Game. On. Roman Pavlyuchenko who has been rubbish personified, makes up for it for a second with a cracking goal from a tough angle. Spurs down, 3-2, less than 7 minutes left. To be fair, Spurs' schoolboy defending mistakes should have been capitalized a few minutes earlier and it could've been easily 5-1.
Full time. Given the circumstances, this was an excellent result for Spurs. Down 3-2 heading home next Wednesday is a great position to be in, a 1-nil result will be enough to qualify (away goals rule). Fair play after being 3-nil down to scrap a couple of goals.
Still, Harry Redknapp made the serious mistake of playing 4-4-2, with only two central midfielders, which left gaps in the middle and that back four were ripe for the picking. Things settled down when Tom Huddlestone was brought in to add steel and toughness in the midfield, but looked susceptible when they were shaky at the back and against the break. I think for a tie like this against a beatable opponent like Young Boys, it's OK to play 4-4-2 but Redknapp's biggest lesson from this is to play an extra midfielder such that the soft backline won't be exposed. European games tend to be won with a more conservative setup. Spurs should win and advance next week, nonetheless.
On another note, if Chelsea ends up buying Neymar, he could end up being a big asset to them later on in this season. The kid is very talented, and if they can figure out a way to utilize him and Drogba up front, they have to be even bigger favorites to repeat
j24jags wrote:On another note, if Chelsea ends up buying Neymar, he could end up being a big asset to them later on in this season. The kid is very talented, and if they can figure out a way to utilize him and Drogba up front, they have to be even bigger favorites to repeat
I'm not too concerned. Neymar is a supreme talent for an 18 year-old, but I'd say it would be a difficult transition for him to adapt to English football straight away. The Brazilian league game tends to be played at a more deliberate, slower pace and players have more time on the ball as well as the space to operate. The Premier League style of play tends to be quicker, more physical, and there's a stronger emphasis on closing down on players. I also don't see Chelsea paying Santos (Neymar's club) 30 million for a player who could use more seasoning. If anything, they're more likely to make a run at Pato of Milan (and a Brazil national) and/or Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Atletico Madrid), if they're looking at a long-term replacement for Drogba/Anelka. Anyway, Chelsea will probably focus on spending that 25-30m on a younger, in-form centerback like David Luiz of Benfica instead, seeing how central defense is a bit of a weakness currently.