SUNDAY 5TH DECEMBER, 2021
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3(1) NORWICH CITY 0(0)
Lucas Moura, 10
Referee:- Jarred Gillett
Assistants:- Ian Hussin, Neil Davies
Fourth official:- Martin Atkinson
VAR:- Peter Bankes
Assistant VAR:- Wade Smith.
Spurs (3-4-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Tanganga (sub Doherty, 62), Skipp, Hojbjerg, Reguilon (sub Sessegnon, 22); Lucas Moura (sub Bergwijn, 80), Kane, Son
Subs not used:- Gollini; Rodon; Winks, Dele, Ndombele; Scarlett
Booked:- Reguilon (foul on Aarons)
Norwich (3-5-2):- Krul; Omobamidele, Hanley (Capt.), Gibson; Aarons, Lees-Melou (sub Dowell, 72), Gilmour (sub Sorensen, 81) , McLean, Williams; Idah (sub Sargent, 69), Pukki
Subs not used:- Gunn; Kabak, Giannoulis; Rupp, Cantwell; Tzolis
Booked:- Pukki (foul on Kane), Gilmour (foul on Lucas Moura)
Stupendous Lucas Moura goal sets Spurs on their way
I know this will astound many readers, but I don’t think I have enthused quite so much about a goal (scored by Lucas Moura) since the days of Jurgen Klinsmann. I know too that is saying a lot. After all Lucas’s hat-trick goal in the Ajax Stadium two and half years ago was marvellous, but I am referring to the goal, not to the moment. Those around me in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will testify that I stood and shouted words to the effect of “What a goal!” at least four times.
The goal was scored at pace and with skill. Lucas had taken a short forward pass from Davinson Sanchez, had a quick one-two with Son, rounded Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour with skill before unleashing a sensational 25-yard shot which left Tim Krul grasping at thin air.
Norwich were playing in a horribly bright fluorescent orange strip (their home strip would have been fine, but of course these matters are commercially driven). Dean Smith had them set up in a 3-5-2. Both full backs (Williams and Aarons) got forward to full effect and in fact in the early stages, Norwich were in our half so much I was getting upset with Spurs, who were, after all, playing the bottom team in the Premier League.
Antonio Conte’s one team change was Japhet Tanganga for Emerson Royal who was absent from the squad through illness. Tanganga’s selection must have been a slap in the face of Matt Doherty, who must have been suitably inspired as he gave a decent performance when he replaced Tanganga in the second half. Our other wing-back had to be replaced quite early as Sergio Reguilon went off after 22 minutes. Sergio assured us via social media that he will be back next week. Sessegnon did okay in his place.
Norwich frightened the Spurs defence after only two minutes, having kicked off and played towards the South Stand. Idah crossed from the right and Pukki swept the ball goalward, but Lloris saved, and Oliver Skipp cleared the ball. Skipp was to have another superb game, winning standing applause for two particularly skilful tackles which also resulted in accurate passes. Skipp is once again winning the (early) Spurs Odyssey poll.
Lucas sent a ball to Kane who made a run towards the left of the Norwich area but failed to make his pass. Norwich skipper and Scottish International Grant Hanley did a pretty good job on Kane throughout the game. However, whilst not scoring, Kane was again an important pivot in attack between Lucas Moura and Son.
Skipp made a run all the way to the Norwich box, but his shot was comfortable for Krul.
After 6 minutes, we stood as one whilst the game continued to applaud 6-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, remembered around the country after the shocking story of his death was revealed this week. Arthur was a Birmingham fan, and their game was paused yesterday, as was today’s Aston villa game. I personally think silence and contemplation would have been more appropriate than applause. I wept.
Spurs had enjoyed good possession during that minute, and Japhet Tanganga went down in the Norwich area after another attack, but there was no foul.
Lucas Moura’s sensational goal was scored in the tenth minute and set the stadium atmosphere alight.
Norwich were still getting men forward though and had more possession than Spurs over the whole game. I often noted 6 of their players in our half. Dean Smith certainly has his team playing higher, although I don’t recall the Villa team playing in quite the same way. There was one occasion when Spurs were under pressure, as they tried to play out from the back, but when they did break forward through Kane, he was halted by Pukki, who was booked.
