What a wonderful game of football at White Hart Lane last night. Tottenham as expected put out the strongest side that they could field. Arsenal had 3 first team players in Toure, Senderos and surprisingly Cesc Fabregas. The rest of our side was made up of promising talent such as the impressive Brazilian Denilson. I've mentioned it in a previous article but the young Jackson five looking Brazilian has a little Cesc Fabregas about him.
The game started very quickly and evenly until Jermaine Defoe sent in a right wing cross and Kolo Toure decided that he couldn't be bothered to jump for it so Berbatov headed past Almunia for 1-0 to the Scum.
I was in Deacons pub in Bank (The City) and it felt like I was in the middle of Tottenham. The low feeling of hearing 'them' cheer so loud only made it sweeter in the end.
Denilson won a shoulder challenge against Malbranque and he fell over as if he was axed in his back and Graham Poll the kind soul that he is decided to give Tottenham a free kick.
Huddlestone swung it into the box and Baptista deflected the ball into the goal. 2-0.
I have to admit, I feared the worst. Aaron Lennon was ripping into us at will and it was basically a case of stopping him from causing any more damage. Theo Walcott obviously has a bit of a way to go before he can be as dangerous and as effective as Lennon. Theo had another game where he could not get into the game and when he did, he gave it away or ran into a defender. He is only 17 and has alot of growing and improving to go.
Abou Diaby started his first match since Sunderland when he receive that awful injury. Wenger played him out on the left, I'm sure that was to protect him from the tough challenges of central midfield. He drifted into the centre when he had the ball and he showed some nice skilful touches but he was obviously below his level right now. He got almost an hour of play so that can only be a good thing (unless he mashed up his leg in the process)
Julio Baptista ended a dreadful first half by missing a side footer from six yards. Pretty much after that was half time. The tie would be still alive if we didn't concede anymore goals. We looked capable of scoring in the second half if we upped the tempo.
We did exactly that. The experienced '19 year old' Cesc Fabregas was by far the best player on the pitch. He was all over the place, winning tackles and dictating the midfield against Huddlestone and that shit guy who keeps claiming that he made the correct choice in joining Tottenham over Arsenal. Well I'd like to say a big thank you to him for making that choice and saving us money instead of buying crap.
on 56mins Hleb replaced Diaby and made an instant difference and ran the midfield along with Cesc and Jackson. Eboue came on for the injured (so what's bloody new) Aliadiere who went back to his disappearing act type performance. Walcott went upfront alongside Baptista and Eboue played infront of Justin Hoyte on the right wing. He made an Instant impression and done more on that side than Theo did for the whole game.
Bap man was still having a bit of a mare but on 64mins he managed to receive a loose ball from Walcott in the box, fall over, get back up and side foot past Robinson in goal for 2-1 game very much on.
From then on it was one way traffic. Tottenham couldn't get near our youngsters. Lennon was still causing Traore trouble on the counter but Tottenham were not able to convert any of his crosses.
On 77mins the fantastic Fab chipped a great pass into the path of the surging Hoyte. Robinson went for walkabouts and Hoyte picked out Baptista who was in the right place at the right time yet again to tap in to the empty net. 2-2 and two goals for The Baps. Theo Walcott could have won it late on but he snatched at Cesc's right wing cross. That's the way it finished.
There were a few bad decisions for both teams during the game like Denilson's foul that never was and the offside decision against Robbie Keane who was level. So all in all it was a pretty fair result against the kids and the Spurs full team. We need to finish them off good and proper in the second leg.
Tottenham: Robinson ,Chimbonda ,Dawson ,Gardner ,Assou-Ekotto ,Lennon ,Zokora ,Huddlestone ,Malbranque ,Berbatov (Keane ,18 ) ,Defoe (Mido ,81)
Subs not used: Cerny,Young-Pyo Lee,Ghaly
Arsenal: Almunia ,Hoyte ,Toure ,Senderos ,Traore ,Denilson ,Fabregas ,Diaby (Hleb ,56(Flamini ,81 )) ,Julio Baptista ,Aliadiere (Eboue ,60 ) ,Walcott
Subs not used Poom,Randall