Records are made to be broken, but one that Pep Guardiola's Manchester City failed to match this week was to win their first eleven games of the season, as did Bill Nicholson's Double-winning Spurs side of 1960-61. The team that prevented City matching that Spurs start was Celtic in an exhilarating Champions League match on Wednesday night. The match was drawn 3-3 and one most encouraging sign for Mauricio Pochettino was the fact that the team which had conceded seven goals to Barcelona in their previous Champions League tie managed to score three against all-conquering City.
City could yet manage to win their first eleven league games of the season, but of course Mauricio Pochettino will want to make sure that doesn't happen. Spurs must take more encouragement from the fact that last season they achieved a first league double over City since the 2009-10 season in which we pipped them for Champions League qualification. We played City on Matchday Seven last year and shocked them with a fabulous 4-1 home win!
City were missing Joe Hart (they will every game this year of course!), Vincent Kompany (missing this week too) and David Silva........
But for below-par performances against the Merseyside duo of Everton and Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur would be facing Manchester City this weekend, level on points albeit with an inferior goal difference............
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Yet another goal for Son Heung-min (his fifth in 5 games) was enough to secure all three points for Spurs on what became an excellent Champions League night when we learnt that Monaco had got a late, late equaliser at home to Bayer Leverkusen. The Spurs win puts them into second place, one point above Leverkusen, who have drawn both their games. CSKA drop to bottom. Pochettino’s men have made up for their disappointing loss at Wembley on Matchday One.
The Spurs manager sprang one surprise with Kieran Trippier getting the nod at right back, despite the presence of (presumably) a fully fit Kyle Walker on the bench. Predictably, Erik Lamela took the vacancy created by Sissoko’s injury in Saturday’s game at Middlesbrough. The game was played in CSKA’s brand new arena which only opened earlier this month. A crowd of over 25,000 watched the game, including an ardent but small pocket of Spurs fans. The home crowd made plenty of noise most of the time, with a hard-core of bare-chested testosterone-filled males behind the home goal. Such was the domination (67% possession over the course of the game) by Spurs that at times the home fans fell relatively silent.......
This old codger will not sleep soundly until Pochettino and his Sonshine Boys – and the faithful travelling Spurs supporters – are back home safely from tomorrow’s Championship League assignment in Moscow.
It is no secret that CSKA is a breeding ground for the hooligan vermin that continue to poison the Russian game. They are a small minority, but can cause mayhem with their dedication to mindless violence.
If you are travelling to Moscow please be careful, and follow the advice not to advertise your affinity to Tottenham with tell-tale replica shirts and blue and white scarves. It is so sad to have to write such warning words, but anybody who witnessed the Russian thugs in action during the recent Euro 2016 championships will know they are evil in their intent and indiscriminate about who they target......
Who needs Harry Kane when for the second time this season Son Heung-min popped up with a smashing brace. His second goal was a real cracker, and confirmed Spurs’ utter domination of the first half at The Riverside Stadium where we were playing for the first time in 8 years. Things have changed around the stadium in the intervening period with some development on what used to be waste land where I believe once upon a time Margaret Thatcher walked. In nearby North Ormesby, where our party spent the pre-match, there has also been some development, although as a whole, Middlesbrough still doesn’t look too bright. Spurs certainly shone brightly, and over the course of the game had nearly 60% of the possession. When Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanaka switched Jordan Rhodes for Negredo and the pacy Adama Traore for Ramirez, Spurs were put under more pressure. The home side scored, and we fans were made to sweat out the last quarter of a game we should have won by a street.
There was no sign of Danny Rose, Eric Dier, or Mousa Dembele, all of whom have been recovering from injury or knocks. Hopefully, Mauricio Pochettino is “managing the minutes” and all three will appear in Moscow on Tuesday night, with a full five days before next Sunday’s already mouth-watering game against Manchester City Spurs should be able to choose from virtually all the squad, with the exception of Kane.......
While I travel North to see our Premier League game at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium, Ray Lo is travelling south and west across the land to report on the latest games for our Premier League 2 and Under 18 sides. Ray's first game was at Southampton and then he travelled to Swansea for an under-18 match........
The Spurs Odyssey message board is often the first place to hear genuine "ITK" information about our beloved team, and it also has an off-topic section where non-football matters are discussed.
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