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Spurs v Anderlecht, 13.12.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.


           NextGen Series 2012-13, Group 1
          Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
           Thursday 13th December 2012, 1pm

             SPURS     v    ANDERLECHT
          (All White)      (All Purple)
             4-3-3            4-4-2

              0(0)             2(0) 
SPURS:- Vigouroux, McQueen, Ward, Veljkovic, Ball, Stewart(C), Michael-Percil, Bentaleb(Lameiras 75), Coulthirst, Onomah(Miller 63), Munns
Unused Substitutes:- McGee, Ogilvie, Lesniak, Winks, Zapata-Caicedo
Booked:- Vigouroux 83
Coach:- J. McDermott

RSC ANDERLECHT:- Roef, D'Alberto, De Wilde, Heylen(C), Lukaku, Dendoncker, Jaardi (Kindermans 90), Carvalho(Henen 46), Kabasele, Tarfi, De Bruyn
Unused Substitutes:- Cekrezi, Mbemba, Scholl, Kawaya
Scorers:- Dendoncker 58, Heylen 84
Booked:- De Wilde 83
Coach:- H. Rene

Referee:- M. Chisholm
Assistants:- N. West & T. Goddard
Fourth Official:- L. Marshallsay

It was a cold afternoon for this last group match with Spurs two points ahead of Anderlecht in second place. Due to the cold weather the game was moved to the pitch with the underground heating and it kicked off late. In addition, the spectators were held back until after the start because some of the first team were out training.

Spurs lined up with Vigouroux in goal behind Ball and Stewart with McQueen at right back and Ward on the left. Veljkovic sat in front with Onomah and Bentaleb alongside him. Up front Coulthirst led the attack with Michael-Percil on his right and Munns to his left.

Spurs kicked off attacking the south end where the visitors defended strongly and in depth. They would clear the ball and push up to compress the play, while the front pair closed down defenders quickly. The tactics worked well restricting Spurs' attacking build-up and forcing them to play long balls up to the strikers which the centre-backs dealt with all game.

Munns cut in from the wing to draw a save from Roef and Onomah played a good ball through the middle for Coulthirst to run onto but his effort was saved. Munns fired over from a free kick before Anderlecht broke with Tarfi who set up a chance for D'Alberto who drove over. Kabasele fired over from De Bruyn's cross.

Munns got down the right and crossed to the far post. Roef could not clear it and it dropped to the head of Bentaleb who headed back across the goal where it was cleared off the line. Ward turned up in the area to meet a pass from Onomah which came back off the inside of the right post. Munns fired wide before, in the last minute of the half, Tarfi broke on a counter attack and drew a save from Vigouroux for a corner.

Anderlecht made one change for the second half which saw Spurs continue to push forward. As they began to take more chances the visitors found more openings to counter with Tarfi forcing a save. When Spurs failed to clear another attack, Dendoncker was on hand to fire the visitors in front.

Vigouroux saved a free kick from Kabasese and also from Lukaku before Spurs made their first change replacing Onomah with Miller in the midfield. Munns cut inside to fire a shot against the post before playing in Coulthirst for an effort that was wide. Stewart clashed heads with Bentaleb which saw the French midfielder stretchered off after a long break and replaced by Lameiras.

With the visitors holding the home side in the middle of the park Kabasese was able to run onto a long ball and advance on Vigouroux. The keeper came out and tackled with his feet but the referee whistled for a penalty. The ref booked Vigouroux for the foul and also De Wilde for what must have been something he said. Kabasese took the kick himself but Vigouroux saved diving to his right. Unfortunately the ball was not cleared and Heylen drove in the loose ball.

Veljkovic caught Jaari high on the leg which resulted in him being replaced. Because the referee missed it the players crowded round Jaari in a bout of pushing and shoving which ended with the referee calling for a dropped ball. Anderlecht held out for the final whistle for a result that saw them finish in second place in the group.

Spurs were the more positive side throughout the game but could not get in enough chances to find a goal. Anderlecht are a tough side to break down as Barcelona also found. While Spurs are exciting going forward, they are weak at the back which is why they play with a defensive midfielder to protect them. Anderlecht prevented Spurs from scoring which allowed them to score from one of their few attacks. We go into the knockout stage in the New Year as one of the best third placed teams and will be drawn against one of the group winners. So far only Olympiacos and Sporting Club of Portugal are definite possibles.

Ray

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