Match Review – FC Sheriff 0-2 Tottenham

Tottenham saw the Sheriff off to win 2-0 win Moldova on another successful European night with goals from Jermain Defoe and Jan Vertonghen.

The first half was troubling for Tottenham. The home side showed some real pace getting forward and ironically, the Sheriff’s couldn’t shoot. They constantly threatened our back-four with Chiriches and Naughton particularly shaky in the opening stages. Tottenham did play the ball around well on occasion but despite some very good buildup and stages with some delightful flicks, Spurs couldn’t find the back of the net.

The break came on the 12th minute of time for Tottenham. Lamela took the corner short to Christian Eriksen who took the ball to the side and curled a cross into the centre for Jan Vertonghen to head home with some help from his marker. Spurs led 1-0 and entered a stage of possession and dominance over the Sheriff’s who couldn’t carry out their duties. Not long after Spurs had the chance to double the lead. Christian Eriksen found himself in the centre and flicked a miraculous ball through to the running Aaron Lennon but despite being one-on-one with the keeper, Lennon couldn’t add enough lift to the ball to put a convincing shot on as the keeper parried to safety.

The rest of the half was littered with Sheriff authority. They pushed well with par however when in crucial positions, they were rarely able to finish the chances gifted to them. Lloris found himself in a tough spot when he was face to face with an opposer but lucky the effort curled wide and didn’t threaten his goal. Spurs often found their offside trap being effective with Sheriff lacking the cunning edge to lock up a goal in the county jail. The half ended with Spurs ahead and in need of a calming down in a half which saw Zeki Fryers go off injured and replaced by Michael Dawson.

The second half was littered with many slips, trips and spills in the gunslinging affair that was this Europa League tie. Tottenham had the best chance of the half through Aaron Lennon. He found himself conducting his lost skill of cutting in from the wing to strike a shot towards goal but instead strike the post. Kadu thought he’d grabbed a leveller for the hosts minutes later but, after firing home, his strike was ruled out, correctly, for offside. And then Isa saw his shot drift wide of the post when well placed on the left of the penalty area.

The second goal for Tottenham came in the form of Jermain Defoe. After receiving the ball from Nacer Chadli, a Jermain struck a powerful effort towards goal only for it to be deflected and fire into the net. This meant that Jermain had equalled Martin Chivers’ all time record for European goals scored for Tottenham at 22. Congratulations to Jermain. He almost had the chance to score a third for Tottenham moments later but his chipped effort scooped wide of the post.

The game teetered out afterwards as Lewis Holtby entered the fray and Spurs began to sit back and relax. The game finished 2-0 and Tottenham lengthened their stay at the top of their group on 9 points. Spurs are undefeated so far in the competition and have not conceded yet either.

Player Ratings:

Lloris – 9/10, some top saves and a clean sheet

Naughton – 4/10, he played in his preferred position and was even worse.
Chriches – 9/10, another clean sheet and some big moves. Much improved
Vertonghen – 9/10, clean sheet and his first goal since March.
Fryers / Dawson – 8/10 – Fryers injured and replaced with a strong Dawsy

Sandro – 7/10, the defence were on their own occasionally. He disappeared.
Eriksen – 7/10, Christian did a good flick to Aaron but was quiet for the majority.
Lennon – 7/10, missed a sitter but did hit the post on his full return.
Lamela – 6/10, Didn’t contribute as much as hoped.
Dembélé – 6/10, some poor passing tonight from Mousa

Defoe – 8/10, a good goal from JD and a new record.

MOTM: Vlad Chiriches – He’s finally getting there after some pushing from AVB. He pulled off an outstanding save on the line and was good throughout despite a rough start.

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