Tottenham managed to win 4-1 last night in what turned out to be an extraordinary game at White Hart Lane against Dutch champions FC Twente. Here’s 5 things we found out from Tottenham’s performance.
1. Spurs were rewarded for their attacking endeavour
Unlike his previous game against Bremen, Redknapp chose to play 4-4-2 at home and was rewarded with a fabulous attacking performance from his team. Gareth Bale carried on his rich vein of form with another sumptuous display against Twente. His directness, pace and trickery gave Twente right-back Roberto Rosales a torrid time and the Welshman capped off his evening with a wonderfully well taken goal.
2. Van der Vaart had a night to remember
Rafael van der Vaart is quickly becoming a fan’s favourite and last night he certainly had a night to remember. In the hour that he was on the pitch, he managed to miss a penalty, score a goal and get sent off. However, his contribution to the game was far greater than that. The Dutchman worked his socks off in midfield and bossed the game in the first half. He forced two excellent saves from Twente goalkeeper Nikolaj Mihajlov from open play and one from the penalty spot before beating the Bulgarian at the beginning of the second half with an exquisite strike on the turn from Peter Crouch’s headed knock-down.
Van der Vaart picked up a second yellow card for a reckless challenge on Rosales and his presence will be sorely missed for Tottenham’s next Champions League tie against Inter Milan at the San Siro.
3. And so did the match officials
Match referee Terje Hauge and the 4 other Norwegian officials had a very eventful night at White Hart Lane and were at the centre of a number of controversial decisions including two debatable penalty awards for Tottenham. The first one was against Twente defender Peter Wisgerhof who was adjudged to have held Peter Crouch in the penalty area and hauled him down. The second was Tottenham’s third penalty decision of the night when the referee decided that Nicky Kuiper had handled Roman Pavlyuchenko’s shot, despite the defender having his arms by his side and his back turned to the ball.
In both occasions, there was confusion as to which official had given the decision as the referee seem to take an age before pointing to the penalty spot. The extra officials need to be given a clear indicator as to when they have made a decision to stop the referee from looking like he is hesitating and unsure about his decision.
4. Tottenham still look a bit frail at the back
Despite their handsome victory, it could have been a lot different if Twente weren’t so profligate in front of goal. Tottenham’s defence looked vulnerable from set-pieces and it was from one that Twente got their goal through substitute Nacer Chadli. The warning-signs were there for Tottenham from the first half when they almost got caught out by a Theo Janssen free-kick which Douglas almost got on the end of. Tottenham will need to improve at the back as Inter will give them a much sterner test that FC Twente will.
5. Tottenham are the most entertaining team in the Champions League
Tottenham may be new to the Champions League this season but they have been a breath of fresh air in the competition so far. For so many years we have seen the usual suspects go through the motions in the Champions League group stages so it is refreshing to see a team attack each game with enthusiasm and vigour. In their campaign so far, Tottenham have scored 12 goals and taken part in a number of entertaining games and long may that continue.
What did you think about Tottenham’s performance last night?
Like my article? Follow me on Twitter
Subscribe to my RSS feed.