The half began in rather poor circumstances for the visitors. Despite having Jan Vertonghen and Paulinho back in the side, Spurs didn’t look much like the fifth place outfit we saw on New Years Day. Tottenham looked for from the confidence show against Swansea a few weeks ago as they were weak in attack with only Aaron Lennon attempting to get forward and even his input was poor considering he was often beaten to the ball and pushed off without much fight. Adebayor attempted to fight his way to goal as he continued the battling form he has enjoyed recently.
The poor start from Tottenham was cemented further when Hull took the lead. Jelavic found himself with the ball just on the edge of the area, he flicked the ball between Vertonghen and Dawson to which Shane Long latched onto and fired past Hugo Lloris. Vertonghen was beaten for pace which could be as a result of being out of action for well over a month now.
The Spurs fans attempted to brighten the spirits of the players as “Come on You Spurs,” could be heard from the away end. This looked to have worked as the players pushed forward well. Despite an occasional Hull attack, Tottenham countered well as a Lennon and Eriksen attempted to launch play forward, Lennon doing everything possible to beat McShane but struggled with the build of the Irishman proving too much for the small frame of the Englishman.
Tottenham often tried to retaliate but were left unlucky. Despite numerous corners and some excellent and improved deliveries from Christian Eriksen, Tottenham just couldn’t hit the net. Adebayor had his fair share of chances as he attempted to round Harper around the half an hour mark but instead lost out repeatedly. It was clear that this was a massive contrast from the Spurs side seen a month ago at Old Trafford. Hull had some decent chances of their own, including a particularly potent Jelavic who was continuing to pressure the back four. Lloris found himself running out many a time to stop the former Everton forward.
The half ended strongly for Spurs but not so much for their Spanish forward. Soldado found himself on the end of a well worked Paulinho ball but his lack of confidence prevailed and he took it wide hoping to lash a ball back across the face of goal but instead had an effort blocked by McShane.
The second half showed a much improved Tottenham. Sherwood clearly had a screaming contest at the interval as the players looked to have a bite that was potentially missing from their attack. Christian Eriksen came out of the blocks to spray many a chance over the park as well as linking play well with his midfield partner Paulinho.
Just after the hour mark, Tottenham drew level. Paulinho intercepted a driving ball from Vertonghen to turn in the area and thump and effort hard and high into the Hull net, this came as a deserved goal on his return. 1-1 was the scoreline and you would have thought that with plenty of play left to pursue, Spurs would look for the winner. This pressure however was weak and despite some chances – including a well worked movement by Eriksen and Soldado in which the Spaniard fired at the keeper – the winning chance just didn’t come. It was to finish 1-1 and with news of an Everton victory, Spurs fell to 6th in the table.
Lloris – Made some unusual and frantic clearance attempts today. (average)
Walker – Not his best game defensively. (Poor)
Dawson – Did well in spells. (Good)
Vertonghen – Beaten for pace on his return. (average)
Rose – Some heavy challenges and mistakes. (Poor)
Bentaleb – Don’t get me started. Shouldn’t be starting (Average)
Paulinho – A great goal and generally good game (Very good)
Eriksen – Worked hard and delivered well (Very good)
Lennon – unusual poor performance from the little man. (Average)
Soldado – not confident in the slightest. Disappointing (Poor)
Adebayor – Fought well and wanted the goal. (good)
MOTM: Paulinho. Just generally worked hard and wanted the ball. Good performance considering the time he’s spent on the sidelines.