham player could do to avoid that ball hitting his arm. It was correctly ruled out as per the rules, but I don't like the fact that we disallow a goal for any kind of handball, whether deliberate or not. If we don't give penalties against defenders unless the handball is a deliberate one, we should treat attackers the same in the build up to goals and only disallow if it's a deliberate handball.

    We got back a bit of control in the last 15-20 minutes of the half (Lamela and Lucas coming on for the tiring Bale and Dele helped) and in that period we had the better chances to go 2-0 up and finish off the game. We didn't take them, but thankfully we didn't need them. I think we deserved the win overall based on the first half, being under the kosh in the second but still having the best couple of chances, but all that really matters is another three points.

  8. #2008
    From the MotD highlights it looked like we could have easily beat them 0-3 if we'd converted our good chances. But Fulham were much better than their league position suggests. Tough in defence throughout so we ended up looking a bit lucky getting the win and not to have given away the points with that questionable handball decision just before their consequently disallowed goal.

  9. #2009
    Very good win tonight with some great football and excellent goals. The third goal (Kane’s first) is my favourite goal we’ve scored this season; unbelievable finish from Kane but the passing and movement in the build up to the goal was first class too. The build up to the fourth was lovely as well, but the third had the build up AND insane finish.

    Bale and Kane will get all the attention for their performances (and rightly so) but Lucas Moura wasn’t far behind, he was very very good all evening. He’s been playing very well for a few matches now and definitely merits his place in the starting eleven at the mo.

    Top four doesn’t look so distant after the past few results, but we’ve gotta keep it going as it can very quickly go back the other way.

    Edit: just watched MOTD2 on catch up to see the goals again, superb. Also I forgot to mention that I was really happy with the way we responded to the Palace equaliser. Could easily have derailed us conceding right on half time to their only shot of the half, but we came back out and were really positive, on the front foot, and blitzed them from the start.
    Last edited by EJG1980; 07-03-2021 at 10:54 PM.

  10. #2010
    I was listening to it on the BBC and when they got their goal right at the end of the first half I thought oh no not again. So I didn't listen any further I just waited for MotD and crossed my fingers.

    That second half thankfully was just excellent as you've described - came out after the break and went for it. Good version Spurs were back and it was really good to watch, particularly the goals.

    Agree about Lucas Moura, always liked him; he's never delivered quite what had been hoped but often added some zest to otherwise lack lustre games when he's come on as sub, as does Lamela. But in neither case have they been entirely satisfactory and effective. The key to that change is undoubtedly GB - he's back to his defender scaring best turning up all over the pitch.

    With his roaming role and speed he's dragging defenders out of place so there's more space and time for Moura/Lamela and they're finding it and its paying dividends. Its a pleasure to watch and I Just hope it continues.

    If we can get the defence sorted too a top six finish is much more likely and indeed top four not out of the question.

    Also hoping the MC/MU result yesterday is a sign MC are going off the boil. They looked quite ordinary against a high pressing MU so maybe Spurs should take note for the League Cup (Carabao) final. Long way off still.

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