Sergio Reguilon was booked for a foul on Aarons and maybe he was injured in the process, because he had to go off soon after.
After receiving from Son, Lucas had another run at goal, but his right foot shot was blocked. Skipp followed up but was wide. Soon after he came on, Ryan Sessegnon received a pass from Kane and I hoped for better from Ryan, as Norwich cleared. Son passed to Kane who seemed to be blocked by Gilmour. Referee Jarred Gillett started to upset those of a Spurs persuasion by refusing a foul and even giving Norwich a free kick. Mr Gillett recently became the first overseas official to referee a Premier League match, and this was his third such game.
Spurs attacked in concert after 28 minutes and Son passed to Kane whose instinctive shot passed just wide. Norwich had one corner after which a shot by Lees-Melou was deflected and won them a second corner.
Gilmour was booked for a foul on Lucas Moura and the referee upset the Spurs crowd again as Spurs had the ball in a good position to the right of the area, but in stead of playing advantage he stopped play and awarded a free kick. Son’s free kick reached the back post with Krul confused and Ben Davies was just wide beyond the post. After a little bit of pressure for Spurs Sessegnon hit a cross but that was cleared.
There was danger for Spurs after a Norwich free kick, after a foul by Lucas Moura but Spurs cleared. At the other end, Son, Lucas, and Kane were involved in a slick move with Kane hitting a shot over Krul but wide of his right post. Lloris had to pat away a cross at the other end before the first of Skipp’s great tackles towards the left touchline by Ollie where he managed to accurately pass inside too.
Spurs kicked off the second half and Dier hit a good ball forward for Sessegnon who won a corner near the left flag. This was taken by Son and headed just wide by Kane. There were two more moments of skill by Lucas Moura in the first three minutes of this half, but this was in approach play. Davies gets forward quite often from his current left of centre role, and after he and Son combined, Sessegnon’s cross won another corner.
Spurs had a lucky escape after 58 minutes and Norwich had a bad miss in front of their own fans. Manchester United loanee Brandon Williams got into the Spurs box on the left and his ball reached Idah via Pukki. Idah had the goal at his mercy but fired wide.
Kane took control of a headed clearance by Sanchez and tried a long range shot which was held by Krul. Kane and Lucas Moura were involved as the ball reached Son, who tried to get a shot in, but the ball ran to Sessegnon who won a corner on the left. After 65 minutes, Skipp and Doherty advanced on the right before Doherty offered a pass to Kane from his right and Kane hit a 22-yard shot that you would normally expect him to score, but Krul saved at his left post. This did give us a corner on the left, taken by Son and headed on by Davies after which Sanchez fired home from short range. Sanchez did score two of our goals in February’s 5-4 cup defeat at Goodison park, but his last and only other Premier League goal was against Leicester in February 2019. At least Spurs fans could now breathe.
Hojbjerg showed skill to get into a shooting position on the right, but Krul held his shot. Doherty took a good attacking throw (a rarity by Spurs!) with a diagonal ball in field. Son passed to Sessegnon, but Krul cleared. Another great piece of work by Skipp (tackle and control) led to a chance for Kane who had another shot saved.
Spurs’ third goal followed a cross by Doherty that went too far and caused a few groans in the crowd. However, Davies took the ball on and after an exchange with Skipp, passed to Son on his right. Son moved slightly to his right and created room for an excellent right foot shot inside the area which beat Krul.
Gilmour had a shot from outside the area which passed wide before he was replaced by Sorensen. Spurs had another escape when Pukki crossed from the right for another substitute – Sargent – but he failed to take advantage. Hojbjerg was fouled and needed treatment but was able to finish the game.
Skipp and Bergwijn advanced down the right side and Bergwijn won a corner after which Doherty had a shot go mover the bar.
This was our best league win of the season in terms of goals for and against. Five goals in our favour over the last two games has done our poor goal difference a power of good, and we have climbed into fifth place where we will stay if Arsenal fail to win at Goodison Park tonight (Monday).
There are difficult games to come starting with Rennes on Thursday night. Rennes won 5-0 away from home yesterday. They’ve lost just one of their last fifteen games and sit second in Ligue 1.
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